Column: Wally World


Earlier this week, citizens came together to celebrate the birthday of the United States of America. I had family in town and it was a great time with warm weather and a lot of food.

I also had the chance to do something very American this week with a trip to Walmart. It doesn’t matter where you go in this great country, there is always going to be a Walmart somewhere near by. I lived in a place in Oregon that was about an hour away from the store, but that didn’t stop many people from making the trip on a regular occasion.

I try the best I can to stay away from the big boxed stores, but sometimes there are deals too good to pass on and you can get just about anything you need. My trip this week was a reminder of some of the crazy experiences I’ve had through the years at “Wally World”. I’d like to say that some were good, but none of them are. They are funny to look back on now, but were not so funny at the time.

During my trip this week, a younger couple was with their son who must have been about two years old. The child was in a foul mood, and I’m pretty sure everyone in the store could hear his tantrum. Was it annoying, sure, but anyone that’s been around a two-year-old knows this is bound to happen. I was in the same aisle as the family when the child let out a noise reminiscent of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Another customer in the aisle had been talking on the phone and threw a huge fit in the direction of the couple. He was also like a two-year-old as he told them he was trying to have a conversation. I could only think to myself that it is probably far more rude to be yapping on the phone in the store than having a child misbehave. This brought back some memories of the store I could not shake.

When I was in high school, it was not uncommon for me and my group of friends to go to Walmart and people watch. I am amazed and often terrified by some of the people who come to shop. I don’t really care what people wear to stores, but some outfits really shouldn’t leave the house.

On one occasion I was with some friends, and saw an older lady cruising down the aisle on a bicycle. Being a snarky rude teenager, I said “Go Granny Go!” I probably should not have said that, but was not anticipating what happened next. Her grand daughter came up to me and started screaming. She then proceeded to punch me right in the neck. Sure it hurt, but what her more was the fact that my friends were all on the floor laughing. I learned a lesson to keep things to myself that day.

That would not be my most embarrassing moment at a Walmart. One Saturday morning about 10 years ago I was doing my weekly shopping when things went really bad. I started to get really hot while I was standing in line to check out. I remember putting my food on the conveyor belt, and the next thing I know I am sitting in a chair surrounded by about 15 employees. I had fainted, whacked my head on the checkout, and they had managed to put me in a chair. I’m not sure why a chair, but I was sitting in one. As I’m sitting there, about five people I know showed up and were as confused as I was. They said they were calling 911 and told them not to. I’m not sure what happened, but I felt fine and went home. I wasn’t hurting anymore, other than my pride.

Probably my most horrific story happened late one evening at a Wally World in the Pacific Northwest.

I was going to get something in the electronics section and preceded to walk to an aisle and saw something I can never shake from my mind. An older gentleman had dropped his pants, was in a squatting position, and using the aisle as his own personal bathroom. I ran as far away as possible. Sure I didn’t get punched, but it was an uppercut to several of my senses.

I’m sure this column will keep me a way for a while.


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