We live in a small town in northern Arizona and some of the only stores we have are Bashas’ and CVS Pharmacy. Sometimes we are forced to travel 16 miles or so to shop WalMart for supplies that are non-existent or too expensive locally. It is never a trip we look forward to, but if you go early, most of the shopping crowds are light – except at Christmas time.
I can guarantee the Christmas spirit does not live in WallyWorld during the Christmas season and that was made perfectly clear the last time we went. All you have to do is walk in the store, find a wall, stand perfectly still and watch the faces of people shopping along with the faces of the staff who work there.
The expressions range from stoic to murderous, with the scale favoring murderous. Carts become deadly weapons and everyone is willing to use them. The worst are the motorized carts with pissed-off handicapped drivers. These carts can be lethal along with the look on the face of the driver.
The mass of shoppers all have one purpose while in the store. Get your items, fight the check-out lanes and get the hell out of the store as quickly as possible by any means necessary, up to and including mayhem. The shoppers remind me of the Marines pumped up by their Sergeant just before going out to fight bugs in the movie Aliens.
And what of the employees whose numbers are far, far less than the number of shoppers. They, my friends, are in a world of their own and this world cannot be visited by any customer. They (the employees) are unable or unwilling to help you find something in any significant way. In fact, if they were paid what they are worth, they would owe WallyWorld money.
Last, but not least, are the automated checkout machines. Who ever invented these torture machines should be locked up with the mentally insane. Each bank of machines has a warden waiting to use special credentials to force the stupid things to function in the correct manner which holds up everyone in line to the point of rebellion. In every case just before the riot, the machine decides to function properly and the crowd calms down praying that it won’t happen again until they are through checking out and headed for a parking lot bigger that Texas dashing for their cars fraught with danger by hit-and-run run drivers who lurk at every blind spot.
It is always pure heaven when we return to our little house in Camp Verde with our Christmas tree and wreath twinkling greetings. We regain our humanity and look forward to celebrating the season with family and friends; Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone who survived that day in WallyWorld. We hope you made it out alive and if not – we hope there is Christmas in Hell.