Don’t Let Me Die At Wal-Mart
Oh what a witty and clever blog title. I had a few to chose from: Wal-Mart Sucks, Death By Ginsu and Sucked To Death At Wal-Mart. In fact, I started thinking about the title well before I thought about what I wanted to write about. And when I saw that this short story has very little to do with Wal-Mart, I decided to keep the title anyway. And if you don’t like it, well, there are a lot of other websites you could be visiting right now. Enjoy.
New Year’s Eve 2010 began like any other day in recent memory. Wake up, eat some food, debate on what we are going to do that day and eventually give up and do nothing. Well, I guess this day was a bit different because we already had plans. No, we weren’t going to attend some fabulous gala; the Wife, Ten and I were going to take the Kid to see the new Disney movie Tangled.
We were preparing to walk out to door and the tornado sirens when off, so I sent the family downstairs and stepped outside to see what I could see. I saw nothing. Just some storm clouds, but nothing ominous. The news wasn’t much help either, one minute they would tell us there was a tornado in Rolla, MO (90 miles away), and the next they would say everything is fine. It amazing how excited a group of weather people can get when talking about a storm.
So we did the indecisive dance; we packed everyone up in the car, then we unpacked. Packed back up, then unpacked. After a while I finally called it and told the Kid that we would go to the movies after the storm passed. What a good father I am.
Now with the movie plan nixed, what was a family to do? Eat of course.
I was sent to pickup some lunch for the family as well as hit the store to buy some food for the festivities that evening. Wal-Mart just happened to be close to Viviano’s, the restaurant where Wife wanted a sandwich. I decided to hit the Wal-Mart first, and by the time Ten and I reached the parking lot the rain had not only started but was flying sideways.
We dashed into the Wal-Mart to buy the appetizer dinner I was planning on making that evening. And we did what every normal Wal-Mart hating American does when forced to shop at Wal-Mart: we wandered the isles attempting to avoid the grossly obese holding themselves up with the shopping cart and ancient people in motorized carts that get stuck with a dead battery.
We had nearly completed the shopping; in fact, we were looking for the last item, when the lights started to flicker. We picked up the pace and were close to deciding to abandon the idea of Crab Rangoon for dinner when I saw a herd of the unbathed heading for the front of the store.
I poked my head out from the isle and a toothless employee informed me that we were being relocated to the center of the store.
Great! I’m going to die in a Wal-Mart. Crushed by the As Seen On TV section. Stabbed in the eye by a Ginsu Knife or buried alive by Shake Weights.
Obviously I didn’t die, and looking back, it really didn’t take long for the storm to pass. We, I say this collectively, as in the hundreds of people standing in the middle of Wal-Mart, waited patiently for the red haired, pock-marked store manager to tell his army of toothless overweight goons that it was safe to continue shopping.
I’d had enough. Ten and I made a b-line towards the checkout and got out of there. I’d rather die in my car, sucked up by a rain-wrapped tornado, than die in Wal-Mart next to Mama Cass and her 12 over-weight/under-nourished kids.
Traffic getting to the restaurant and then home was horrible due to the destructive path of the tornado. But I made it home eventually, unharmed, bearing food.
Never again will I venture to Wal-Mart, or anywhere I don’t want to die at, during tornado sirens.