An idiom meaning too little too late, probably originating from that phrase (so far, my searches have not turned up any further origin information). It has a connotation of opportunity barely missed, and while the phrase points out that it was missed in both tardiness and resources, I have heard it often used to just refer to being late.

The email from her had indicated that her workday was not going well, and so I found myself at a Wal-Mart, looking to buy the one thing that would with 100% certainty cheer her up. She had oohed and aahed over it in past visits, including one the past weekend. It was a body pillow that looked like a catfish. She liked fish, and was a fan of stuffed animals in general. As I walked to where they had been, I mused on what she might name it. I was unprepared for what I didn't see.

Where there had been a large bin full of different fish pillows, there was a large bin full of different Pokemon pillows. Feeling a twinge of panic, I looked around the immediate area, not wanting to further the reputation men have for not seeing things right in front of them. Finally, I located a store employee and asked, "Where did the fish pillows go?"

The employee gave me an open-mouthed look lacking comprehension, replying, "What do you mean?"

I explained what they looked like, as the employee watched me as if I had slipped my gears. Another employee walked by, and employee #1 mumbled, "He says we have fish pillows."

Employee #2, who was perkier in expression and posture, looked at me and said, "We did, but I think we sold out of them."

My objective unachievable, I sighed, thanked them, and left. When I returned to the office, my officemate asked me if I had succeeded. I replied, "They were all out -- I guess I was a day late and a dollar short."

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