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Monday, October 24, 2011

On Shopping at Walmart OR OH, Hell YES, I WILL RANT! OR Not Again With the Ranting

Today's shopping extravaganza/trip-o-horror started with parking at Walmart.  Allow me to state that if you cannot find a parking place within sight of the building, then you should probably just turn around and go home because shopping is going to automatically suck.  I will repeat this.  If you CANNOT park within a hundred yards of Walmart LEAVE IMMEDIATELY because you are DOOMED! DOOMED!  DOOMED!
I did not leave immediately, thereby invoking an ancient curse laid upon me by grumpy gypsies.

I went inside and shopped.  Half of the time I was behind a woman in a motorized wheelchair/cart and her son hauling another cart while they sprawled over every section of the canned/nonperishable aisles that I wanted to go.  If I wanted Pop Tarts, they spread over the aisle like two forms of giant gelatinous goo-people and their conversation went thusly:

The son, who was obviously related to people who played extras in the movie, Deliverance.  (I'm not making this up.  He had a wife beater shirt on, a ratty beard that went down to his moobies, and a tattoo on his arm that said, "The South lives forever.")  (Moobies, for those of you who don't know are man boobies and yes this man's were bigger than mine.)  "Ma, you want strawberry or cinnamon roll Pop Tarts?"
Her: "Cinnamon roll gives me the fartsies."
Him: "How about hot fudge sundae?"
Her: "Oh, I don't know.  Let me look at that box.  Wait, I have to find my reading glasses.  Where are my dagnamed reading glasses?  I had them in my pocket.  Are they in my purse?  Where's my purse?"
Him: "Your glasses are on your head, Ma."
Her: "Oh."
See.  Giant forms of walking/riding in her case Jell-O people.

After some time of experiencing the thrill that is Walmart shopping, I told Cressy that I was prepared to rip off some one's arm and beat them to death with it.  Cressy was mildly alarmed.  "Mommy," she said, "you wouldn't really rip some one's arm off, would you?"  "Not yours, darling," I said.  "But you'll have to bail Mommy out of the jail with your allowance."  (I don't think this went over well with her.)  (Cressy's allowance = purchasing of the toy-ity goodness from Walmart's abundant toy section.  Cressy's allowance  saving Mommy's bacon from tall, muscular women named George at lockup.)

And that was pretty much the whole shopping experience.  The store was crowded.  I was impatient.  People kept getting in my way.  Cressy decided that speaking to Mommy while Mommy was in a volatile mood was optional.  (Good call on her part.)  (Of course, it didn't stop her from getting ANOTHER flipping Barbie doll with her allowance.)  ("Oh, to hell with bailing Mommy out.  I have a NEW Barbie!")

Then came waiting in the line to the cash registers.

HIM, the man to whom I've been married for 28 years, could tell you that this is very likely at the top of my list of things that are guaranteed to tick me off.  Standing in a line that doesn't seem to move, especially at a place like Walmart that has a trillion employees who could easily OPEN A FEW MORE lines, is terribly irritating to me.  This would irritate an inanimate rock.

I have often told HIM that I have a special magic power.  (It has nothing to do with waiting in lines, unfortunately.)  My special magic power is being invisible to police while speeding down the road in my car.  I haven't gotten a moving violation for longer than I've been married.  In fact, I've blown by cops doing somewhat over the speed limit and they have mystically declined to chase me down and cite me.  I do not know why.  (I am not related to any law enforcement official in a highly placed position.  In fact, I don't have any of those law enforcement booster stickers in the back window.  Not one.)  (What does this have to do with waiting in check-out lines at Walmart?  I'm getting to the point.)

However, in exchange for the ability to avoid moving violations I, instead, am blasted with the curse of bad lines.  Yes, apparently I'm horribly, viciously, awfully cursed.  This means whatever line I step into automatically slows to an imperceptible crawl because of various reasons that just seem to 'happen.'  (Hey, MAC, I used those little doohickeys again!  But I swear I won't in a manuscript.  Haha.  I didn't even think about it.)  (Mac is one of my writing buddies who pesters me on a weekly basis about those ' things.  ' is what they are and see I don't even know what to call them.  Single quotation marks?  Whateveh.)  (Sometimes it's painfully obvious that I'm not an English major.  'I' am 'not' good 'writor.')

Basically what happens is I get into a line and the line stops moving.  For example, the party in front of me wants to cash a third party check from Bolivia that's been signed over to his brother-in-law.  The person in front of me has a book of coupons and they're using ALL three thousand of them at the same time.  The customer at the clerk suddenly forgets that she had to go get something on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORE and this is after everything else has been rang up.  A meteor falls on the cash register.  Stuff like that.

There can be twenty lines open and I will somehow pick the one that is the absolute worst one to be in.  And if I change lines, the first line clears up and the line I'm in slows down.

Yes, that's my curse.

Today didn't seem to be an exception.

I have contemplated at length which person was stupider-the clerk or the customer in front of me.  (You see, while I was waiting at length I had a long, long, long time to ponder upon the subject.)  The clerk would have lost a foot race to a Giant African Land Snail.  The customer in front of me had a towering pile of items in her grocery cart as if taking two carts would have been a sin.  She also wanted to ring up three things separately.  I don't mean that it was two sales in whole.  She wanted to ring up most of her groceries, then a garbage can separately, then some clothes separately, and then she wanted to argue about a special coupon she forgot to use in the first round of ringing up.  Then she wanted to argue with the clerk that she wanted to get change in a specific amount of bills.  The clerk did not have the bills the woman wanted and was not happy about going to fetch them for her.
The clerk was NOT singing a song, but maybe she should have been.
Or maybe I should have been.  Probably me.
Oh yes, this is really a photograph of a Giant
African Land Snail.  Reminds me of my first boss.
Whilst all the melodrama ensued I watched the next line over move rapidly along.  Soon people who came into the store after I had gotten into the line were checking out before I did.

I began to bang my head against the cart.  (People stare when you do this.  They also take pictures with their phones.)  I would have moved to another lane but I had already unloaded 90% of the cart into this one.  (And besides I know how my curse works, so it's pointless.)  THEN a Walmart employee opened the lane next to me and I said, "Oh, now you open a lane."

Finally, the clerk in my line began to check out my items.  Excruciatingly, agonizingly slowly as if she was stuck to bubble gum combined with molasses.

I believe the clerk was beginning to realize that I was getting annoyed and  And...more.
I know, I misspelled measly.  Critics.
Then she tried to murder a loaf of bread by smashing it to death with a quart of juice.  I protested.  "You just smashed the bread."

Can you believe she said, "I did not."?  (She did.  I swear to all the gods of Walmart, those three words crossed her little petulant mouth.)
It's my concerted and often repeated opinion that individuals who are
not people persons NEED a cubicle in which they can
be chained.
I stared at her.  She stared at me.  I said, "When you put the juice on top of the bread it smooshed it."  (Possibly I thought that explaining why the juice, which weighs 5 lbs and is like a rock, would diminish the fluffiness of the bread, which was whole wheat and like a pillow in consistency, would allow the clerk some illumination into why I might be protesting.  But I was wrong.)

"It does not," she insisted.

The lady behind me apparently had witnessed the entire sordid event backed me up.  (I should have bought her a cup of coffee from Starbucks.)  "It does so smoosh the bread!"

The clerk steadfastly ignored both of us, put her head down, and continued to ring me up.

Then I lost my temper.  After some time Cressy said, "Mommy, you said a potty word."
I believe that Cressy has heard every potty word ever invented
and then some coming from my mouth.  For those of you who have read
The Life and Death of Bayou Billy (plugging my own book)
you'll know what I'm talking about.
To be precise I said a whole lot more than one.  I said to Cressy, "Don't say those words.  They're bad."

Cressy said, "I guess you shouldn't have said them, Mommy."

"I'm not buying the bread," I told the clerk.

"You should relax, Mommy," Cressy informed me.  She was already holding her Walmart booty protectively to her body and was happy.

Anyway, I didn't buy the bread.  And now the manager and I are on a first name basis.  Isn't shopping fun?


Jo said...

I have that same curse. Somehow, though, I managed to escape the "totally moronic clerk who argues with you" clause. Thank gawd.

Carwoo said...

Sometimes I want the speeding tickets instead of the line from HELL! But only sometimes.

Jo said...

While standing in line, you could always picture yourself staring into the mirrored sunglasses of a by-gawd southern police officer who calls you "ma'am" in a way that is guaranteed to raise the hackles on your neck while he occasionally hitches at his belly. We have many of those here. I'll take the line. Although I now avoid WalMart whenever possible for all the reasons you listed.

Carwoo said...

I think I'll stick with avoiding traffic tickets. It's more appealing and less costly. However, it doesn't make a vein in my forehead explode.