Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dante Was Wrong-- Wal Mart is the Innermost Realm of Hell

    For some dumb reason I decided to go to Wal-Mart on the fourth day of the month.  It's like my sordid affair with candy corn.  Every Halloween I think, "Wow, those look good, little candy that look like corn.  What could be better?" and then I spit them everywhere and wonder how I'd forgotten how terrible they were. 

    Okay, I should probably stop here to clarify.  Connor went to visit my parents Thursday evening and will be gone for several days, which worked out well because I ended up filling in at work due to a family emergency.  On Friday evening, I figured that I would treat myself to a new book.  I buy books occasionally as "just incasers" because I never know what sort of mood I'll be in when I actually have the time to pick one up and enjoy it.  Since Connor is away for the week, I figured I could indulge in some Me-time.  So, I took off to Prestonsburg.  There's a Read More Bookstore down there and I enjoy browsing through their limited selection from time to time.

    Now, I have to say that this store's business angle doesn't make a lot of sense.  They're maybe a quarter of a mile away from Wal-Mart, but they sell their books at regular price...which would be fine if said books weren't also at said Wal-Mart with a 20% off sticker.  I don't know how they manage to stay in business, but then again numbers aren't my thing, being dyslexic and all.  Therefore, I generally only buy from there if I need to  order a book or if I'm in the market for a specialty book like the King Kelly Coleman biography I picked up for the Hubby. 

   The first book I saw was the Coleman book, but the second thing I saw on display were those Shades of Grey novels that supposedly every woman is raving about.  I'm on fairly friendly terms with the Lady behind the counter so I asked her about the books with sort-of a Cheshire Cat grin and eyebrows raised.  I'm now convinced she thought I was having some sort of strange face spasms.  She gave me the worst, most disapproving look...ever.  She quickly, and rather plainly, told me that the books were nothing but pure smut and needed to be over with the pornos.  This piqued my interest immediately.  Isn't sex supposed to be a selling point?  And second of all, could you point at the porn section again?  I totally want to check it out now. 

    I eventually put the book down, afraid she'd come at me with a vial of holy water and a crucifix if I continued to finger through the pages (pun not intended, but it still gave me a little giggle as I wrote it).  I wandered around the store as long as I could tolerate it because she kept starring at me and sucking her teeth, which must be her signal that she's pissed because I'd never heard her do that before.  It was really getting on my nerves.  I made a mental note of the books I was interested in, but uninterested in their hefty, hardback pricetags, paid for the Hubby's book, and headed to Wal-Mart to get my 20% discount.  I now wish I hadn't been so cheap and saved myself the spike in my blood pressure.

    Wal-Mart wasn't all that crowded, but then again there's a Super one about twenty-two miles up the road.  At first, I just kind of stood in the middle of the store missing Connor Lathan like a phantom limb.  I'm not used to being able to go and look at exactly what I want and buying just what I want without fighting all over the place and explaining to my little Gremlin what the meaning of 'one thing' actually means.  It doesn't mean one DVD and one toy...unless you're four and greedy and/or spoiled rotten.  Anyway, I went to the Electronics section and glanced through the movies out of habit, making note of what Connor would like before walking back to the toys.  I was completely lost.  He's trained me that well.

    I stood in the toys for a few minutes, probably looking like some wierd pedophile with a Barbie fetish before I reminded myself that I didn't have a reason to be in that particular department.  I finally made it to the books and started looking through their meager display.  I'd already poured over most of the new releases at the expensive bookstore, so I decided to look at some different ones.  I kept getting distracted by a conversation in the next aisle where the Inspirational stuff is located.  It went a little something like:

       "She poisoned herself!  I couldn't believe it.  All for some girl!"

   I put down the book I was flipping through, now infinitely more interested in what I was overhearing than whatever the book was about.  I was in the midst of some juicy gossip.  I titpoed around to the end of the shelf and stuck my head around to see three people standing in a little circle talking.  I didn't recognize any of them, but I continued to shamelessly eavesdropping on their conversation just the same.

      "No, no she killed the man to get his baby." The only male of the group chimed in and I leaned in a little closer to the shelf, thinking I could hear better with my face pressed against the sleeve of some book.

     "Yeah, yeah it was already in the glass.  That's right!"  The conversation went on for a few more minutes, something sort of itching in the back of my mind that this conversation reminded me of something.

      When the guy started mentioned the names of the people, I wanted to kick myself.  They were talking about season two of Justified!  You'd think that this would teach me a little something about minding my own beeswax, but it only served to irritate me...LOTS.  How dare they intrigue me over a television show?

     I was so upset, I picked up Steven King's newest book to see what new garbage he'd published.  Smoke Through The Key Hole: A Dark Towers Novel.  What dribble!  I decided that Smoke Through His Butthole would have been a better title, and I cracked myself up with that one.  In fact, I decided to write this whole blog entry just so I could throw it in here somewhere.  I mean, I know people who have read every word the man has written (and those people are a little boring and odd for their effort), and I've read exactly one complete novella- but it's basically crap.  I had to stop myself after The Killer Washing Machine.  The movies are okay, but they're adaptations of his books- which means that someone took his crapolla and made it somewhat entertaining.  Those poor souls deserve a Nobel Prize! 

    I eventually picked out The Hunger Games to see what all of the hype was about and a couple of other things I needed and went to check out.  This is where I nearly had a stroke.  Customer Service was crowded due to some return policy CPR emergency-like situation that looked like it was going to take a while to calm the angry patron so I went to the tobacco line.  It was the only lane open besides the do-it-yourself machines.  Machinery and I don't get along and I end up ringing up the same damn item no less than 100 times before I finally get out of there.

    The tobacco line was also crowded.  A couple of people ahead of me decided they might get better luck elsewhere so I happily moved closer to the cashier.  I was so close!  Two unwashed dope fiends were the only things standing between me and freedom.  But, they weren't leaving without a fight.  I still don't understand what the problem was, but from what I could understand, they had a twenty-four hour hold on their Wal-Mart card.  Glaring at them wasn't making them leave fast enough, and while I was probably emotionally capable of ripping them from limb from limb, I decided that I should go elsewhere, too before I caved into the irrational idea of buying whatever it was they were wanting just to get them the hell out.  This store was bringing out the absolute worst in me.

    I went back to Electronics, politely asked the girl if I could check out, even though there was also a small line there.  I'd never realized how impatient I was until then.  Now I was stuck behind a forty-year old man-boy wanting to purchase some Magic the Gathering cards, but he was short some change.  I slammed a hand-full of silver on the counter and wished him well...and well away from me.  By now I couldn't trust myself not to hurt someone.

    Finally I could pay for the stuff that, by now, I didn't feel like I even needed, but I refused to make a trip out of my way for nothing.  I don't know how we got around to it, but I mentioned that the "Security Alert on aisle X" announcement always made me nervous even though I don't steal and I'm not in aisle X.  The woman said that they tried not to do that much, but they did have problems with theft, but mostly with the employees.  Apparently, the sales associates there like to sneak goods into their coworkers bags so the alarms will sound when they go out on break.  I probably would have thought it was funny, if I wasn't overcome by my newfound Wal-Mart phobia.  If they'll prank each other, think how much more fun they'd have over pranking the patrons?  I usually have my purse unzipped and overflowing, so I'd be hard-pressed to notice a herd of pygmy goats trotting around in there, let alone a sales associate dropping some CD's in there.

    It'll take me a whole month to get over my rage, paranoia, and irritation but you can guarantee that I'll be stumbling back in there come next check day- probably for a shiny, new bag of yummy Candy Corn!  It's candy and corn, ya know.  How wonderful!

:. I Miss My Connor Gremlin! .:

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