Monday, December 19, 2005

The Agony and the Agony

I am angry, my friends, angry like an old man trying to send back
soup in a deli. Wait. That was an episode of Seinfeld I watched last
week, the one where marine biologist George rescues the whale by
pulling the Titleist out of its blowhole, the Titleist that Kramer drove
off the beach practicing his golf swing. And it's a mammal. Not a fish.

Tonight I went to Wal-Mart for a bit of last-minute shopping for the
kids, and to get more Chex Mix containers. Bad idea.

I had to return a CD and a Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 that somebody
already had. I parked at my usual spot, way over by the lawn and
garden center, by the cart return. I grabbed a cart and pushed it in.
Because I'm that kind of gal. I saw the greeter, and remembered
that I forgot the returnables. I went back to the large SUV for them.
I pushed in another cart. I stood in line (5 people ahead of me), to be
waited on by a 16-year-old worker. She said, "I'll need to see your
driver's license." I know that's their policy. I usually have it with me.
But I didn't want to haul in the whole purse tonight, so I just had a
debit and a credit card, which I offered to her. No. Must. Have.
Picture. ID. I went back to the SUV for the license. I did not push
in a cart. What made me mad was that the woman in front of me had
returned a two-pack of DVDs. You know, those that come bundled
together, side by side. Only they were not side by side. They were
separate, with the cardboard ripped apart, and no plastic wrap to be
seen. The worker girly asked her, "Do you remember how much this
was?" The woman said, "Oh, I think about $10. I've seen others for
that." The worker girly handed her $10. In cash. I gave my picture ID
for the CD and game, both still in their original wrapping, with prices
attached, and got a Wal-Mart card for my refund. That's fine, I was
spending it there anyway, but it's just that I don't like a 16-year-old
girl getting the upper hand on me.

Next, I went to the container section. A girl was standing there,
doing nothing. I could not see my plastic containers. I did, however,
see metal for twice the price. I decided I needed three. I reached to
the top shelf to get one. I put it in my cart. A 20-something boy came
up, with a younger boy, and talked to the girl. They were not
shopping for containers. I reached for my second one, which was
harder, with more people in the way. 20-guy picked up a tin with
wheels on it, and rolled it down the aisle. Then he rolled it back. It
rammed into my foot. Did anybody say, "Oh, sorry" or "Excuse me"
or "Move it, lady" so I would expect it? No. They laughed like hyenas.
The girl said, "You know you're not supposed to get in any more
trouble!" 20-guy said, "OOOoooo!" and picked up the rolling tin.
I reached for my last container. I had to take a stack of four to get
it, from the top shelf. They tipped over. One hit the floor while I
was juggling the other three. "Hey! What the--" the in-the-way-girl
shouted, and turned to glare at me. At that moment, the topmost tin
I was juggling slammed into my forehead. That really made the
hyenas cackle. I usually don't speak to people in Wal-Mart, but I
said, "Well, it's kind of hard to get them with you guys playing
around." They left the aisle, hee-hawing all the way. I think that's
going to leave a mark. Physically, too.

From there, I went to electronics to spend a fortune on the video
games. Only they didn't have the 6 things on my list. Any of them.
I saw Mr. K from school, who moonlights at Wal-Mart. He was
helping a lady look for a DVD they didn't have. I told him my
problem. He said he'd look, and let me know if he found any.
Of course, that was the last I saw of him. No Railroad Tycoon,
either. I was going to substitute Prison Tycoon, but they had only
one, and it had been opened. Maybe that lady in front of me had
already returned it. It must be in high demand here in redneckland.

I saw a former student of mine who had dropped out, but had
gotten his GED. He was congenial. I asked if they had a VuGo,
which he said he'd never heard of, but that he didn't work back
in that department, so he would ask for me. He probably works
bringing in carts, and I am putting him out of a job. He asked,
but they'd never heard of it. Darn that #1 son for telling me it
was right there yesterday when we were in Wal-Mart!

By now it was 7:45. I was tired and crankier than usual. I was
starving (well not really, because I have a few fat stores to tide
me over until, oh, let's see, maybe...2008) since I had left home
with supper in the oven. I finished with the toilet paper and
mayonnaise and banana shopping and grabbed a sandwich from
the case. One of those triangle-shaped roast beef and swiss things.
I hear you shouting "No, Hillbilly Mom! What are you thinking?
Do you want to die?" No. I didn't eat a muffin with a "K" on it,

I checked out with a girl who put 50 pounds of batteries all in
one flimsy plastic bag, and my bananas in with some cans of
soup and the jar of mayonnaise. Then she had the nerve to say
"Done with your Christmas shopping now?" No. Leave me alone.
Do you think I'm spending too much, or what? Those cans of
soup are going to be tough to wrap.

On the way home, I unwrapped that delicious sandwich. I could
only eat one bite. That bite tasted like beer. Beer that has been
in a metal bucket for an hour at the St. Louis Strassenfest in
October, 1980. Or how my friends said beer like that tasted.
I threw it out the window, bit by bit. I hope Hansel and Gretel
don't follow me home. I hate uninvited guests.

By this time, I was really stressing. The only comfort to be had
was the lovely voice of Dolly Parton singing "Wildflowers" from
the TRIO CD, and the warm glow of my SERVICE ENGINE
SOON light. I know y'all secretly go to Amazon and listen to
these songs I talk about. I know you do. There's no need to be
embarrassed. This one is good ol' hillbilly music.

I made it home to find that my Hillbilly Husband had turned off
the garage light. He does that. If I leave it off, it is on when I get
home. When I try to outsmart him by leaving it on, he turns it
off. He came running to help me carry in the stuff. Yeah. Right
after I had carried it all to the porch and stomped into the house
bellowing "A little help, here?"

Now I am very tired. I need to put ice on that lump on my forehead.


Blogger MrsCoach2U said...

Don't ya just love Wal-Mart. Paul Harvey must be smoking something good when he talks about "the best neighbor you'll ever have". Course my neighbors are my in-laws so it's probably a tie!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Huggies said...

I'm glad we don't have Wal-Mart here in Australia.

My Grandma had that Trio album on CD. I must get it sometime for my collection.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

Curse that Wal-Mart! I hate it, but I can't stay away!

Good to know that I have the same musical tastes as your grandma. Excuse me while I grab my walker and open a can of catfood for lunch.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Hi Hillbilly Mom,
I couldn't be bothered reading your whole post, so can you do it for me, like you do for your students? :-P
Sorry to hear about the bump on your head.

11:35 AM  
Blogger MamaKBear said...

I love WalMart...just not when it's crowded with last minute shoppers.

If you can swing it, do your shopping at like 1 or's great! NO crowds, no long lines. I did most of my present buying then...waited 'til hubby and kids were asleep and left for WM at 1 in the morning.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

I only read them the beginning and the end. They don't know what they're missing.

I have done that in the past. It is much easier. I did it for back-to-school stuff, too.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Chickadee said...

I HATE Walmart and young people who are too busy flirting with each other to get any work done. Get a room horndogs. You should have thrown those tins at them.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Hillbilly Mom said...

I was disoriented from that large cast-iron cauldron falling on my head. That's what it felt like, anyway.

10:06 PM  

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