Hello my fellow paranormal junkies (pass me that big old syringe of ghost when you’re done with it.) If I sound a little loopy, it is with good reason. I just tried to go to the drug store to get some cold medicine. A few hours later, I triumphantly returned home with it, and now it is coursing through my veins.
I woke up bright and early this morning. 4:30 early. Not to go black Friday shopping, mind you – but because my head was so stuffed with snot that I thought it might explode. Wearily I trudged out of bed, sat and stared at nothing for a while, bemoaned that fact that Rite Aid didn’t open until 9 a.m., and then had my first brilliant idea of the morning.
You see in our town, we have one 24-hour retail center of magnificence. I never go there. Never. For all sorts of reasons. But in my snot-addled dementia, it seemed like such a brilliant idea. I could quickly run to Walmart to get some killer cold medicine. Only I’d forgotten one thing. Two words. Black. Friday.
Wow – Walmart’s a little busy this morning, I thought, as I tooled into the parking lot at about 6:30 a.m. Must be a lot of people with colds!
It was only when I walked in on the teeming mass of consumers that I felt the dawning horror of what I had done. I had gone to Walmart in the midst of Black Friday madness.
Now, to me, Walmart is a challenge on a regular day with only two customers in the store. I’m not sure if its the lighting, the music, the overwhelming jumble of crap, or something else – but Walmart makes me crazy. I am a very nice person, and yet I’ve had some of the meanest thoughts imaginable in Walmart. On a few occasions, I’ve been horrified to hear some of those thoughts actually popping out of my mouth. Once, I actually wound up in a slight altercation with another customer. She started it.
So I have long been of the opinion that Walmart pumps some kind of hostility-producing hormone into the air. Or something. People there just never seem to be on their best or most courteous behavior. On a regular day. With two customers in the store. This, however, was Black Friday. With a zillion customers in the store.
Now, if my head hadn’t been full of snot and whatever hostility/stupidity/aggression/anger hormones that Walmart pumps into its atmosphere, then I would have done the smart thing and turned on my heel to walk out. Unfortunately, it was.
Just one thing of cold medicine, I thought. And maybe some vitamin C. And some orange juice. I can do this.
As I staggered towards the cold medicine aisle through the teeming mass of bargain zombies who were blocking the store’s main thoroughfare, I passed a side aisle from which a woman on a motorized scooter jammed so high with crap that the driver could barely see zipped out just in front of me.
I stopped barely short of disaster, and the scooter driver zipped past, waving her fist at me and shouting, “Watch where you’re going! I almost hit you.” As she was screaming at me, I saw none less than three others dive out of the way of her scooter. I sized her up and decided I could probably take her, but apparently snot neutralizes Walmart’s unique blend of atmospheric aggression hormones, because I just shook my head and continued, more carefully watching at each “intersection.”
I figured that the medicine section would be empty, given that there were far bigger bargains to be had elsewhere in the store. Boy was I wrong. That was the aisle that all of the spare Walmart employees had chosen to hide. They were clumped together there with looks of terror in their eyes. I sort of figured that they’d spook and scatter when they saw me, but instead, they stayed in their clump, right in front of the cold medicine.
“Excuse me,” I said politely. “Pardon me. I just need to get some Theraflu there.”
They stared at me like a pack of cattle, their eyes vacant.
“I need to get to that shelf just behind you,” I said, this time a bit more aggressively.
“If you aren’t buying cold medicine, could you move so I can get some before I sneeze all over all of you?”
Still nothing. We had achieved a standoff. In my head, this is how it went:
How did it end? I am home. With cold medicine. I went back to bed. I survived black Friday early in the morning in a town that has Walmart as one of its only stores. It was only after I woke back up that I realized something else. Grocery stores also sell cough medicine. I could have gone to Safeway. Moral of the story? You see my friends, there are two kinds of people in this world. Those with loaded heads full of snot who can sneeze on a dime, and those who go to stores on Black Friday.
For your listening pleasure:
The Good the Bad and the Ugly