Monthly Archives: September 2016

The ‘Mart

SACRAMENTO USA - SEPTEMBER 13: Walmart shopping cart on September 13 2013 in Sacramento California. Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation that runs chains of large discount department stores

If I ever lose my mind, I know just where it will be. Rescuers will find me curled up in a fetal position in Walmart, laying between a palate of —– and a bin full of ——–. Okay, the exact product placement may end up be Inc slightly different, but there’s a pretty good chance overall that it will be somewhere in Walmart.

Whenever I’m forced to enter the black hole of disappointment and depression that is that place, I think that I’m completely mentally prepared. I really do. I think up all of the worst case scenarios I can come up with, only to find that it’s much much worse. Or maybe I just go in with the wrong attitude.  Is that a possibility?

As I rush down the main aisle to get through with my visit as quickly as possible, there’s an obese man with a 3-day beard that’s holding half a slice of pizza within its whiskers carrying an extra large selection of pink lingerie, and I avoid eye contact because if would feel wrong on every level.  Then there’s the older woman literally screaming at the top of her lungs (right at the moment when she walked behind me, causing me to physically jump into the air) into her phone at ‘gramma’, the guy with the massively stained baseball cap that stated to the world ‘Don’t ask me shit’, and the woman I assume is attempting to shoplift toilet bowl cleaner by stuffing it down her Scooby Doo t-shirt.  And that’s just in the first 50 yards of this visit.

See…It doesn’t take much to come up with plenty of examples and specific reasons why the place drives me straight-jacket level crazy. Especially when you look back and consider that I even worked for that place twice. Yep, you read that correctly. Twice.  Not in this local store, but they’re all the same, right?

The first time was when I was just a 16-year old kid in high school – just old enough to drive there myself. They offered me a better(?) job than the one I had held at Wendy’s for the past three days (don’t ever ask me about their chili if you don’t actually want to know the truth…) and I jumped at the chance. That summer either wasn’t very memorable, or I managed to completely blot out all of the memories.  But…the second time working there, when I was right out of school and needed something/anything to pay the oncoming bills, I took on the challenge of working at a brand new Walmart.  One that wasn’t even finished yet.  So, without any construction background at all, I was put to work with a few other guys pouring cement floors, building huge storage bins and putting up hundreds and hundreds of shelving units.

And, believe it or not, we all survived. Sure, one blew himself off a 30 foot ladder when attempting to use a nail gun for the first time, and a 60-year old man dropped a 27″ television on my head (no comment about how that “explains” things please) when I rushed over to help him as he was struggling to put it up onto a huge shelving unit.

But what I remember most fondly is when we all tried following the boss’ instructions for building the mounts for all of the shelves to hold into the wall.  And…when we were finished, those brackets that were supposed to look perfectly straight all looked like the letter “C”.  Even though I’m still certain to this day that we did them exactly as we were instructed to.

So…I don’t trust anything in Walmart. I still feel like everything is going to collapse if I touch it, though I also feel like anything I touch might contaminate me anyway so care needs to be taken.  And I’m not sure if I’d rather bump into one of the sticky shelves or into the couple who’s coming down the chip aisle with a hungry, crazed look in their eyes, wearing matching socks, Crocs, camouflage shorts and nearly identical t-shirt pit stains.

I don’t scare easily, but you might end up find me hiding out in the middle of the place where it not as busy (and there’s carpeting), curled up and rocking back and forth.  All if I can’t escape this place within 10 minutes or less.

Fortunately for me, everything you could ever need is within a few feet of the checkout lanes.  See…there’s a box of Crispie Creams and a dvd copy of Anchorman right over there.  Wait…now what did I ever come into this place for anyway…???

Free Bigfoot Books

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Okay, I didn’t mean that I’m giving away free Bigfoot books, so don’t get the wrong idea and start requesting them,  What I’m saying is that I’ve gotten a couple of them in the mail recently with the expectation that I’ll read them and provide glowing reviews of them.  But…before you get too jealous of my new reading opportunities, let me tell you that both of the books look homemade.  Completely homemade.  Like, when the authors finished writing them and glued the pages together, they pulled out a box of crayons to draw the covers all by themselves and struggled to stay within the lines.  I shouldn’t laugh, but…well…everybody needs a good laugh every now and then, don’t they?

I’ve been tempted to wander up into the mountain woods to see how ‘correct’ these books might be about our possibly imaginary furry neighbor, but…

1)  Its been really hot out lately

2)  Then it rained

3)  I haven’t actually read the books (and don’t really plan to)

So I settled for mowing the lawn and gazing longingly up into the hills and just let my imagination wander.  It’ll have to suffice for now.  And, as my mind wanders, I wonder what agents are thinking about the first chapter of my novel.  Yes…that’s my way of saying that I sent my query letter and the first chapter novel to agents to read and…well, my imagination bounces between them loving it and getting it published and hating it and laughing about it over drinks with roving gangs of other agents.  Ahh, vivid imaginations can be troubling sometimes…

Do you remember when you were a kid and sent in your allowance money to order some amazing plastic product that was announced on the back of a cereal box or shown in the back of a comic book?  And you were told to wait 6-8 weeks for it to arrive?  Time dragged on sooooooo slow…

Then, when you become an adult, time never goes that slowly again.  Heck, autumn – the greatest of the seasons – never seems to last longer than 36 hours once you’re an adult. But now that I’m forced to wait a couple of months to hear back from the agents I’ve reached out to, I’m a kid again.  But, instead of checking the mailbox 8 times a day, I’m checking my email every quarter hour.  I guess we never actually grow up.

And, when that first response comes in, I know that I’ll excitedly not open it for a few minutes, just in case it’s bad news.  Because, while I have confidence, what are the odds that the first person I send my manuscript to will be the one who becomes my all-time best friend for making my writing dream come true…  It just might be the second person instead.  Okay, maybe the 43rd.  But he or she is out there somewhere.

Searching for that elusive agent is like like looking for Bigfoot.  You need plenty ofpatience (and a bit of craziness).  And maybe a couple of tranquilizer darts…