The Curmudgeonly Professor has previously announced that his spouse had banned him from accompanying her to WalMart and Costco on account of his whining and tendency to become lost in the ten acre labyrinths of monster stores. Now, being smarter than I am, my spouse has devised a new strategy: She now makes out a separate list, hands it to me, and tells me to go collect the stuff on the list while she takes a cart and goes off and finds her own stuff. That way I cannot get lost. Not only that, but she does the grocery side, thus preventing me from running up the grocery bill with impulse items like frosted Halloween orange cookies.
Today I was sent to cosmetics and to get a new battery for her watch. I collected cranberry tablets, magnesium, and headed for the shaving aisle. I spent 13 bucks on four razor blades. Which is better, the old Gillette blue blades for 25 cents apiece that you can shave with two or three times at the most, or one blade for 4 bucks plus pennies which, theoretically, lasts three months, but which begins to scrape and pull after six weeks or so? The Gillette Fusion blade is touted as having "the comfort of 5 plus the precision of 1"(trademark). The information is also spelled out in French, a language in which I became proficient enough to pass the French reading exam for my Ph.D., but which still looks mostly like misspelled English.
My most daring purchase was Axe Fresh Action deodorant stick which is "approved for hot enounters." I asked my wife "what is a hot encounter?" and she did not know. The instructions were helpful, however, which direct one to apply to underarms only. A phone number is provided for other questions in case users are not quite sure either what a hot encounter is or how to apply it to their underarms.
From thence to shampoo, where my wife thoughtfully had a $1 coupon applicable to two bottles of Suave shampoos, which cost 99 cents apiece to begin with, so I got 2 shampoos for 50 cents each, a bargain that made my coupon-clipping spouse extremely happy. My Suave shampoo is "ocean breeze, infused with sea algae extract and vitamin E." It is helpful for me to realize each time I shampoo that I am washing my hair with gunk from the ocean and that I am enjoying "the revitalizing scent of clean ocean air as gentle cleansers bring out the natural beauty of your (my) hair." Natural beauty? Hair? What little hair I have is gray, and, so far, I have never ascertained any advantage of one kind of 99 cent shampoo over any other.
So then I added Suave naturals cucumber melon rejuvenating body wash which is "infused with cucumber + melon extracts." Well, I like cucumbers and melons, and it is good to know I am sloshing off in the shower with a "rejuvenating blend of cucumber and melon extracts along with skin conditioning vitamin E." Heaven knows, I can certainly stand rejuvenating in my defunct condition.
And now to shaving cream. I have been shaving with women's shaving cream out of a pink can which does have a negative impact on my male sensibilities, so I replaced it with New! Nouveau! Gillette Series Shaving Foam Mousse A Raser, sensitive skin. Avec Aloes. Well even a dummy like me remembers that avec means with. The French angle provides a sophisticated and high end wrinkle to the shaving experience, though one wonders if the French buy 50% of the Gillette stuff, thus warranting 50% of the lanaguage on the can in French. Why not Spanish? or Greek? or Republican? Now we're down to Aquafresh triple protection advanced 2x whitening ice mint dentist recommended toothpaste that fights cavities, plaque, healthy gums, and strong teeth. Fights strong teeth? Well. I am informed that when I brush my teeth I absorb essential ingredients from my toothpaste. Well I never.
Then some Nivea sensitive post shave balm, which is alcohol and dye free which immediately calms the skin, helps prevent shaving irritations from my French labeled shaving cream can, and has moisturizers that alleviate dry skin, thus making my skin look healthy and smooth and making my skin feel relaxed and moisturized long after the application. The instructions are helpful, advising to apply to face after shaving. Who would have known?
So thus, after tromping ten miles to the back of the store to find some night light bulbs, I wend my way to the front of the store where my spousal unit awaits me, not mentioning that I no longer run off and get lost at WalMart, or chuck needless junk in the cart. She hands me a fistful of coupons that ultimately saved me $4.50, while she heads for the car and I begin my torturous grind through the check out line. After an hour, more or less, I punch in my zip code, which Costco certainly does not require, already having access to your entire personal history and every roll of toilet paper you ever bought at Costco over the past 100 years on their little magnetic strip. I leave through the Exit door, as befits proper WalMart etiquette, watching other ill-informed and ill-mannered folks exiting through the "enter" door, totally oblivious, and speaking volumes about why they shop at WalMart in the first place. And so ends another chapter in the Curmudgeonly Professor's epic adventures in the WalMart Chronicles. Enjoy.