Wal-Mart Makes Me Crazy

It was bad enough that I had to make a trip to the local Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon–not exactly how I wanted to spend my day off.  Even worse, it was the first Saturday of the month, which would increase the crowds drastically.  And worst of all, there was a chance of snow in the forecast, which would send people around here into a grocery-shopping panic.  (Oh my!  We can’t risk being snowed in without bread, milk, Ding Dongs and Cheetos!)

So I spent over an hour in purgatory Saturday afternoon along with 50,000 other frantic people who thought the weatherman might actually be right this time.  Not a single aisle was empty, and not a single person seemed to be in a hurry to get out of my way.  “Patience is a virtue,” I reminded myself repeatedly (but with very little calming effect).

By the time I made it to the check-outs and spent another ten minutes waiting in a line that wasn’t moving (why do I always pick the line that requires a price check?), I was dazed, tired, and miserable.  I just wanted to go home.

I shuffled outside with my overloaded cart and was immediately slapped in the face by a 40-mile-an-hour wind gust.  My first thought:  “Geez, it’s cold!”  My second thought:  “Where in the heck did I park my car?”

After wandering aimlessly for several minutes in the bitter wind, I finally spotted my car two rows over, hit the unlock button on the key ring, and threw my bags in the backseat (to be exact, six bags along with two cases of sodas and one very large bag of cat food).  Shivering, I ran my cart to the cart return, ran back, plopped into the driver’s seat and put the key in the ignition.  Or, at least, I attempted to put the key in the ignition; it didn’t fit right.  Weird.  I tried again–no luck.  Puzzled, I inspected my key; it looked to be okay.  Hmm.  I tried again–nothing.

It was only then I noticed the blue plaid coat in the front floorboard and the Mardi Gras beads hanging from the rear-view mirror.

This was not my car.

Mine (identical except much dirtier) was parked directly across from the one I was sitting in.


Hopefully no one noticed the crazy lady who jumped out of one car, ran to the cart return, ran back to the same car, threw six bags, two cases of sodas, and a very large bag of cat food into the cart, and then ran to another car and very quickly loaded all of the items into that other car.  And luckily, no one got in the way of said crazy lady as she sped out of the parking lot (they were all still inside clogging up the aisles).

But I have never been to Wal-Mart when I haven’t seen several people (usually men) waiting in their cars in the parking lot, and so I am convinced that SOMEBODY (or several somebodies, probably all of them men) witnessed my embarrassment.  Did they realize the comedy that was unfolding before their eyes–and were they laughing hysterically as they texted Bubba, “Man, you’re not gonna believe what I just saw!”?  Or did they suspect I was stealing items from the first car, and were they dialing 911 and trying to read my license plate as I was racing away?  I expected flashing lights and blaring sirens at any moment, and I didn’t breathe easier until I crossed the state line.

It was several hours later before I had the courage to tell my husband what I had done.  I knew he would get a good chuckle out of my story, but I was not prepared for the magnitude of his pleasure at my expense.  He laughed until he had tears streaming down his face; he laughed until his back hurt, his stomach hurt, and he thought he was going to throw up.  And when I thought he had finally stopped his hysterical laughing, he thought about sharing the story with his buddies at work on Monday, and he started laughing all over again.


Not only was he convinced that, yes, somebody had surely witnessed my shenanigans, but he was also certain that my actions had been captured on Wal-Mart’s many security cameras.  Somewhere, deep in the bowels of the Super Center, some tech guy monitoring the cameras had already hit re-wind repeatedly, was laughing uncontrollably, and had emailed the segment to all 500 of his closest friends.

This may have been the stunt that finally lands me on peopleofwalmart.com.

(Just a crazy ol’ lady bringing a little laughter and sunshine into the world–yep, that’s me.)

About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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17 Responses to Wal-Mart Makes Me Crazy

  1. Pingback: The Writing On The Wal » Blog Archive » LAUGHTER IS GREAT MEDICINE…

  2. bronxboy55 says:

    You’ll be telling that story for the rest of your life. You might as well — you’re going to be hearing that story for the rest of your life. Maybe you should send it to Reader’s Digest. If they publish it, that would at least pay for the groceries.

    I just want to clear up one thing. The first car was unlocked when you got to it, right? Your remote control thing didn’t really unlock someone else’s car. Did it?

    • Probably not. I was far enough away when I hit the unlock button that I wouldn’t have heard the locks, but I’m assuming it was already unlocked. I certainly wasn’t going to stick around long enough to try again and find out!

  3. OHMYGOD! This is the most hysterical story on the planet! My face hurts from laughing! Do you know why I’m laughing? Because it’s SO something I would do! You are not alone. And the icing on the cake? Aside from your husband laughing in pain, I would say the cat, who probably couldn’t care that you ventured out in the cold, left your pride at the Wal-Mart door when you discovered your mistake, and arrived home with a ton o’ cat food, right? Thank you for sharing such a hilarious experience!

  4. Jabet says:

    Very funny! I can totally see myself doing the same thing. I absolutely refuse to go there on a Saturday. You’re right – it’s nuts!

  5. Debbie says:

    You know, you could end up on YouTube if said tech guy decided to make a copy! This was a hilarious story and it reminded me of the time my dad did the same thing. He ran into Town & Country, as my daughter waited in truck and when he came out he jumped into an identical truck! He knew something was off! All the while my daughter was watching him, wondering what he was doing and laughing her butt off! I hope I never make this mistake, but it could happen to anyone. Great story…. I just hope you don’t end up on peopleofwalmart.com!! I think you’ve sufferend enough embarrassment!

    • Thank you! Yes, my embarrassment has been rather extensive! I have “almost” done this before, but I have never (until now) actuallly sat in someone else’s car and attempted to drive away in it!

  6. Emjayandthem says:

    now THAT is a story that just begs to be told! Great post 🙂

  7. Absolutely amazing! 😀 Tears!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. pegoleg says:

    You know, there’s still time for the flashing lights to show up at your house – the police may be still dusting for prints. Pretty funny!

    I never plug my own blog on someone else’s site, but you may get a kick out of a piece I wrote in December: “Wal-mart, The Musical”. Sounds like we’re sisters under the skin on this topic!

    • You got that right! I just read your blog about Wal-Mart–hilarious! I usually refer to the phenomenon as the “Wal-Mart Shuffle” or the “Wal-Mart Fog”; I feel that my brain is completely fried by the time I am finally able to leave the store! Thanks for reading and responding!

  9. Brother-inlaw says:

    I found out when Charlottes’ car got hit in our local Wal-Mart parking lot, the cameras only cover the first 8-10 parking spots closes to the doors, so if you were further out than that, your not on Wal-Marts funniest videos.
    Funny story RITF LMAO

    • I had tried to tell Norman that, but he wanted to convince me that there were cameras on all the poles (just wanted to freak me out even more, I’m sure!). Good to know, and glad you enjoyed the story almost as much as your brother did!

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