December 18, 2005

'Tis the Season

Daughter Rachael (aka Mookie) is home for Christmas break, so my wife and I decided to take advantage and left her to take care of the remaining children dogs while we got the hell outta Dodge.

Liz had some free hotel nights saved up, so this morning I find myself blogging from Martinsburg, West Virginia courtesy of the free WiFi offered by the hotel.

"Almost Heaven" is a whole 'nother world compared to the DC metro area. We pretty much finished off Christmas shopping yesterday at a couple of malls in the area, and it was mostly pleasant and painless (aside from the constant bells - I'm beginning to really hate the Salvation Army). Even the lines were short.

Mental note: Never enter another Old Navy. They're assholes and ripoff artists playing the bait-and-switch game. We were polite and pleasant and got great satisfaction from leaving a heaping pile o' clothes at the register and walking out. We weren't going to let that spoil our good mood.

I did say "mostly pleasant" though, because as the day wore on, people were notably more aggresive and you could tell that nerves were frayed. After a late lunch/early dinner, we went to a super WalMart for stocking stuffers and such and I saw what happens when grannies go feral.

Two elderly ladies were racing (for elderly ladies, that is) for the short line from different directions. As the last second, one cuts off the other one with a bold move and drags her cart into line and snags the coveted spot. I watched, fascinated, as the loser of the race began repeatedly banging her cart into the other lady's cart. I was conflicted, because these two frail women could have really hurt each other, yet I was hoping they'd escallate and really get into it. I was tempted to run back into toys and grab a couple sets of clearance-priced talking Hulk Hands and letting them duke it out. But, alas, I lost my wife in the teeming throng again and had to begin the search pattern to find where she'd wandered off to.

At one point, some sales lady laughed at me as I waited in the cosmetics aisle and said I looked like I didn't want to be standing there. I told her she was crazy, that I *loved* that aisle, because it was occupied by me and my wife alone, we were out of the milling crowds and I wasn't dodging forty other shoppers just to get from one end to the other. One young lady did try to enter our refuge, but she left as I started fanning my ass and loudly appologized to my wife for having such horrible gas.

It's a jungle out there, and I'm not above a little chemical warfare. Truth be told though, it was psychological warfare. Purely a decoy move.

So yes, I loved my blessedly empty little cosmetics aisle, my oasis of calm. I was inspired enough to wonder why nobody had ever done a WalMart of the Living Dead movie (redundant?).

But we survived the day with our sanity and cheer, and I'm reminded once again why I've never shopped during the month of December for at least the last ten years.

I hope all my Secret Santa buds like their gifts. They're all getting makeup.

Posted by Ted at December 18, 2005 08:12 AM | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

When grannies go feral: absolutely love it.

Posted by: dogette at December 18, 2005 11:48 AM

Glad you enjoyed yerself out in our neck of tha woods,Ted.I know what you mean about those old ladies,too.My granny is probably the worst of all.
Plus,if you ever wanna check out a really mega Wal-Mart check out the one in Culpepper.It's the largest one on the east coast.It would take at least four of the Woodbridge stores to equal it in size.Not to mention the amount of stuff they sell.At Woodbridge they may have 30-40 grills sitting out in front of the store at the beginning of spring.In Culpeper 2-300 are not unusual.They actuall sell those mega size ones that are mounted on their own dualie size trailers.Throw in a hundred or so lawn tractors and a hundred or so pieces of lawn furniture and you get the picture.

Posted by: Russ at December 18, 2005 11:38 PM

I'm familiar with "grannies going feral." I saw several noteworthy examples of it when I had the misfortune of being a volunteer bingo caller.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at December 19, 2005 07:58 PM
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