01 March 2009

If You Spend 1/3 of Your Life Sleeping, How Much of it is Spent At Wal-Mart?

It's been about 30 hours since my last blog post. I spent most of this time in line at Wal-Mart. All I needed were some eye drops.

What is it, exactly, that takes so long at this retail giant? It never fails. There can be a hundred and forty (140) cashiers open and I will pick the one with a problem. And when I say "problem", I mean the half-retard running the register. And when I say "half-retard", I mean the woman who looks as though she may have dated Moses in high school. This was indeed the case last night. I picked a line with but a single purchaser in front of me, figuring I would be heading out the door within three minutes. After all, the couple in front of me were only buying a couple of sheet sets. That's all. Ring those babies up, and bam, it's my turn.

But no. Not this time. Not ever.

I watched as Lady Methuselah grasped their purchases with a shaky hand and drew them slowly across the scanner. Time stood still as she stared at the price display. A minute passed. Two. The woman in front of me cleared her throat and I wondered idly if the cashier had fallen into catatonia. I glanced nervously around at the other lines. Old people and other forms of half-retard manned each register, but they were moving through customers as if their jobs depended on it (which I seriously doubt was the case). I watched as people came into the store, spoke to the greeter, completed their shopping, were checked out, and left the store. All the while, I'm wondering if I'll make it time for my birthday. In October. I consider changing lines, but not very seriously. I used to be a line changer, but not anymore. I've been burned too many times. You change lines and wind up behind someone even slower. Meanwhile, back at your line, your formerly turtle-esque cashier has rediscovered her inner Mario Andretti. No. I would stay. I would tap into my deep reservoir of patience and stay. I was certain that Mother Nature herself would snap out of it any second now. I glanced back at her and noticed for the first time that she was sporting a cast on her left arm. Probably broke it windsurfing.

The woman in front of me, with plenty of time to inspect the price on the display, decided she didn't like what she saw. "Um, I believe these sheets are on sale. The sign said "$25.99". Not "$26.99"." I clenched my teeth and bit back on the scream that was rising in my throat. The old woman behind the register nodded slowly. "It's coming up as $26.99."

"Yes, but the sign says. . ."

And so on.

To settle this debate, the old woman sent a lackey back to the aisle to see which price was correct. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that a further ten minutes passed and I never saw that lackey again. Just as I was rubbing my beard (I had been completely clean shaven when I walked into the store) and watching a newscast of my murderous Wal-Mart rampage in my head, the couple in front of me had a brilliant idea. "Why not let him go ahead while we wait for him to come back with the price." If they had said that eight minutes earlier, I would have warmly thanked them with a smile and maybe even a hug. As it was, I could only manage a curt nod and a muttered "Thanks," which was probably lost in the thick, tangled undergrowth of my new beard.

Halfway out to my car, I realized I had forgotten to get eye drops. Of course.


Exaggerator said...

Personally, I don't shop @ Wally World myself out of principle and conscience, even with one of their Supercentres in Winona.

Instead, I prefer Target or ShopKo, the latter closer to my flat.

Anonymous said...

....and you wondered where all of those handicapped parking places were going.