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Jett Superior laid this on you on || November 21, 2009 || 9:04 pm

Sattraday, afternoon-wise

I was waiting for a call.

See, my husband works an hour away from here. Sometimes he is later than he’d like, and on those occasions he might decide to eat in town, which could possibly change my plans on what to prepare for dinner. My kids love my chili. My chili tears my spouse’s crack out. That is not a sexy thing, Muffinasses, so I needed to know before I went into Wal-Mart whether I would be cooking the wine-and-chicken thing or if my children would get to do the Sweet Jesus On His Merciful Throne Momma Is Making Chili dance.

I get no signal on my phone in Wal-Suck, so I sent Scouty ahead for her necessities while I waited a few minutes for a return text or call.

And I got to eyeballing my fellow Wal-Martees.

There was the fairly renowned and deeply-in-the-closet bluegrass banjo man. Apparently he is preparing for some sort of fete, because his buggy was loaded with three deli trays as he efficiently made his way toward his vehicle. There was our old friend, the mentally retarded, enthusiastic cart-rounder. How are you not freezing to death, Smiley? my brain pushed at him, because he was wearing shorts and I cannot get warm enough today. There were the childparents. I always see these people nowadays, no matter where I am: There is a too-young girl and a too-young boy and they are attending to their baby and making a play at domestic bliss as best they can despite the odds that are way, waaay not in their favor; this is one holdover from the Old South that I am unsure about how I feel as yet, these babies trying to make a whoopsie into a winner.

I texted Adampea with the exciting news that yes, I was at Wal-Mart, and yes, I was peoplewatching. He does not hold the place in great esteem, either. ‘Try not to punch the greeter,’ he texted back. Smart man, because I might have wanted to except that when I walked into the door she was leaned over the cart of a hispanic couple where there sat a little brown boy of about four in a bright yellow tee-shirt. He was wailing, mouth so wide as to swallow any notion of a head. The parents attempted to elicit a wholly unsuccessful cease-fire on his tears and now the door greeter had taken on the role of peace envoy, offering up smiling stickers if he could only emulate (and hold) the expression they were making.

Who can punch a door greeter when they are in the throes of such a noble undertaking?

There were houndstooth ballcaps everywhere. Tiger orange was scarce. The Tide fans have a little more to be proud of this year than the War Eaglers do, insert heavy sigh here. Eric Clapton came out of nowhere to set up residence in my head, Groaning The Blues his song of choice for me.

I have noticed recently, say in the last six months, that I am the crazy lady who walks around the grocery singing aloud to herself; I’m usually five songs deep before I self-startle and realize that I’m doing this once again and oh my God, when will I start collecting cats, too?

A man piled bag after bag of flour into his cart. Why am I annoyed by this? It’s none of my damn business. But seriously, why doesn’t he just be sensible and buy it in bulk? Fuck, we have buckets stored up in case of the pending revolution. The hippie believes in being prepared, so we have powdered eggs and deer jerky and rice (Can you believe that China still has any? I ask the children. Don’t worry, Sam says wryly back, The Chinese can always purchase some from all those paddies in Arkansas.). Also we have bullets and bullets and rifles and a smidgen of handgun or two. Here is what I think about: What if, just what if when there comes a time where all these dried things are a necessity there just so happens to be no potable water with which to rehydrate them? Are we then going to use the weapon things, packed with salt, to seed the clouds and beg rain?

You remember that I was proud of myself for hanging ultra-deluxe and fancy-dancy clotheslines awhile back, yeah? Here’s the thing: I’ve stopped hanging clothes on them, because when I bring them in they have the smell of foul things. Is there some piece of magic I’ve not discovered? How were the off-the-line things so great-smelling when I was five and trailing around behind my mother while she dropped sheets in the basket for me to nuzzle lovingly with my round face?

And if the skies hazard to sprinkle a little on my hung clothes, they smell even worse. So really, if we were to seed the clouds would we really want what came from them, anyway? “Here children, eat your tablespoon of powdered eggs. I’ve mixed in dry rice for a delightful crunchy texture.”

I am spoiled. I bought two cases of bottled water, selfish and wasteful thing that I am. But I forgot the fabric softener, and by the time I remembered it, I stood at the front of a line of people with drawn, tired faces and thought better of sprinting for it. Scout, in the line beside me, had just finished checking out. This week our jeans will be as crunchy as our future eggs.

The cart rounder, catching sight of us upon our exit, stretched his lips wide and flapped a hand at us in greeting. “I miss y’all when you’re not here!” he hollered and I guess I believed him.

5 worked it out »

  1. troutie 11.23.2009

    We have to make sure we’re in time for the bus to The Rapture because even if we did buy 5 gallon drums of rice, we’d get our asses kicked in the first 5 minutes.

  2. Adam P. Knave 11.23.2009

    Oh man, I could not stop laughing. Ow.

    Also? I’m Adampea now?

  3. Anonymous 11.23.2009

    Troutie: Make your way South. But don’t talk a lot. People won’t trust Yankees or the government in case of The Rapture.

    Adampea: YES. PROBLEM?

    (Everyone has a pet name in my head. Sometimes they worms their way out.)

  4. Dean 11.23.2009

    So did you have chili?

  5. Jettomatika 12.3.2009

    We had the chicken-and-wine thing. Capers and sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts tossed into angelhair pasta with generous chunks of chicken.

    Is this California Dean or Georgia Dean?


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