I used to shop at WalMart a lot but I don't like big crowds and while I have 2 within a few miles in opposite directions, they are a tad inconvenient to get to because of local traffic. I discovered that I can get most everything I need between Kroger, Fiesta, HEB and Big Lots and I don't have to leave the general vicinity of my subdivision.
I have nothing against WalMart in general. I just reserve them for times when I am forced to do one-stop shopping for the sake of time when I am tearing my hair out. Today was one of those days.
The Toad and I are leaving in the morning for a 2 week stint in Galveston. He has a project there associated with hurricane damage and thought it would be nice for me to accompany him. I can tend whatever business I need to from my laptop and it would be nice if I attend my class reunion in July not looking like Casper the Ghost. Plus we get the use of a kickass beach house with its own boat dock on the Bay. And there will be a boat. Yay!
Toad went into Trip Captain mode today and we suddenly had two long lists: "To Buy" and "To Round Up and Take". While the second list was a lot longer than the other, the first list looked like this:
- Lens Cleaning Kit for Digital Camera
- Water Shoes
- Sun Hat
- Beach Chairs
- New Collar & Retractable Leash for Ike
- Dog Food
- Card Deck
- Fishing Poles
We sucked it up and braved the 5 p.m. traffic. We got to the parking lot and were pleasantly suprised that it wasn't packed full like it usually is - even on a Monday. We got inside the first set of doors and were confronted with a sign that basically said: Only 57 days until your NEW WalMart! We looked at each other and thought "Oh Bloody Hell.........".
The very first thing we noticed entering the grocery side was the health and beauty section that had been relocated from clear on the other side of the store. This was not going to be pretty. As we navigated the rabbit warren of aisles, it was clear that this was going to turn into a scavenger hunt. The shoe department had been split up and placed in different sections of the store, the accessories department seemed to have been sucked into a vortex, and the electronics department while still in the same place did not have a simple lens cleaning kit. Asking the "Associates" for assistance was an exercise in futility - they couldn't find anything either. Customers and staff alike were wandering around looking lost and bewildered. We finally found the sporting goods department and were quite pleased with the deal we got on chairs. Then it became time to seek out the pet department. That's when Cell Phone Terrorist appeared.
Cell Phone Terrorist was a women with her teen son talking incessantly into her cell phone in shrill spanish while blocking traffic in the aisles. We got behind her in the main aisle where she walked as slowly as a death row prisoner on the way to execution while her phone conversation got even more animated. I looked over at Toad and growled "this is soooooooooo annoying". He responded "she's blocked me 5 times - I need to run her over". I didn't object. Finally we went left into the pet department and she went right to terrorize other shoppers.
We found what we needed after agonizing over collar vs. harness and headed back into the main aisle. Guess who was blocking us - and still on her phone. I gave her the stinkeye and we managed to get out of her wake only to run directly into the paperback department.
As I perused titles, Toad decided to try to find the section of the fragmented shoe department that had water shoes in our sizes. I settled on "Angels and Demons" and went to find him. We ended up guiding each other back to the center of the store via our cell phones (and never once blocked an aisle). His mission had been accomplished and I needed a hat for on the boat. As we wandered the accessories section with crazed looks on our faces, a kindly Associate pointed toward the grocery section and told us the hats had been relocated over there. Huh?
Okay, found the hat which was near the health and beauty department where we still had to have assistance to find things and now we were down to the most important item on the list: wine. We were going to need it after this trip. Hmmmmm......either the booze department manager has been drinking it in the backroom or someone forgot to order anything other than white wine which I cannot drink. Grrrrr. Back through the crazy maze to get to the front to check out. We had a rather funny conversation with the checker about our experience and he showed us accessories at his register that still needed to be tightened down. We all laughed.
We got to our car, but not before being blocked by Cell Phone Terrorist one more time on our way to the exit. Good thing I wasn't carrying a gun. As we were in the car maneuvering our way out of the parking lot, we had to pass the front entrance where a line of cars decided to park. Toad said phuckit and went around them at which time some woman standing in front of the store yelled at him for being in the wrong lane. I won't repeat what he replied with.
Fortunately there is a corner store where we can procure wine. It's tasting really good right now.
Next time we go to WalMart I think we should play bumper cars in these: