and live to tell the tale. like the famed inferno, dante’s “abandon all hope ye who enter here” needs to be affixed over the glowing neon of the true bastion of Cro-magnon life: your friendly neighborhood wal-mart. I cannot say what compelled me to enter the gates, especially at this time of year. this is something i have never done in the past. it was frightening experience. I have journeyed through Target so I had some expectation of finding similar departments in the dear departed Sam Walton’s retail giant; home improvements, electronics, junior misses, etc… What my eyes beheld was all together different. I strolled straight in, avoiding the Pillsbury Doughboy attempting to stuff a sales circular down my shirt., without first observing the lay of the land, and stumbled straight into the Screaming Child Department which seemed to be well attended with writhing life forms bellowing in strange tongues while mom and/or dad (and sometimes it was tough to tell) talked on the phone in an attempt to determine whether to buy the george forman indoor drill in chrome or blue.
Dashing past the whirling spawn, lunging at me like rabid moray eels, I inadvertently stumbled into the next department that, while un-identifiable, seemed to be holding a cast reunion party from Tod Browning’s Freaks, chanting “one of us. one of us…”
Thrashing wildly away, I ran blindly down the aisle, veering to the right to avoid the parade of strollers incapable of moving in a straight line. When I opened my eyes I was alone. There was an eerie quiet amid the racks of sickly pink clothing. Why was there no one nearby? Had I run into a quarantined section? Upon further examination I discovered the answer – I was surrounded by women’s clothing; the petite section.
Before I ran screaming from the store, I found the one item I had to purchase and jogged to the checkout lines only to find each register manned by Pleistocene specimens dating from the Neanderthal period, capable of communicating solely through a series of grunts and moans.
Once outside, the tremors in my body started to subside. I just prayed that no one took my picture while I was captive in the house of torture. I really don’t need to be included in the next wal-mart email. maybe it was a bad idea to go in with neon blue spandex shorts and a Twilight cut-off t-shirt…