Friday, March 2, 2012

Wal-Mart for Dummies

My handicap is my own heroism; it is like a raw, dripping ham dancing on the limb of a tree over a pack of slightly unbalanced wolves.  Nothing good ever seems to come of it and eventually my heroism will fall to the ground where the wolves patiently wait to tear it to shreds.   The wolves are always there and not always guised as wolves.

I have an acquaintance who is constantly sick or has some type of injury going on at all times.  You name it and she has either had it, broken it or is perilously trying to get her hands on it.  She is what I like to call a professional sick person.  Her ongoing drama with herself exceeds the normal capacity range for what the allowable amount is for drama queens in the professional sickness category.  I've often thought of buying her a book to help her with her already exploding career in the sickness field.
Here are some sample pages from the bonus section on how to get sick, but in no way am I endorsing the book.  Us famous people have to be careful about things like that.



I volunteer to clean her house, free of charge, on a weekly basis.  I have no idea why I do this, except for the fact that I know if I don't do it, no one else will and she will crumple and die into a fetal heap of dark morass on one of her self-loathing days.  Her daily lists are always the same:

Before each visit, I have to pump myself up like one of those karate people do before they have to break a pile of bricks with their bare hands.  Yesterday, she whimpered into the phone for me to swing by Wal-Mart and pick up a few things for her before going to clean her house.

I am not sure about your town, but my town is infested with Wal-Marts, like fleas or taxes.  They are everywhere only you can't get rid of them, ever.

I decided to stop at a Wal-Mart that I don't normally frequent, closer to her side of town.  Fortunately, it wasn't "Wear Your Slippers or Pajama Pants to Wal-Mart Day."   I walked in the door and walked straight to the only shopping cart that had water dripping off of it. I hesitated before touching it and decided with great thought, much like that of a cat, that I didn't like the feel of water on a cart.

My glance immediately went to a shriveled up elderly gentleman who was lining carts singly in front of the doors.  I had to smile.  Wal-Mart "people greeters" rock! He was making it so easy for the rest of us...we didn't have to step to the side for our carts, but walk right into one, whether we wanted it or not.  Once again, a Wal-Mart employee going over and above his call of duty.

I quickly theorized that he was the oldest human being alive on the planet, but not a day older than 300 years.  He had on the typical Wal-Mart school uniform colors of a blue shirt and I surmised that he had somewhere in his lifetime stolen a pair of Lyndon Johnson's khaki pants and had the pants pulled up high almost to his face.  His belt was actually where his Superman logo should be and his eyeglasses were thick enough to catch his face on fire if he stood in the sun for too long.

Wal-Mart instituted those school uniforms for their employees so that the employees would stand out from the rest of the customers; either that, or they wanted them to enroll in high school.  I love older people, but they tend to stand out on their own, though, without the uniforms.  By virtue of having lived forever, he probably knew everything there was to know about anything.

Then, I noticed that he was in a bind.  One of the wheels from the cart he was moving became caught up with the wheel of another cart he had lined up at the door.  He stood there struggling with all of his poor little strength trying to yank it free and there I was a perfectly good superhero standing there like a Trojan waiting to be utilized.

I needed a cart and he was struggling with one, so after doing the math in my head, I quickly ran to his rescue.  This would score me extra brownie points for my daily citizenship goals with myself.

I swiftly grabbed the cart and tried to pull it out of his hands so that I could do the untangling process that was so desperately needed.

One good yank and I had it, but I needed the cart to do my shopping so proceeded to go in the store with it,  only the people greeter wouldn't let go.  As a matter of fact, he yanked it back.  I decided not to report him to his boss and still try to salvage my heroic efforts and so I pulled the cart back.

"I'll take it," I said with a smile, "I need this." I thought I was being pretty nice about it considering he was being rude.

He yanked it from my hands and said, "No! Give it back!"

The wheel became tangled again after his new yanking episode and at that point I figured there was something more serious wrong with him and maybe they shouldn't have put him at the front door.  I now knew that he needed me more than he thought he did.

I ,once again, saved the day by yanking the cart away from the other one and while I was at it yanked it away from him and said, "Look, it's OK, I'll take this one."

I was quickly losing my patience and thought about not helping him anymore.

We both had our hands on the cart, each pulling.  I waited for him to let go, but he quickly yanked it out of  my hands.  What was wrong with him? I was about to call his manager when what he did next completely shocked me and threw my mind for a loop.

He pulled out a whistle that was on a string around his neck that had been tucked under his shirt collar and proceeded to place it near his crusty lips, ready to blow at any moment.

Yep, he was going to blow a rape whistle.  On me. Then, he screeched this with hundreds of years of vent up anger, "Let go of my cart, it's the one I want to shop with! Let GO! Let go!"

Suddenly, my life was a slow motion video as I closed my eyes and silently berated myself inside of my own head. Thoughts sorted themselves inside of there like dirty laundry.  He didn't work for the store. Wal-Mart didn't make him dress ugly, he was dressed ugly on purpose.  He was just sorting the carts into everybody's way until he found the one he liked.   I wasn't helping him at all. I was harassing him. Oh, my brownie points!

I let my hand slip off of the cart while his lips desperately clutched the whistle.

"I am so sorry," I sputtered, "I thought you worked here."

Like a hostile behemoth he jerked the cart out of my hand (oh, now you muster up strength) and left me standing there with the lineup of carts he had pulled out and tears in my eyes.

My apology meant nothing to him and I felt horrible.  He callously walked off while I looked for a hole to crawl into, but that is the one thing Wal-Mart doesn't have, is holes.

Then, from out of nowhere, comes the real people greeter.

"Ma'am," she snapped at me, "you can't put all of these carts here in the way!  This is a walking path!"

I suddenly felt as though I had been mauled by wolves.

If they ever make a movie about my life, that part will be so confusing.

Well, this was my rambling story of heroism gone awry, but at least this trip to Wal-Mart didn't involve rabid raccoons (another story, another time) or a slipper fight (sigh).  Also, I didn't get bitten this time.

I just want to shop and leave.  False hope--gotta love it.  Now, I have to go flail myself with humiliation and shame and hope that one day somebody writes this book because I sure need it:


Just a few pics of some friendly Wal-Mart shoppers 
This is why I stay home...





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109 comments:

  1. Hahaha! There were so many great moments in this post! I was laughed aloud. My favorite is "Yep, he was going to blow a rape whistle. On me." Only because I thought that the whistle was part of employee security but then you find out he isn't an employee, which makes it that much better that this old man has a rape whistle. Loved it!

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    1. Yes, that was my favorite part! My mouth actually fell open!

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  2. I am so so sorry for your embarassment. I too was once like the old man, but at Target. I made the mistake of wearing khakis and a red shirt one day, and ended up having to go to Target.

    At first, I told people I didn't work there. After inquiry #5, I started having fun with it. I would send people to the wrong side of the store, or tell them to shove it. One asked for the name of my manager, so I gave it to him. Little did he know my manager doesn't work for Target...

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    1. Brandon you are hilarious! I expect nothing less from you!

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  3. Holy crap. I wanted to crawl into a hole just reading this, but I was too busy laughing.

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    1. I am so glad my stressful life entertains the masses! Glad you liked it!

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  4. Thank you for the comment, and yes, I only eat spam that way too! Try it with rice and I promise you will love it. P.S. Your blog is hilarious, thank you for stopping by mine so I could discover yours!!

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    1. Thank you! I think Spam and rice is like knockoff Sushi!

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  5. OKG, That made my day! I LOVE your map and all the abandoned Wal-Marts, which in my mind is the worse thing they do. I also have a friend who gets to be sick or injured all the time. Try as I might, I just can't make it happen to me. I would LOVE the smypathy.

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    1. Ironically, I never get sick, but seem to take care of everyone else who is. I would give $$ for sympathy!

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  6. Haha that is hilarious!!!! That guy should be the one who is embarrassed for wearing that ugly outfit. Plus, who in their right mind actually carries a whistle around their neck???????

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    1. He probably carries the whistle for when he falls, or maybe he has had a bad experience somewhere...but on me? I am like a sweet dove, don't blow a whistle on me!

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  7. OMG lol that's such a painful story! I felt so bad for you standing there with tears in your eyes - and then having the actual welcoming lady blame the cart mess on you! Ouch!

    But however painful - it's a very engaging story and sounds just like something I would do lol. Thanks!

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    1. I tend to get blamed for everything anyway, so I just stand there and accept my sucker punches!

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  8. The first picture with the Wal-Mart "employee" had me in stiches. It's SO accurate! Still, what an embarassing moment. And on top of it all you were blamed for the carts.

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    1. I almost enjoy getting blamed for everything at this point. I would have no life otherwise.

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  9. So much beautiful, hilarious goodness here. From your odd, poetic metaphor to harassing a mentally deficient shopper. He pulled out a rape whistle!
    I can't wait to hear the raccoon story.

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  10. OMG, this had me cracking up. And so did lostinidaho's story.

    I'm pretty sure I would have just walked out and went to another WalMart. Especially after being yelled at! I HATE being yelled at. Particularly by strangers, in public!

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    1. Well, at the time, I was just embarrassed because I felt like a bully.

      As for Brandon, he makes me laugh a lot. His stories always top mine!

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  11. It sucks that happened but you got to meet Mario!

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    1. I go to Wal-Mart for entertainment purposes now.

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  12. I am not that far away from becoming your Wal-Mart guy. When that happens I will surely need an occasional rescue, so it's nice to know that there are people out there like you with the courage to screw up my days with well-intentioned heroics. I'm actually kind of looking forward to it.

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  13. Wal-Mart = The place dreams (and fashion) go to die.

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    1. My dreams may die and probably will, but I will always keep up to date on fashion...

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  14. And this is why I only shop at up-scale stores, like Target.

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    1. There was an article in newsprint where a lady was quoted that she liked going to the Dollar Store because she didn't have to dress up to go to Wal-Mart...haha

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  15. Hahaha, I may just call my boycott off just to have as much fun as you did this day.

    Seriously entertaining post!

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  16. Congress needs to pass a law forbidding some people to leave their homes. Then they need to give me the job of deciding who it applies to.

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    1. Brett, I do believe you deserve that job and would be very good at it!

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  17. Oh my god I was tearing up from laughing so hard. Your rock my face off

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    1. I love how expressive you are!

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    2. ha That's my phrase...I'm seeing if I say it enough people will start saying it too...how else would you explain RAD and BOSS and GET IT TOGETHER! :)

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  18. Oh my god you are so funny!!!!!!!!!

    Your town has Walmarts all over the place huh? I don't know whether I'm saying this as poor me or lucky me - but I hate Walmart and we only have 1 and it employs like 1/3 of the town. Oh god I hate it though. HATE IT.

    Okay so listen. So when I first moved here I asked my students what they did for fun on the weekend nights. GUESS WHAT THEY SAID!

    They go to Walmart and just walk around, because sooner or later they will run into people they know.

    OH MY SWEET JEEBUS

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    1. We also have a HUGE distribution center near, so we are Wal-Mart set!

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  19. My entire family LOVES you! You are FREAKING AMAZING!!!

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    1. I am crying I laughed so hard. I have so much to say I'm just speechless. You need a "How to answer my posts for dummies." That you could hand out before I read. hahahahaha.

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    2. Thanks, ya'll make me feel awesome!

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  20. Oh gosh. I feel so bad for you but this is soooooooo hilarious!

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  21. lol. that just made me laugh despite the dark side of it. all i can say is that you're a saint going through all that for your professionally sick friend :)
    great story.

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    1. So glad you are a part of my team, you know just what to say...thank you!

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  22. You are a brilliant, brilliant, young lady and I love your style and humor. Thank you for making my days a little brighter.

    You should write a book. I will be the first in line!

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    1. Thank you, sir! I am glad I make your days brighter and I will take you up on "being the first in line for my book!"

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  23. Oh, this was a painful read. I groaned. Someone needs to take me to the hospital for a morphine shot. I am embarrassed, so embarrassed for you.

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    1. I think I deserve my "E" for effort, though. I looked for him throughout the store to make sure he wasn't going to shank me.

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  24. You should write the book. I thought I was funny, but my wife laughed so hard at this article she fell off the couch. I always say if I can't make you laugh that means we are or should get married and believe me she does not laugh at me.

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    1. People falling of of their couch is a great compliment...haha...thanks!

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  25. Lol epic post.

    The picture of you with tears in your eyes might be the best picture ever. I love it.

    That actually sounds mean of me, but I think you know what I mean.

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    1. Glad you liked it YB! I bought a drawing tablet this week...so much easier than drawing with a mouse!

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  26. Hahah that is SO awkward for you...

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    1. Six out of seven days of the week are awkward for me, but so glad you liked it Mayor!

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  27. Oh.my.gawd! MY Walmart is SO boring! The most exciting thing is the guy who collects the carts wears a helmet. That's it. :-(

    I want PJ day, or wear half pants half shorts day. What a freaken riot!

    I had to stop drinking my coffee while reading your post because I was choking on it from laughing. Sorry, I don't mean to make fun of your heroic efforts gone askew, but it was funny.

    And Betty Crocker really needs to accept our heroic efforts in exchange for REAL brownies...or I'm gonna stop callin' them "brownie points".

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    1. A boring Walmart? Is this even possible? Oh, you should move to my town! Helmet guy would fit right in here.

      And yes, I want brownies! Way too many brownie points saved up...

      Thanks for readiing!

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  28. This was hilarious!

    You are indeed very heroic, and you have my sympathy for that fact!

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  29. Hahaha! Your post proves that there's never a dull moment in Walmarts all across the country. I hope the rest of your shopping trip was uneventful.

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    1. It was uneventful, but I kept look over my shoulder. Actually, I always look over my shoulder in Walmart!

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  30. What is it about WalMarts? Are they built over vortexes of some sort? I will give them this: you can be the best-looking person in a WalMart by way of having all your own teeth and wearing clothing in your own size. Pretty cool.

    Pearl

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    1. Haha, this is so true. I find something to laugh about everytime I go!

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  31. LOL wow some people love those pics at the bottom!

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    1. They are funny. One of my faves is the cookies baking in the car...who does that?

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  32. I introduced your blog to my office staff and they LOVED it. You are such a clever writer and so relatable. You need to open a store so that I can give buy incentives for them.

    They absolutely love you and I do too! We are addicted to Crack You Whip!

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    1. Thank you for sharing me and being addicted! I will open a store eventually, but not at this point. I've only been blogging for two months, but thanks for the enthusiasm!

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  33. Love the bit about Betty Crocker. You are spot on! I actually was trying to drink a cup of coffee while trying to read this and discovered that I can't read anything you write and drink at the same time!

    You are amazingly funny and your narrative is some of the best I have ever seen...keep those posts coming!

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  34. ha ha ha.. had a nice time reading this post and cracking up!!! how do you manage to put in so many little details in each of ur posts?

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  35. "His belt was actually where his Superman logo should be and his eyeglasses were thick enough to catch his face on fire if he stood in the sun for too long."

    Best. Line. Ever.

    Totally worth being pretending to be sick and making you clean my house so you could come up with this brilliant Wal-Mart story.

    xxo
    MOV
    ps-- now I get why you don't post every day, it takes a lot of time to write a story of this caliber. Way to go, Tracie!

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    1. I will never get tired of taking care of you, I promise!

      My posts take at least 10 hours to write and illustrate, so there is no way I could post every day, plus my brain would just dry up. Thank you for the great compliments!

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  36. Omg, this CRACKED me up!!! It's funny b/c Walmart appears to be the blogging talk this month. hahaha

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    1. Glad you liked it! Walmart is always a hot topic and welcome to the gang!

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  37. I think I've never laughed this hard!! You're awesome Tracie!

    Oh! You've won an award!! Check on my blog!

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  38. OMG that was perfect. I needed a laugh, been fighting a migraine ALL day. Thank you.
    Thanks also for stopping by the A-Z blog and leaving a comment. I appreciate it very much.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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  39. Tracie, seriously, you are ADDICTING!

    You are a beautiful person and your writing is so clever. I hope you write a hundred books because I will be fighting for my spot in line every time.

    Thank you for making my day!

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    1. I have a few books I am working on...thank you for being a dedicated reader!

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  40. Really, it takes some special talent to have a rape whistle pulled on you. People don't just pull that thing out for nothing. I'm impressed.

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    1. That was my first time getting the whistle pulled out...hopefully the last.

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  41. If you ever make your book for Professional Sick People, let me know. That would be a perfect Christmas present for a cousin of mine!

    Love your blog!

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    1. I know way too many people who need that book! Thanks!

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  42. I lol'd. :)

    -Barb the French Bean

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  43. Oh. My. Goodness.I don't even know where to start on that heap of funny! I would have cleaned for free, but charged her big bucks for having to go to Walmart. Don't forget to disinfect yourself from whatever you came in contact with there (and no doubt the germs are having a blast leaping off the bags at your friend's house).

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    1. I rarely get sick so it is odd for me to see other people sick all of the time. I am used to taking care of people...I have this bad habit of volunteering!

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  44. lol this is hilarious stuff - genuinely you had me in giggles the whole way

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  45. I used to love Wal-Mart, then I worked there. Now I can't go through the store without asking people if they need help, or straightening shelves. It's so bad. I will go home and change no matter how far out of the way it is, just to avoid wearing a blue shirt and brown pants into the store. Although, I can normally answer any customer questions.

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    1. I try not to wear their colors so people won't stop me, but I probably know the store like the back of my hand!

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  46. A really good belly laugh. Enjoyed the ride through Wal-Mart. Thanks for taking me along.
    dreamweaver

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  47. "Oh my brownie points!" HA. This was an epic post.

    I've never been to a Wal-mart, they don't have them in Europe, but I now know that I need to find one and experience this nonsense for myself.

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    1. Thanks eke! I can't believe that Walmart is not in Europe...

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  48. Came here as I wanted to check out my newest follower on twitter, and what a hilarious treat.

    +followed, and I will be back to read more later.

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  49. I love how you always make me laugh no matter what is going on in my life. I am hoping you write a book because I will take 25 copies and follow you to the ends of the Earth!! I am a dedicated fan!

    Thank you for being you, Tracie:)

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  50. This was So Funny! Loved it.

    Nice to meet you : )

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  51. what a hilarious story, told so well and originally, every step of the way. very nice to meet you:)

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  52. LOL oh you so messed with my ocd with all that sickness. My sister would surely fit in with that, you name it she had it too, just ewww...haha...I'm finding walmarts scarier and scarier by the day.

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  53. LOL! Love the story. I have actually never seen "unique" folks at Walmart. I always hear tales though.

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  54. You are hilarious! I love all of your stories, you are incredibly talented and should be so proud of who you are!

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  55. Oh my goodness! I have never laughed so hard in all my life. I thought these sort of things only happened to me.... I love the bit about the rape whistle. Too funny!

    Thanks for the laughs!

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  56. This is too funny! Little old people have asked me where things are in stores before, which is sometimes offensive when you're in Walmart, but getting the rape whistle pulled on you because you're the offensive one is way better!

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  57. LOL. Well in honor of your adventure:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvxNgdFeWqM

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