Wal-Mart Adventures: Always the place where no one can drive, always

29 Nov

Yesterday, I got my severance pay check, and the bank finally credited my account with it at midnight. Thank God because I was literally in the red until then. I finally had the chance to go grocery shopping after literally days of conserving food and getting ready to fight Vampire Cat for his Friskies and Whiskas. So, I headed to the local Wally World fairly early so I could beat the holiday shoppers. I quickly realized I should have gone at 4 a.m. when I was fighting off insomnia.

Here’s something I’ve always seen at Wal-Marts, and it was clearly evident today: No one can drive — outside OR inside the store.

I don’t know what it is about Wal-Mart that makes a housewife in a Subaru station wagon want to drive like someone on Grand Theft Auto. The bad driving, though, extends to the store’s inside, where the housewives, retirees, broke college kids, and people both rich and poor (mostly fairly poor or middle-class) can’t even drive a buggy.

I first came in from the highway and pulled into traffic that moved at a lurch that was slower than most zombies. Obviously, “work hours” were still not a good time to come to Wal-Mart. I then proceeded to park in the boondocks and walk inside. In the process, someone in a Lexus SUV let me cross after first getting ready to mow me down like a West Virginia deer. Taking roadkill home to eat is legal in this state (no joke), so I guess the driver was a cannibal.

The real challenge was inside the store.

Inside, I was nearly slammed into by just about everyone at every turn. It was like a bad demolition derby! Around every corner, everyone was so obsessed with getting that Great Value cereal or whatever that they were just plowing through the aisles. Maybe the whole thing was just contagious. Maybe everyone started getting this, “Oh, so you’re going to run me down! Hell, I’ll run everyone down!” attitude.

I admit that I almost got that way myself when I made it to the register. At the register, I was right behind a woman who held up the line for a good five minutes (that felt like five hours), talking to the cashier about her Christmas tree. Here I was with a buggy full of frozen and refrigerated food, and I still had to fight through ridiculous traffic to get home after this. She finally got out of the way, and I thought I was home free.

Alas, the bad drivers were still out in full force.

I ended up having to snake through the parking lot because a driver on one side of the parking lot nearly backed into me, and another one from the other side backed into me. A woman who passed me said, “Be careful. They’ll run you over out here.” I said, “Yeah, and they’ll do that inside the store, too.”

Current music: Don Henley, “Dirty Laundry”

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