Monday, July 4, 2011

The Devil's Game Show

The Devil is gonna get me. He tries. Oh, he tries.

I set out for The Devil's Playground this afternoon to pick up just a few things. I would have had a less adventurous outing had I merely competed on an episode of 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show.

Upon arrival, I made a beeline for an abandoned cart sunning itself along the striped walkway between the handicap spaces. A win-win situation, right? The Devil gets free labor, and I get a walker to lean on during my trek to the front doors. But today, an elderly gentleman got away from his handlers and headed for the same cart. His adult son tried to call him back, but the old gent was heckbent on grabbing that personal ambulation device. I backed off and let him have it. Let it never be said that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom elbows septuagenarians to snag a Devil's handtruck.

Before The Pony and I could get in the door, we were accosted by a beggar. This one was collecting for veterans, he said, a noble cause, had we been harboring cash upon our persons instead of plastic. Stiffing the beggar, we attempted to enter the store through the actual entrance door. The Pony is a stickler for proper ingress and egress procedures. The double doors, however, opened barely wide enough for one Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. After a short delay. Meanwhile, scofflaws were entering the exit door willy-nilly.

I squeezed through with the flair of Indiana Jones grabbing his fedora with an arm-hair's-breadth to spare. I walked to the row of carts and pried one loose. The greeter frowned upon me. "I have one waiting for you." Well. Jeeves. Funny how I did not expect such a courtesy. I walked back across the entrance to take the one he had parked separately.

The Pony was sent on a reconnaissance mission to gather Axe Body Wash, coated paper plates, and large styrofoam bowls. I pilfered through the produce for the best bad bananas I had ever seen. In the lettuce arena, I was overtaken by two massive women on riding carts. They wended their ways between me and a stocker with a pushcart at the potato shelf.

On, to the back of the store I forged, for Diet A & W Root Beer. The Pony caught up to me and put his items in the cart. He was sent on a new mission for Apple Cinnamon Whole Grain Bagels. I sped off to grab some Hidden Valley Ranch powder and a bottle of regular ranch dressing. I had to weave up the center aisle due to Large Lady Cart 1 blocking the right side, Large Lady Cart 2 blocking the left side, and a bewildered little old lady stuck between them.

The bread aisle was our final destination. While I sorted through the tortillas until I found the 10-inch multi-grain pack, The Pony meandered through a family of four to gather generic hot dog buns. I then searched for the best date on the wheat hot dog buns. My concentration was shattered by a Chatty Cathy babbling about how she had found the pack of TEN hamburger buns. I looked around. Just as I feared, she was talking to ME. I didn't give an obese rodent's hindquarters if she found her buns. I'd never seen her before. She didn't even stroke my arm and tell me I was SO PRETTY. Three strikes.

The attempt to turn my back on the weirdo was hampered by the arrival of Large Lady Carts 1 & 2. They swept down the bread aisle like a Zamboni crew at the Stanley Cup playoffs. LLC1 scraped down the left side. LLC2 followed down the right side. There oughta be a rule about tandem large-carting.

At the checkout, The Devil's Handmaiden stuffed items of varied proportions into each bag. Sideways. Paper plates, sideways. Little Debbie Brownies box, on end. Farmer H's sugar free oatmeal raisin cookies, sideways. And each of those bags had a short, light item cast in with it. That's so all the bags would fall over when I attempted to set them in my cart and car.

At the exit door, we had to wait in line because of all the people entering through the wrong door. And deny the beggar money again when we got out.

Being yanked skyward by a cable fastened to a helicopter would have been so much simpler.

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