Crazy Day at the Mart

I can’t believe it, but it was Crazy Day at Walmart again yesterday.

It seems like just a week or so ago, it was Crazy Day.  I remember it because it was the day some old guy stopped in the middle of the baking supplies aisle and stooped down to tie his shoe and couldn’t get up. It was so awkward, I wanted to help him but wasn’t sure how to offer. His one arm was kind of outstretched and circling, like a propeller trying to pick up some momentum to raise him up. 

“What? Crazy Day, again?!” I thought, and veered my cart around him. I heard some cans fall behind me. I think he may have toppled over onto the cherry pie filling. Clean-up, Aisle 7.

Crazy Day at Walmart is when all the crazy people are out and shopping. On a regular Tuesday, there are some regulars, including me, who always do our shopping on the same day. There’s the Pat, a wo/man who wears makeup but has a ‘stache, who has chest hair and cleavage, who wears cologne that is smack in the middle of a man’s smell and a woman’s smell, who pushes her/his cart very slowly, like s/he’s got all the live-long day to stroll through Walmart.

And there’s the really nice old lady who stopped me once in front of ice cream and told me her whole life story. I now know all about her son Lawrence’s divorce, why she eats Neapolitan, and what the inside of her condo looks like.

But when Crazy Day falls on a Tuesday, we regulars are not even a blip on the radar screen. We’re about as noticeable as the beige food in the natural foods corner.

Crazy Day is when the Walmart employee who dresses in full Muslim dress – hijab and all – is working behind the gun counter. (And no one but me is even considering taking a picture of her with my cell phone camera.) It’s the day the Girls Size 6x shirt that says “Foxy” in rhinestones is on the end rack for all to see.  It’s the day the shoplifters, evangelists and homeless parking-lot beggars all are drawn to the magnet, the soapbox, the flaming dumpster that is Walmart.

In past Crazy Days, I’ve had to deal with the following people:

The 120-year-old man who followed me in his car all the way through the parking lot to my car, presumably so he could take my parking spot, despite the fact that I was pushing one overflowing cart and pulling another overflowing cart.  How could he not know it would take me at least 25 minutes to load my car before my parking spot would be free? I had three cases of water and a 675-pound bag of dog food that was taller than me on the bottom racks of those carts. Give me a break. He got all mad when I wasn’t loading fast enough, threw up his hands and coasted away, shooting daggers at me out of his rheumy eyes.

The woman who had a cart full of nothing but Pampers and Michelob. Neither was particularly on sale that day.

The lady who gave me a lecture because I had my purse in the cart instead of implanted into my shoulder.  “Somebody’s gonna take that,” she snipped at me. “People are funny.”

Oh yes. People are funny indeed.

Yesterday was a typical Crazy Day. At one point I was behind the college-age guy who walked next to his girlfriend with his hand down the back of her pants. Not in her back belt loops, not in her back pocket, but down the back of her pants. And pretty far, too. I almost threw up the Chili Cheese Fritos I was eating.

In the fabric and crafts department I passed a bleached-blond who was wearing a plaid, pleated mini skirt and shiny, black, thigh-high boots with 4-inch spiked heels.  “Attention Walmart shoppers. There’s a red light special in Crafts.”

I overheard the following conversations: “Don’t throw up.”  “That’s the second parent today I had to yell at to keep her kids under control.” And, “I love your meat.”

I guess I should be grateful that at least Walmart is a busy, fun, place, a place where there’s always something going on, a place you can come home from and write a blog.

I could be at K Mart, where there’s a death silence, no piped in music, no fake thunder in the produce section, no smiley face bouncing over to lower prices. Not even Sears and Martha Stewart can help poor Big K compete with Walmart’s 24-hour Mardi Gras freak show.

I’m proud to be contributor - Crazy Day and every day.

Welcome to Walmart!