As I approached the Walmart parking lot I grew concerned for mankind. Did I miss the celestial memo that the Rapture was near? It looked like God sent out a status update on Facebook telling everyone that if you wanted to hitch a ride on the Second Coming Express then you better be at the Walmart at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night. Even the nearby Lowe’s parking lot was jammed packed. I never thought the day would come when walking to Walmart would qualify as a cardio workout. The line into the store was epic in length. There was no way – ever – that I will wait in line for the privilege of entering my local Walmart. I chose to stand back and soak it all in.
Oh, the humanity! It was an intergenerational collection of cuckoos. From a granny in a scooter, her oxygen tank riding shotgun, demanding to be first in line due to her disability (Which I’m guessing is an addiction to Lays Sour Cream and Onion potato chips and Marlboro lights.) to a 20 something tattooed dude with enough piercing that he resembled a human spaghetti strainer. My favorite Walmart moment came when an Econoline van pulled up and a posse of family members poured out all clad in overalls. The two XL gentlemen of the group, in honor of the grand occasion, favored us with denim tuxedos and by that I mean – overalls, wife beater T-shirt and denim vest. They also sported the must have holiday accessory – missing teeth.
Don’t get me wrong, plenty of what appeared to be average folks were also in line. Walmart on this cold Thursday evening seemed to be the great equalizer. Everyone was visiting with one another, bonding over what deals they hoped to score that night. It was somewhat of a party atmosphere. One young man and his crew were drinking what they called “Walmartinis.” I asked him what was in it – Everclear, antifreeze and recalled olives from China? Some girls, that looked to be, in their late teens asked for a drink. I had to pull out my mom card and tell them that wasn’t a good idea. I assured them that after one sip that would probably wake up hours later on top of a 50 lb bag of dog food wearing a $5 cheetah bra and thong set from the Miley Cyrus collection with a Playstation controller crotch adjacent. That seemed to scare them straight. I know it freaked me out.
When the portal opened to discount heaven the crowds were very orderly, like sheep to the sales slaughter they obediently waited their turn. People were allowed inside the stores in groups of 20 in what seemed to be 30 second intervals. Your standard nursing home issue Walmart Greeter had been replaced with some major muscle. These were guys that knew a thing or two about crowd control. When I finally made it through the doors the first thing I noticed was that Walmart had stayed true to form. Biggest shopping day of the year be damned. They still didn’t have all of their check out lanes opened. WTH? After taking in that visual I followed the throng and headed straight to electronics. I wanted to see what people would do to save some bucks on an X box.
This is when I noticed two 40ish women in some hard-core cleats that looked to be made of metal. These were cleats that could do some serious damage with their pointy prong things. I felt it was my duty as a citizen to inquire about their choice of footwear. I walked over to the women and said, “Hey, what’s up with the shoes?” They looked me over, paused at my fanny pack, visibly smirked and then said, “I don’t think it’s any of your business?” I, once again, lied that I was a writer for the website, “I Saved More Than You!” and thought their shoe choice was brilliant. That got them smiling and they confided that they use the cleats in any crowd situation as a way to gain “a jump on the pack.” I inquired if they had ever hurt anyone and they giggled and said, “We’’ll never tell.”
It was at this point that the electronics section opened and these two dressed to kill women surged through the crowd and began stepping on as many as people’s feet as they could. Holy crap! I had to do something. That’s when I saw one of the huge denim tux dudes. I grabbed his arm and said, “Excuse me sir, but I need your help. You see those two women over there – they have on metal cleats and are stepping on people, even old people! Can you do something?” He smiled, said, “Yes maam,” then lumbered over and picked up one of the woman.
He just swooped in, grabbed her by the waist, lifted her over the crowd and then set her down. (It’s times like this I’m proud to be a bargain shopper. This young man sacrificed his place in line for the personal safety of others. It just goes to show you shouldn’t judge a person by the quantity of his denim or dental hygiene.) He even did all this before cleat feet had a chance to reach a high volume scream. Her friend, so intent on getting an X Box, didn’t even stop to see what was wrong. She just keep on shopping. That pissed her off more than getting snatched out of the near front of the line, so much so, that she yelled, “You bitch! You better get an X Box for me!”
This gave me time to alert some Walmart “team members” and after they saw the women’s choice of lethal athletic shoes they were both escorted to the nearby towel section and informed they had to change their footwear before they would be allowed to continue shopping. One of these brazen chicks loudly said, “I don’t see anywhere is this whole damn store where it says you can’t wear cleats!” That was my cue to keep walking and head to Target Nothing bad happens at Target – right?
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