I wrote this on April 17th 2008. One month before my cochlear activation and sound re entering my life after 230 days in my deafness.
I am reprinting it because Mary did not read it, and I happened to have it saved.
I also liked it, and reminisced fondly of my first trip to a Wal-Mart superstore.
Deaf as a stump, no balance, wandering through my first Superstore.
I hope you enjoy it.
I needed to buy batteries today. I tried to change channels last night and the remote was not in a very cooperative mood. Seems it needed AA's. "Didn't I just buy a bulk pack of those"? I naively asked my wife. "Talk to the 13 year old that lives in the first room on your right" she replies.
I went into to see where all my batteries were, and I discovered the source of the supply drain The "X-Box remote controllers" , it was explained to me. "Eat them like candy" Dan complained.
Regardless, I needed some or else I would be stuck watching "The Price Is Right" marathon for the next 3 nights.
So this morning I had to make a decision on where the purchase would be made. I knew that Costco would be the cheapest, but one item in a line for 3 days is just silly. The other end of the spectrum is the corner store, but I was not paying $37.89 for 4 AA batteries even if I was the only person shopping.
I went for the middle ground and picked Walmart.
So Janet and I head out this morning and she is traveling in a direction of which I am not familiar with.
"Where are you going" I asked.
"There is a new Walmart that opened in the
Two things here: I was surprised that any retail opening would miss my consumer radar, and…..
2) I don't like
I guess while I was "sleeping" for 90 some days in a hospital ward, Wally World slipped one in on me.
Not only did he build a store unbeknown to me, but he built the "Super Wally World Store" concept.
It was the size of O'Hare and I swear I saw an air traffic control tower and a few DC 10's in the lot.
Now I'm no country bumpkin, nor have I just fallen off the rutabaga mobile, but I have never been in one of these behemoth of store.
We park, and in we go.
"You get the batteries and I will grab some fabric softener". announces Janet.
So off goes deaf as an Acorn Squash guy into the wilds of Wally's Frontier.
I leave the cozy confines of the 73 year old store greeter, and venture past the fruit and vegetables. After around 3 or 4 Kilometers I am still in some sort of produce section. Yes it is different from where I started out with the familiar
I cross into a deli section that takes in about 14 Acres where a nice lady in blue jacket stamps my passport and smiles at me. I am cruising now.
As I cross the Prairies, I note the vastness of the ryes and flax breads. The flatland's seem to go for miles, and one looses perspective of distance once the sourdoughs are stumbled upon.
The whole wheat flutter on skids as far as the eye can see.
I catch of glimpse of what I suspect is a Prairie dog, but quickly discount it as scurries back into the Pet aisle.
A stray gerbil I suspect.
I have always had a soft spot for the prairies. I admire the hardiness of the workers who toil amongst the dangers of falling prices. The amber waves of grain and the ski high stacks of Wonder Bread are a joy for the eye to behold.
"Oh beautiful for spacious skies.." I sing proudly, as grab a dozen Frosted Ho Ho's.
I sense a sudden chill now as I enter into the land of milk and cheese. I must some how have wandered off course and ended up in
I hurry back to the pet food isle, and grab Speeder some Bickies, and a fresh kong to go with the wheel of Cheddar I just picked up in the dairy regions.
I pass a mountain of cola neatly staked beside the biggest pile of denim jeans I have ever seen. The blue jeans scream a $10 price tag.
I wonder how much the seamstress makes on this.
About 2 or 3 hours into my venture I ask a bird watcher that I pass, if I could borrow his binoculars to see if there is sign to point me in the right direction. He obliges, and I spot "Electronics" just east of the first watering hole. (The pools are now out on display even though the snow continues to fall today) I thank him and get back on my journey.
Around I get hungry and follow my nose to one of many local McDonald's that services weary travelers like myself. I see the natives in blue smocks dine here as well. Although I have always found it safe to eat where the indigenous dine, I take a pass on this spot and decide that I can't eat this today, I need to stay healthy.
I ask for directions from another blue jacketed lady. I hope I can speech read her.
I ask her again to point me in the direction of batteries.
She starts into some long winded question, pointing at my feet. My God I think, are the natives interested in trading footwear?
I think she is trying to ask me why I have price tags dangling from the runners I have on.
I explain to her that the soles of my own shoes gave out about 7 kilometers away, back in house wares, so I borrowed the Wally beige shoes to get me a little further into the store.
About hour 5 or 6 hours into my journey, I make note of some falling prices that I could conceivably injure myself on. Lucky for me, I happen to be the bicycle helmet section. I put one on to secure my melon from any further falling prices.
I stop at the camping section and notice a family is resting by a fake campfire and eating giant packages of Mike and Ike's. I ask if I could join them until my throbbing stops in my legs.
They of course notice my limp and my cane, and motion me to sit a spell and rest up.
"Where ya headed" asks the woman.
I read her lips nicely.
"Batteries. In Electronics I presume" I tell them
"Ohhhh, you got a long way to go my friend" advises the man in the group.
"Better head out before you get locked in the store like us. We've been here since just after Valentines day clear out" he warns
I spring up and carry on.
By the time I reach Consumer Electronics, I notice my shopping cart is full.
I suspect while on my journey I have been subconsciously shopping up a storm.
If, and only if, I proceed to the cash at this moment, I might get out under a hundred bucks.
But I still have no batteries.
I do, however have one roast turkey, some stuffing in a box,a 15 pack of tube socks, gum that explodes when you chew it, a 12 pack of peanut butter chocolate cups, some Disney
I asks a clerk if there is bus stop or a taxi stand to take me back. Even a rope tow would do me fine.
I am spent, done, fatigued.
I need to cash out before I have to sell my collectible footballs.
I can see the 45 cash registers just east of the horizon and very close to a
I follow a caravan of buggies back to the cash and meet Janet.
The batteries are neatly sold on racks on every cash.
I make a note that no treadmill workout will be needed, and we go out into the wilds of the parking lot.
I hope it is not too dark to find our car.