A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
After already having spent a fortune trying to stock up from zero inventory, we needed a few more things, so we went to WalMart. My wife is still unable to walk due to sciatic pain, so she got one of the mobile electric carts, or whatever they are called. Big mistake for me. While she could whiz around at 50 mph, I could barely stagger up and down the aisles. I spent about 80% of my time looking for her. Here is a summary of this latest inspirational experience:\
While entering the door that said enter, the entrance was blocked by dumbbells exiting said door.
While exiting the door that said exit, the exit was blocked by dumbbells entering said exit door.
Part way through our epic shopping experience, a massive hailstorm pounded on the roof so noisily I interpreted this as a stern warning from above: Never, never accompany your wife to WalMart.
I walked at least 200 miles, 2 miles shopping, and 198 miles looking for my wife.
When I got home, there were 3 smelly, rotten potatoes in my 10 pound bag of russets
The average number of children per mother at WalMart seemed to be between 3 and 8.
Cell phone yappers negotiating carts full of babies, Pampers, groceries, etc., and creating hazardous shopping conditions, were in rich abundance.
Most people seemed to be going up and down all the aisles not having any idea what in blazes they were doing there, as evidenced by the fact I saw the same people in virtually every aisle I wandered through, no matter how many times I wandered there. Perhaps people thought WalMart was a form of entertainment and they were reluctant to go home and clean their kitchens and bathrooms.
In WalMart's defense, most of their stuff is cheap, especially boxed groceries like cereal and most canned staples. The store is clean, well-stocked, and devoid of any human beings who can tell you where stuff is unless you search for them for a half hour. Unlike some WalMarts, this one at least had several checkout lines open, unlike some stores where they have 200 people lined up behind one checkout counter.
When I checked out, the obviously fatigued checker asked me the obligatory question about how I was. Instead of giving the obligatory answer "fine", I elaborated that I was totally exhausted, sick of looking for my wife, anxious to get home and spend another hour hauling stuff in the car and stashing it wherever I could find a nook or a cranny. So I asked her how she was, and she said she was tired, too. So checkers really are human beings and ought to be treated as such.
Oh, I almost forgot. There were no WalMart greeters. But WalMart has started having by-by sayers instead who sort of give you a passing glance as you leave to make sure you are a Republican or something, unlike Costco which has a stern person checking your receipt to make sure you haven't stuck in a 42 inch TV on the way out the door. I asked the last Costco receipt marker lady if she ever thought to herself, "What are they thinking?" as she examined their cart perfunctorily and swiftly, since another 30 people are waiting. She said, "I just told myself that when someone went out of here with thousands of dollars worth of stuff." Who said the economic stimulus from Washington isn't working? But I have digressed, and that is what professors do. How else do you think they can bore you for an hour and 10 minutes? Have nice day.
Two weeks after coming back to Salt Lake City, here is a progress report on snowbird miseries:
USA Today finally got around to delivering my paper, 10 days after it was supposed to start. I need the crossword puzzle, for heaven's sake.
We had a message in our mailbox: "Your mail is circulating back and forth between Salt Lake and St. George. Please let us know where you want your mail sent." Well, we had filled out all the forms and even got a confirmation number for the address change before we left St. George. So I went to the post office and they informed me that my mail was likely in the Salt Lake forwarding station. Now we are finally getting a few pieces of mail, including credit card adverts, medical bills, fund solicitations, and other valuable items of critical importance. One line was open at the post office when I went, with a line of people waiting for me to get my problem resolved. Now the post office wants to close a bunch of "unprofitable" small locations. Actually, the post office should be considered a public good, which isn't in the business to make money, which it will never do since the only way it knows how to try and solve its financial problems is to charge more for postage, cut down services, and cut out small locations. And, guess what? Supply and demand will work once more, and the post office will have even less business.
My internet still is going on and off.
Other than those items of misery, things seem to be going reasonably well. Before we know it, the snow will fly, and we will leave as soon as it does, and we will have to go through all these miseries again.