All photographs in this post were iPhoned by the blogger formerly known as ~#^7>u. Please, no autographs. I hate writing that fucking name. Next time I’m going to change my name to . or somethin’.
Yeah, I took a trip to the Walmart once. The other day my wife said she was going, so naturally I asked, “Can I come along?”
There were no anti-bacterial wipes at the entrance so my wife had to actually touch the shopping cart. And she hasn’t touched anything since – especially me! We asked the official greeter about the wipes, but she feigned ignorance.
Just to mess with my wife, I demanded an Egg McMuffin (no meat) before we actually stepped inside the store. Luckily there was a McDonald’s right there. Handy! It has been my dream to walk around a Walmart with McDonald’s food in my hand. Scratch one from my New Year’s resolutions list!
Finally inside the store, we headed for “health & beauty” which in the land of Walmart is decidedly an oxymoron. Along the way I marveled at the opportunity to watch giant televisions displaying commercials while I was in the very act of shopping. Wow, I thought. For the first time in my life I’m truly multitasking.
We arrived at Health and Beauty and my wife began looking for some damn thing or whatnot. Meanwhile I found a Dr. Scholls machine that would allow me to find my “custom fit” for othotic inserts. That sure sounded kinky. And to find out my custom fit all I had to do was take off my shoes, stand on the machine in my socks, pay $50 and catch athlete’s foot and some foot fungi from strangers. I figured the podiatrist cartel was behind this, so I gave them the toe and moved on.
Right by the machine, though, I cleverly found anti-bacterial wipes and I proudly showed them to my wife. In so doing I earned several hero points. The trip was off to a good start!
Next to the health & beauty but before you got to the toys was the outdoor center. For some godforsaken reason my wife wanted to go in there in the dead of winter. We were the only ones in the entire area. I liked that.
An alarm must have sounded in Walmart HQ because an employee soon ran in the door behind us and became our shadow. I think they were worried we were master outdoor center criminals. Yeah, we were there to steal some manure. (Achievement: “poop” tag. FTW!) That’s also been a long time dream of mine!
Instead, while my wife and the suspicious worker talked man stuff, I was overcome with the urge to buy a cute pot and saucer. All I needed was a plant to go with. Being who I am, I selected the most freakish thing in sight: A pink grafted cactus. They’re always in season, right? I put “Heisenberg” (as I named him) in my cart knowing he would make a nice surprise for my wife.
Next stop, my wife wanted to go to the grocery store, but I insisted on a stop in electronics. I wanted to check out the bluetooth headphones to use with my iPod Touch. Like I told my wife later, “I think I’ve forgotten how to shop.” Trying to find anything remotely like what I wanted was harder than hell. I finally engaged with the teenager on duty and he had absolutely no clue what I was talking about.
“Yeah, they play music and stuff. Then your ears can hear it and shit.”
Oh well. Apparently I wanted the only item in the universe they sell on the website but not in the store. We moved on.
As we made our way through the grocery store, I have to admit, there were occasionally very good deals that could be found. These were evidenced by completely empty shelves where product used to be. “Yep, there was definitely a good deal here once,” I said sagely like I was some sort of grocery store archeologist.
To help pass the time, which was moving incredibly slow, I decided to covertly start putting weird stuff in our cart. Antagonizing the wife made the time go quicker. First I tried the Hooters Wing Breading. I used to love chicken wings so much. But the package said it also worked on shrimp, fish and veggies, so I figured the product would be a good way to bring back memories of the crappy food in the restaurants where I had never really eaten by choice.
I also tried to get a jar of cactus in our cart. I don’t think I’ve ever had cactus before. I figured it would be a good icebreaker, something me and Heisenberg could share as a way to get to know each other. There was something strangely compelling about the thought of a little cactus cannibalism action.
I’ve had some Herr’s potato chips before. They have some interesting flavors. There, in the store, I found Kansas City Prime Steak Flavor potato chips, artificially flavored. I carefully checked the label to see if actual meat was an ingredient. The list was confusing but it didn’t seem like there was, which made the steak chips vegetarian. My wife responded with a satisfying, “Gross!”
There were other stories along the way, equally entertaining I’m sure, but I waited a couple of days to write this and now I no longer remember. Hey! Where’s my binky?
I do remember one last thing. It was a potato. Not just any potato, though. It was a microwavable potato. And all this time I thought you just took any potato, poked holes in it with a fork, and viola! It was microwaveable.
I guess not.
No longer is a baked potato as difficult as turning a dial on an oven and waiting a few minutes!
Thank god they have finally invented the microwave ready potato. I’m just grateful I visited the Walmart so I was there to see it. No more straining your brain with complex formulae to get that tater just so. Now just read the label, pop it in, and follow the instructions written at a third grade label. Yes, it’s just that easy.
If you can somehow figure out how to defeat the fact that every single potato is individually wrapped in plastic. You’ll have to open it first. Mwuhahaha.
To sum up the trip, we wasted close to two hours of our life, made a new friend (Heisenberg!), and got some of the crap we wanted at what we assumed were good prices. (That’s the whole pitch, right?) But we didn’t know for sure. And my wife was extremely frustrated because the selection was lacking and we ended up having to visit two other stores to finish off our list.
Thanks for being there in our time of need, Walmart.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a project to finish. I’m working on a baked potato. Or should we call that a microwaved potato?
You know you are making me late to an appointment because I just had to read this before I left! I will say more, much more, on this subject when I return! 😉
I’m happy I did my part to make you late! Best comment ever. 🙂
Baking a potato is so hard! Why mock, sir?
“No longer is a baked potato as difficult as turning a dial on an oven and waiting a few minutes!”
I waited an hour an nothing happened. What? No one told me there was a step where you have to put the potato in the oven! And you call that a recipe?
“To help pass the time, which was moving incredibly slow, I decided to covertly start putting weird stuff in our cart. Antagonizing the wife made the time go quicker.”
Is this a man thing? My boyfriend does this at any store we go to.
It’s an internationally recognized subversion tactic. It’s supposed to teach the captor/kidnapper a lesson: Do not bring this person to the store again. Ever.
Personally I find it to be highly effective, although I really did want to try that cactus.
He forgot to mention the block of off brand Velvetta Cheese (which I NEVER buy) and the Starbucks Instant Iced Coffee packets of which was probably the most expensive item in the cart!!! Karma kicked in on that one. When I asked him how it was he said it made him all wired up. He didn’t read the instructions carefully. He used one packet for one glass….it was a 2 serving packet.
What a hoot about Hooters breading. Great find!
I’m from Kansas City, but I haven’t seen Kansas City steak-flavored chips, but they must be awesome if it says Kansas City. Great marketing! Everything is better with Kansas City on it. (Steak chips do sound dreadful, don’t they?)
I forgot to look at the ingredients on that Hooters stuff. I do like the idea of a “wing breading” for fish, shrimp and veggies. I skipped the Hooter’s version and plan to make my own.
Those steak-flavored chips were deadly. And odd tasting. Side effects include breath that is lethal up to six feet away.
“Artificially flavored” is usually something I avoid like the plague.
The chips smell fine when you open the bag, but when Tom started eating them they smelled like what I would think a slaughter house smells like. And the smell travels. I thought one of the cats had died. I have refused him to eat those things in the house ever again! They are truly gross smelling.
This is true. They had a truly disgusting smell. It really was amazing. And the flavor? Not what I would normally call edible.
“Yep, there was definitely a good deal here once,” I said sagely like I was some sort of grocery store archeologist.
Oooh! Should I be required to visit Wal-Mart in the future (which I’d like to hope will never never come to pass, but know from my prior trips back home almost certainly will), I’m going to take this page from your book. I’ll view it as an anthropology exercise instead of a survival venture. Maybe taking this approach will numb the pain a little . . .
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I think I now know what to get all my friends for their birthdays Kansas City steak flavored potato chips.
I was a little hurt that you mocked the microwavable potato…it is pretty difficult for someone like me to insert a fork into a regular potato and microwave it. We all weren’t raise rich, spoiled potato experts like you and I thank Wal-Mart everyday for having those handy for me.