Friday, January 28, 2011

In Search of Another Wal-Mart

Our neighborhood Wal-Mart has lately been overrun with what I can only describe as press gangs from Sam’s Club. Sam is building a new Club in the vicinity, and he wants to sign up members. His minions lie in wait about thirty feet beyond the senior citizen greeter, and if I don’t slip by them fast enough to avoid their ambush, I’m likely to get clubbed over the head with a clipboard, only to regain consciousness with a Sam’s Club membership card in my hand.

I half-jokingly suggested to Mr. Lucky that we needed to find a new Wal-Mart. So we drove up to the Great Shopping Vortex better known as Brandon Town Center, where first we had lunch at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. (We wanted to do The Olive Garden, but they were so swamped, I think there was a second waiting list just to get one of those little round pagers that light up and vibrate once you are promoted to one of The Chosen who get To Be Seated.)

After committing the deadly sin of gluttony, we headed to the nearby Wal-Mart, where no press gangs accosted us.

This wasn’t the first time we’d been to this particular Wal-Mart. Indeed, I don’t think it was the first time we’d pushed the particular cart we got, as it came with an all-too-familiar, loudly clunking wheel that caused the cart to jerk with every revolution. We used to shop here all the time in the last century, before a couple of subsequent moves finally placed us near the Wal-Mart now rife with press gangs. Yet this was like a sparkling new Wal-Mart, since it had been recently renovated—and totally rearranged.

The pharmacy, for instance, had been moved from the front of the store to the very center, where fitting rooms used to be. The health and beauty items were now directly across from the food section, which I think makes better sense than putting them at separate ends of the store.

We were there mainly to stock up on food for Baby Bear, and once that was accomplished, Mr. Lucky decided he wanted to get more dog food. Dog food, he declared, was always near the garden center at every Wal-Mart he knew, so that meant a trek to the opposite side of the store.

The dog food wasn’t there. The pet supply section had been replaced with toys.

We turned right and headed toward the back of the store, where in front of paints we finally saw a sign that said “Pet Supplies” pointing us to the right—the direction from whence we just came.

So we turned right again, and saw nothing ahead of us but the Men’s Toy Department (better known as Electronics)—which, I might add, was in the same place it had always been because men can never find anything and won’t ask directions and if you dare move it, you’ll only get them more confused and surly. We clunked past—and after circumnavigating the entire store, we finally found the dog food where the baby stuff used to be—the same corner where I once bought diapers and formula and teething rings when Baby Bear really was a baby.

After that heavy lunch, we needed the exercise anyway. And we still haven’t been pressed aboard Sam’s Club membership—but never say never.

No comments: