Potassium Roger

I haven’t had a good old-fashioned rant in a while. At least not in the written form. Usually a good source for finding consternation and inducing ranting is a trip to Walmart. Not today. I have decided to rest those useless protests in favor of another. Fair warning to people with a lofty opinion of me I am wearing my swear-bear pajamas and will probably drop some eff-bombs. I find it therapeutic to type the words. It makes me more “Zen” during my normal day-to-day life. Nirvanish? Placified?

Okay. Let’s talk about Kroger. Alternative to the Walmart grocery oligarchy. The Target of middle-class grocery-only vendors. The comfortable shopping relationship that gives just enough to keep you involved but never lets you know where you truly stand as a customer. We no longer have a Kroger on my side of town and it is a damn shame because that one was a great place. We recently got a Zaxby’s though. But this isn’t about Zaxby’s, it is about the grocery store.

Sometimes I stop on my way home to pick up a few things. Essential items, like bread or milk or some combination of protein/carb/cheese that we are having for dinner. We never have all the things we need to prepare a single dinner. So off to Kroger I go. I walk into the warm lighting (from the old style fluorescent tubes), grab one of the mutant grocery carts (who designed these things), and emerge in the vegetable section. What the vegetables lack in ripeness they compensate for with random arrangements and narrow aisles. Maybe the aisles just feel narrow because I am avoiding the never-ending traffic of the suburban mom. These ladies give two-shits about who or what is in their way. I can see it in their eyes. They are stressed and on-edge. They need one fucking loaf of whole grained organic bread so kindly move your ass out of the way. Meanwhile, I loiter in front of a few while I try and decipher what goods are in what aisles based on the hanging descriptions. The arrangement is awful. If the carts had horns I would be honked at. Or gored to death. I guess it depends on what kind of horns. Hateful glaring is much quieter. I barely notice. I’m too busy giving my own hateful glares at the blank spot on the shelf where the generic item should be. Now I get to buy name-brand whole kernel corn.

I will concede that the meat department is awesome. They have beef that was fed pre-softened grasses and heard bedtime stories nightly before they were slaughtered into steaks. And there is an attractive caring woman on the label which really sells the whole approach. It really comes out in the flavor too. Plus, the flower area is super handy at times. I think they sell free range roses.

But God help me find the bread in that forsaken labyrinth. Do they even sell bread? I circled five times looking for bread. I never found bread. Is Kroger gluten free now? Onward to make my tacos.

I found myself in the Aisle of Varied Ethnicity. It was a puzzling mix of politically correct sensitivity and, at the same time, not. For instance, one of our go-to dinners of choice is Taco Salad. I categorize this as “Mexican Food”. I eat lunch about four times a week at a “Mexican Restaurant”. I feel validated because the packaging and the restaurant sign both use “Mexican” as a descriptor. (It may be the best food on the planet. I know that my idea of Mexican food is extremely Americanized but I like to believe that children growing up in the hot, cactus-y, central American deserts at least have the pleasure of enjoying every meal with a bowl of salsa and bottomless tortilla chips. I can’t live in a world where that isn’t true.) How surprised am I that someone has labeled the area of tacos, refried beans, and jalapenos as the Latin American Foods section? Very. I have zero problems with that but I am confused how the Asia food section still gets a breakdown into Thai, Japanese, or Chinese. Is Panamanian cuisine indistinguishable from Mexican? Are there no foods that are unique to Guatemala? What did Mexico ever do to you? Maybe we should shift to a spicy, greasy, or hippie type of classification on our food so not to offend any group. After all, every culture has a signature meat/carb/cheese dish. Except Asian food because of the whole lactose intolerance thing which is okay because they have soba noodles and sushi which is a fair trade.

I’m veering off topic. My main point is that I can’t find anything. The informational boards at the ends of the aisles list individual items instead of general categories. Example, one board might advertise; Brown Mustard, Black Olives, Ranch Dressing… A real store would slap Condiments on the sign and still have room to describe the rest of the aisle. Don’t woo me with tales of exotic toppings. Just tell me where I am in this Neverland. I get all my fitbit steps just looking for things on my logically arranged shopping list.

When I am wandering around in lost in the vintage-1990-value-shopper food wilderness I am forced to admit a dark truth.

I miss the familiarity of Walmart.

It is my safe zone.

It’s the people that really make it great.

The broken smile of the older lady on register 4 who should be able to retire but Medicare doesn’t cover her diabetes supplies. The man with the bottle thick glasses who has to check items out very slowly and in precisely the right order. He is going to be on Criminal Minds one day played by a more attractive but equally crazy actor who kidnaps remote tollbooth workers to feed a toe eating fetish. Or the lady who rode to Walmart last night on the back of her boyfriend’s Honda Shadow to run in and get some supplies. These people were either camping or cooking meth and given her twitch and what seemed like a few too many scabs, I’m going with meth. That’s judge-y of me. Maybe they had been camping AND making meth.

Totally plausible. These two were in the self-checkout lane when Skinderella realized that she hadn’t eaten in four days and wanted a prewrapped turkey roll from the deli section. She ran and grabbed the lunch meat roll and, with a giggle, launched it towards the checkout like a football pass. It landed in the self-checkout area and exploded a colorful lettuce and tomato burst. Her boyfriend muttered something that rhymed with “Crazy Bitch” and continued to scan his beer. Commerce and comedy at 9:00 at night. I made my trip worth the drive. Happy Memorial Day! This is what the veterans were fighting for!

But not at Kroger. Most of those trips are monotonous grinds of a hurried life. Memorial to nothing in particular. There are crazy and dangerous people at both venues but the difference is somewhat like a well run zoo versus a walking tour safari park where the tigers might eat you in the parking lot because the rangers don’t give a shit. Plus the tigers are high, hungry, and mad that they dropped their turkey roll.

Who knows where I was going with this. Welcome to my week. If you find any piece of this remotely interesting this one is for you. I realize I didn’t manage to swear as much as I felt I was going to at the first. What can I say? Shit happens. Hope I didn’t fuck up the experience. I’m such an asshole. Oh and to Kroger. Nothing but love, locate the bread better, get some real carts with capacity. Carry on.

You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.



The young man in front of me looked to be around eighteen or nineteen years old. He had several snacks and drinks in his shopping cart and the way he was unloading things onto the belt made me think he hadn’t shopped much on his own. Cans were rolling away from him and items fell over each time the belt lurched forward.

There is a private college nearby and I assumed he was a freshman student learning to live independently. As the cashier was bagging the goods another man walked up to her with a worried expression. “Do you cash checks?”, he asked in a panic. “I’ve come a long way and I really need to cash this check.”

“I’ll check with the manager”, she said and punched in some numbers to page the supervisor on duty. She continued with the college student transaction and placed the last item in the bag. “That will be $65.47 please.” The freshman pulled out his wallet and paid with $80 in twenty dollar bills. The cashier made change and as she handed it to the freshman he dropped all of his coins across the floor. I helped him gather the coins and he shoved a few in his pocket while leaving the rest in a hurry to get out of the embarrassing situation.

The desperate man was pacing in a light jacket that probably was too thin for the thirty degree weather outside. He had big glasses and a big lower jaw with teeth that looked smaller than they should. An adjustable net hat advertising a check cashing company was hanging on his forehead, mocking his desperation. The phone rang and the cashier nodded as she talked with the voice on the other side. “I’m sorry sir. We aren’t allowed to cash those checks. I’m really sorry.” Her face said she was telling the truth.

I picked up a few of the coins that the freshman had left in his mad rush and I placed them on the counter. Seven cents in all. The cashier smiled. We exchanged pleasantries; “Hi how are you?, I’m fine how are you?. Doing good..” So on and so forth. I asked her how much the check had been, he looked desperate and I can’t stand to see someone suffer even if they are responsible. She had the same thought, “Fifty dollars. It was breaking my heart but I can do it.”

“I don’t blame you. These days who can you trust?”

With my transaction finished, I moved to the parking lot. The freshman had parked directly behind me and was loading his dorm room grocery supplies into his very modest Mercedes two-seater convertible. He seemed nice and even offered to return my shopping cart for me which I allowed him to do. Fair trade for picking up coins.

I sat in my car and thought for a second about the two men and the cards they had been dealt. What would a bad day look like for each? What would a good day look like for each? What could I do to give more people good days? I had a passion to help but I had a reservation. I worried about why he needed money, would he try to rob me for more money, or did I even have spare money to give. All important questions.

Then it hit me. The irony of it all. A young college student with cash for dorm food, nice clothes and a groomed look, driving a new sports car and he had little idea of the order of things and the reality of life. He could barely manage his shopping cart. The desperate man was living on handouts and scraps, his car was likely junk if he had one, and he knew enough about life to know that things were stacked against him. Still he was polite and moved along with a continued hope that somewhere, someone would cash his check.

I wondered what he wanted to buy so badly at 11:00pm. Who knows. Not my business.

Life ain’t fair. Then again maybe it is because it picks people at random for tragedy and hard times. Regardless of money or “who my daddy is”. For once today I found myself to be happy to be average. I have less than I want but more than I need.

If you have opportunities because others helped support your dreams, this post is for you. You’re welcome. It doesn’t cheapen our success but we need to remember that some people don’t get that hand-up. That doesnt make them unimportant, lazy, or stupid. It just makes them unlucky.

-Underdaddy to the rescue


The Tell Tale Cart

I was thinking about a recent trip to Walmart and how parts of it reminded me of a story we had to read in 9th grade English.

This is the story of the Tell Tale Cart.

Intro Scene: (Dusk. The orange glow of a setting sun is rapidly disappearing behind a dark line of trees on the horizon. Like a dying coal it fades to grey. Lights across a shopping center parking lot are rapidly coming to life to greet the approaching night. There is a buzz from the lighting and the sound of a lone car quietly moving across the asphalt. The camera follows the van and zooms in to our hero.)

The ultra-luxurious minivan pulls into an empty parking space at Walmart. Underdaddy bounds confidently out of the driver’s side. He moves with the finesse of a Jaguar around the opening and closing of the car door. To the untrained eye, he would appear like a phantom sweeping out of the car while the door flapped like a delicate metal wing. He barely looks back as he holds up the key fob remote and points back to the van while pressing the lock button. A seasoned veteran. He presses twice so the van honks. This alerts would-be burglars and lets them know that a super security system is in place and is ready to valiantly protect the collection of empty water bottles, half consumed sodas, and what might have been a hotdog or a petrified tree. Precious cargo that is guaranteed to be safe.

Underdaddy strides towards the automatic sliding doors with a cool confidence that is somewhat unexpected from a thirty-something balding man with a Pac-Man t-shirt and cargo shorts. In the fire lane, a woman is loading the last bag of groceries into a large SUV that has been strategically hovering near the front door and blocking traffic. Our hero has an eye for citizens in need so he slows down to assist the damsel in distress.

Underdaddy: Excuse me kind citizen, I noticed you are finished with that grocery cart. Might I be of service and return it to the store?

Damsel: Are you sure? (She seems to hesitate)

Underdaddy (Feeling like the Shopping Cart Savior): Verily I say to you, this is not a problem. I need a cart for shopping and you need to allow the SUV to leave the fire lane so we aren’t all burned alive inside this fire-resistant metal and concrete building.

Damsel: (Obviously in awe of such selfless bravery) You are my hero! Take this cart. Shop… so that others may live!

(Okay… so that is a little dramatic but I did offer to take someone’s cart on the way into the store which should win a civil service award or something. Back to the story.)

The fair damsel exits in the Escalade and Underdaddy continues into the store with the rescued shopping cart. He is walking proudly (nose up, chest out) and enjoying an adrenaline high from such a noble deed. Who says chivalry is dead? He barely notices a slight tick of a damaged wheel that is tapping softly but regularly on the vinyl tile flooring. The thump is nothing to be concerned about. A petty complaint that is only noticed by lesser men. Underdaddy is a local hero and willing to sacrifice through an imperfect cart.

He makes his way to the feminine hygiene section to grab a spare pack of tampons. No one needs tampons yet but with four small girls he knows that stockpiling feminine products is a strategic investment. Add in a few new toothbrushes to replace the three that magically “fell” in the toilet on top of turds that someone “forgot” to flush. The wobbly cart continues to thump and the small dental products bounce playfully around the cart with each slap of the wheel. Underdaddy nears the edge of the tampons and notices a fellow male browsing in the “personal” products shelf and holding a box that appears to be water based lubricant. Momentary jealousy gives way to a deep understanding as he realizes the box is actually an Early Detection Pregnancy Test. A four pack. That poor bastard. The men exchange a somber nod and Underdaddy continues past. The soon-to-be-exiled man makes a casual comment, “They need to fix those lumpy wheels huh?”

Underdaddy smiles and, as he quips “They won’t waste money on that…”, he considers the rhythmic thumping for the first time. It is a definite rapping of a flat place worn into the rubber wheel. The vibration is making his hand tingle so he tries to vary the speed of the cart to make the thump less noticeable. Slower gives a harder *thunk*….*thunk*….*thunk* and faster makes the cart feel like it is rolling over a continuous washboard pattern, *thunk*thunk*thunk*thunk*. He considers if the wheel could be fixed by jamming some chewing gum onto the flat spot of the wheel.

The situation makes him think of the Buddhist concept of duhka (doo-kah) which is represented as a wheel out of round and a life out of balance. He continues through the aisles trying to be at peace with the noisy wheel and happy for the reminder that life needs balance. He doesn’t want to end up like a lumpy wheel. He picks out some energy efficient lights that are most certainly the wrong size, brightness, or shape then continues to the pet food area, stopping only once to browse the bargain movie bin. He thinks to himself, “Why did they produce so many generic animated movies?” and “Why is half of this bin the exact same movie?” He decides that any place of business that allows lumpy carts probably isn’t very concerned with the contents of the discount movie bin.

After the fifty pound bag of dog food is in the cart, the thumping seems to grow louder. The additional weight should help keep the bounce of the wheel to a minimum but instead it just made the sound stronger. Lifting upward on the right corner of the basket while pushing seems to help but only momentarily. Holding a fifty pound cart on two wheels is energy intensive and by the start of the grocery section the hero has grown tired. He settles for a dull pounding sound as he enters the dairy section.

More groceries are added. More weight. Louder thumping. Banging in fact. Other shoppers watch from the corner of their eyes and Underdaddy can feel their glares. They are quietly wondering who would pick such an annoying cart and then walk around the store annoying others. The slamming wheel is threatening to chip the floor tile and the car is bouncing up and down like a hotrod with hydraulics. A couple of pin stripes down the side and some flames and who would know the difference?

The pounding is getting ridiculous. Underdaddy stops to examine the wheel. Did it lose more material on the trip through the store? Is the wheel made from a package of square wooden coasters? Is the cart slamming on the floor hard enough to crack the welded frame?

Everything appears normal so the brave hero presses forward. He can see the underutilized row of registers at the front of the store. Another hundred yards and he will be able to pay for the groceries and household products and return the God-awful, brick-wheeled piece-of-shit cart to the cart return. He tries to smile through the searing wrist pain and blurred vision that is growing worse with each body slam of the products. The leisurely stroll has become an attempt to walk a raging jack hammer. He no longer cares if the eggs remain unbroken or the bananas unbruised. The thumping of the cart stabs his brain with every smack of the wheel.

The seed of a thought planted by some asshole with a pregnancy test has grown into a thorny thicket of mental anguish. Underdaddy struggles to remain brave but all he can hear… or see… or feel… is the cart!


Time slows down and he can feel the wheel rotating in space. The next one is approaching.


Just like a Jack-In-The-Box or an unpopped can of biscuits, he knows the moment is coming but it still startles him.


No human should have to endure this pain, this lower middle-class water boarding torture. How much can one DAMN wheel cost? Surely not enough to affect the executive jet service of the stockholders of Walmart! Enough is enough. If it happens one…. More…. Time….


Underdaddy stops in the middle of the aisle a mere thirty feet from an empty check-out line. Rage bubbles out of his eyes in the form of a cold dead stare at the offending wheel. He snaps into action and flings the cart into the air with a guttural growl. Groceries scatter. Metal clangs. Children scream.

The thumping wheel has become a throbbing vein attached to the forehead of a screaming madman. He runs to the checkout line and grabs a package of grill lighters and dashes off into the clothing section setting fire to the socks and women’s underwear. He swats at the racks of oversized night shirts and shoulder tackles a display of discount canned chili (with beans). He doesn’t notice the crackle of the intercom.

Security (via Intercom): Walmart would like to remind our shoppers that involuntary fits of rage are prohibited for your safety and ours. As always, thank you for shopping at Walmart.

The rampage continues. After a near 100% loss of slicing tomatoes in the Produce Section, the fallen hero returns to the upturned cart to finish what he started. He jumps on the side of the cart and bounces repeated to crumple the basket. Red faced and with tattered clothes, he is still cursing a lumpy and misshapen hunk of metal when the police arrive and place him in custody. The officers of the law drag the wide eyed attacker out of the front door and past an illegally parked Escalade. The same Escalade from earlier. Underdaddy returns to reality momentarily when he recognizes the same woman who gave him the cursed cart. She has returned to the store for the same reason everyone does, she forgot something. She recognizes Underdaddy from earlier and has the gall to mention as he slides past, “Sorry about that cart…that wheel was just awful”

He flails wildly and screams into the now darkened skies, “You evil bitch! You knew about the cart this whole time!” The betrayal is more than the broken man can bear. His body goes limp as his mind is defeated. The police roll him into the back of a squad car and slam the door shut.

As he lays against the faux leather and smells what seems to be sadness and urine he realizes a small victory. At least he is away from that terrible cart and the constant *thump*. He smiles and closes his eyes as the car pulls away. The tires roll evenly on the asphalt and the car drives off into the distance.

Never question the power of the Tell Tale Cart.

If you have ever been driven to the edge of insanity by a shopping cart with a thumpy wheel, this post is for you. I have the urge to smash them beyond use to protect the next person who might use it. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

The Pink Pill – Lady Libido

It think it is pretty safe to say that on average men tend to have a higher desire for physical intimacy than women. It isn’t a hard and fast rule (see what I did there?) but, stereotypes and the drug industry both imply that sex is more important to men than women, on an everyday basis. Brace yourselves. There is a company out there working to change the dynamic.

Sprout Pharmaceuticals has a “pink pill” that is being touted as a potential solution to “low mental libido” in women. Feel free to read the article. Let it soak in for a second and then we can discuss.

While I think that women are entitled to improving their situation I do want to point out a few ways to look at this. On a case by case basis, this drug could be a God-send. Let’s assume this drug is 100% safe and 100% effective. It becomes accepted worldwide as the next best thing and maybe even becomes an Over-The-Counter drug like aspirin. It could be sold in a combo-pack with KY-Jelly and totally revitalize research into synthetic lubricants and second degree burn treatments. Marriages would be more complete and passionate than any time in history.

But I’m not concerned as much with the positive effects. The negatives might prove to be much more world-altering.

What if she WANTED the apple? *Mind Blown*

What if she WANTED the apple? *Mind Blown*

Imagine a world where everyone has the desire levels of men. All progress would cease. People would drop all pretense of civilized life and commence with an orgy in the streets. Clothing sales would plummet. Shanty towns would erupt in warm climates and cities in cold areas would become ghost towns.

Libido-Deserted World

Social structure would change completely as thousands of unsuspecting men would fall victim to date rape drugs and would be lied to just to get them into the bedroom. The roadways would be full of aggressive drivers speeding to their next conquest. The grocery store would look like a scene from Dance Moms. Dancing would be redefined as standing still because all normal standing would involve rhythmic humping motions. There may be a spinoff show called “Standing Still Moms” except they wouldn’t exist anymore. Woodstock would look like a Baptist church revival next to the horny madness of a libido driven world. The effect on birthrate is unknown. If the “pink death pill” interferes with birth control then a population explosion of viral proportions would drive the world to hunger and poverty leading to the downfall of man.

Does anyone remember in elementary school when you played the game “Opposite Day”? Welcome to Opposite World.

Sprout Pharmaceutical will rise to world dominance with a product as widespread as lipstick but with addiction levels near that of Crack or Heroine. If they hold a patent on the secret formula they could challenge OPEC or Walmart or the Illuminati.



History will be re-written. The lid will be off Pandora’s Box and out will pour “Spanish Fly”. Is it irony that the End of Days is heralded by the four horsemen and the top condom sales company is Trojan? Trojan is also associated with the “Trojan Horse”; it appeared to be a gift but was a way to bring down enemies from the inside. A Greek story. A society known for promiscuity and high libido. History repeats itself again? My pseudo-science and loose reasoning points to the definite answer of “maybe”.

I got out of hand a little.

I got out of hand a little.

Now let’s consider reality. The FDA will evaluate and find out that it can’t be approved. This super pill is a false hope just like red wine, backrubs, and Fifty Shades of Grey. Lies that all seem to be working until they give her a headache or make her sleepy. I don’t think such an aphrodisiac exists and if someone says “when men help with housework” I’m going to set an animal shelter on fire. That is BS and you know it.

So if you are into crazy conspiracy theories or stream of consciousness writing, this post is for you. I don’t think it has much to do with parenting but I’m tired of parenting today. The kids are all distracted by technology and junk food at the moment so I apologize for drifting. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Walmart for Dummies

Just like going to Wal-Mart parts of this post may be visually shocking. This is the start of an Etiquette Guide and the flow for the reader should be arriving, shopping, checking out, leaving. Please enjoy and if you have something that you think I missed, comment at the end and I will consider it for the final draft.

Parking Lot: This seems like the right place to start. Why on God’s green earth do people camp out for the closest spots in the two rows directly in front of the doors. Your blinker doesn’t make this situation okay. We are not teaching proper geometry in public schools. How ironic is it that we waste so much energy for a closer space only to walk into a gigantic store that we will lap three times because we can’t organize a shopping list. Some people shop like a drunken bumble bee just bouncing around the pretty flowers. I do this sometimes but I also don’t worry about parking close. Just park beside a cart return because that is the real pain, putting up your cart.

When entering or exiting the store, use some urgency. No need to run across the pedestrian crossing zone but also don’t cross at a diagonal taking the 100% longest route known to man. Walking to your car should be done on one side or the other so vehicles can pass and life can move on without you. Oh and regarding angled spaces and large white arrows, if you can’t figure out the correct direction to drive and then you look at me like I’m crazy I may fire a missile in your general direction. Wal-Mart is the only logical argument for gun control. There may actually be others but definitely Wal-Mart is at the top.
Large Family Carts: Until you can maintain a steady supply of the deluxe family carts I will henceforth have two children stuffed into one regular cart and two others circling wildly with no regard for anything but staring at the magical commerce all around them. They don’t pay attention and may grab random customers hands and call them dad on accident, they really don’t pay attention. The large carts have three seats with belts so I can strap everyone down in one location. I can never find these carts and it is someone else’s loss. Also an issue under carts; thumping wheels, broken seat belts, and thank you for putting sanitary wipes at the entrance. The wipes almost make up for the stamped concrete that helps hide the busted wheel thump until you are too committed to turn back and get a different cart. Almost.

Solicitors at the Front Door: This isn’t the tourist district in Mexico. I don’t need people hawking their causes each time I go in and out which sometimes is twice a day. Girl Scout cookies are an addiction of mine but they need to be hitting the streets and working for those sales. Catching hungry shoppers and making them feel guilty for cute little kids selling cookies is criminal. The cookies sell themselves, just give me a membership signup sheet for the website and coordinate the monthly deliveries. I totally care about veterans, feeding the needy, toys for Botswana, and the hundred other charities that put me on the spot for donations but I like to see where my efforts are going and there is no onus on Wal-Mart to make sure people are genuine organizations. I think the general rule is, “Don’t piss anyone off and we won’t call the cops.”

Dress Code: Should this even be a category? No. No it shouldn’t. There also shouldn’t be enough violations to start a website on the “People of Wal-Mart”.

No shoes, no shirt, no clue how to approach the bare ass shopper.

No shoes, no shirt, no clue how to approach the bare ass shopper.

Clothes sizes at Wal-Mart = Your Size Normally + 2 Sizes. Buy your stretchy pants based on this scale. Please in the name of all that is holy use the formula. If you have a Camel Toe on your outer butt cheek the pants are too tight.

Hoop earrings should be less that 75% of the diameter of your head and if your neck rolls support them more than your ear lobes…maybe you should reconsider the need for earrings. Have you considered cocaine or just not eating everything you see? I don’t want to spiral into a weight discussion because there are a lot of legitimate problems but, if you smash my toes with a battery powered Rascal scooter to get the large sleeve of Chips-A-Hoy cookies because, at 34, your self-induced diabetes has left your knees useless…. Priorities people, priorities.

Side note to Wal-Mart; Plug those damn scooters in the charger once in a while. I have witnessed up to three abandoned electric scooters scattered about the store with their low battery warning alarms blaring away. I know you hear them. Maybe you are too busy reminding the unsupervised kids having a cart race that running is prohibited “for your safety and ours”. They are ignoring you like you ignore the beeping carts, it is synonymous.

Pets in Wal-Mart: I haven’t officially checked because blogs aren’t held to any kind of standards but I would hope the Wal-Mart policy on pets is Service Animals Only. One day after I started to compile this post I saw my first ever pet brought into Wal-Mart. Actually two pets in one night.

The first was a cute puppy with its little cute puppy breath, awwww. I think he was a seeing-eye dog in training. We can disregard the puppy because it was adorable.

The second pet was more interesting. We were near the photo department and a large lady driving an electric scooter was having a price match discussion with the lay-away service representative. She had a large peacock T-Shirt (the shirt was large not the peacock), blue velour pants sporting a mean Moose Knuckle (think camel toe but much worse), and Chuck Taylors with fluorescent laces. This ensemble itself is interesting enough for discussion. Why would your dress up the one part of your body you can’t see? This seems like a perfect scenario for slip on shoes.

Ladies and Gentlemen meet Moose Knuckle. This is not judgement, merely a definition.

Ladies and Gentlemen meet Moose Knuckle. This is not judgement, merely a definition.

Nearby were two members of her family tree that I assume were the branch and the twig. The younger of the three looked about 13 years old and was wearing a Tattoo parlor T-shirt with a homemade haircut that highlighted a look of despair.
In the basket of the electric scooter was a black and pink Hello Kitty handbag and beside that handbag was a 30lb cat in a purple and green tutu. The cat was wearing a Hello Kitty vest that matched the handbag. I smiled and told our baby to wave at the nice kitty but I was dying inside. Here was a cat that matched its owner from outfit to obesity and even had the same lazy eye. It was lying motionless on a custom pet pad just looking at the floor or the ceiling, maybe both.

Vertical bars make Fluffy look fat.

Vertical bars make Fluffy look fat.

Just… why? Is the cat a counterweight for the scooter? Does it like to pick out its own ice cream toppings? I have no idea.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, Wal-Mart.

Pharmacy: They suck at communication, filling prescriptions, checking messages from the doctors, typing names correctly, and stocking up on medicines that people regularly use. We all know these facts and still seem to be unable to change pharmacies due to “convenience”. They don’t even offer drive through service but still we don’t change. What is wrong with us? Let’s all agree to acknowledge this shameful loyalty with a forced smile and a shake of the head, no need to drag out a long conversation.

Shopping Cart Traffic: Treat the aisles like a two way street. Here in America you drive on the right hand side and cars pass on the left. Walking beside your cart and taking the entire aisle while you decide on the different brands of water packed tuna is a jerk move. If you come shopping on a Sunday afternoon around 4 or 5 o’clock don’t be in a hurry. Everyone has better places to be and getting all worked up isn’t going to help. How there hasn’t been a mass shooting at a Wal-Mart crowd on a Friday or Sunday night is beyond me. Besides getting cut off in traffic, an asshole on my tail in Wal-Mart is at the top of my hot button list. The best cart-rage is when two people never make eye contact but try to posture for place in the checkout line. A passive-aggressive showdown.

Kids in the Restroom: Another handy rule of thumb: If your kid goes pee-pee alone at school, maybe letting them go at the supermarket is okay too. I’m not keen on eight year olds going to the wrong restroom with a parent. It is creepy. Just don’t be that person. If you sincerely didn’t know, now you do. Don’t try to convince me of why you do it.

“But you don’t understand those bathroom are so dirty and..”
“Shhhhhhhhhh. I don’t care. Stop it. My kids lick the edge of counter tops that they get too close to. They don’t even know they are doing it. We have to let them go to live their lives and battle their own acquired diseases.”

Employees: I don’t know much about other states but in the South we have a gun department in Wal-Mart. A tip for upper management; if you have an early twenties male who looks like a loner and 3 out of 4 people might describe him as a serial killer, let’s not put him in the gun department. I asked a question about ammunition and he immediately wanted to talk about long range rifles and “large game” knockdown rounds. I felt like he might be describing hunting people so I complimented his haircut and left immediately. As I recall he did look like Lee Harvey Oswald. Hmm.

See anything you like? Make a bid baby.

See anything you like? Make a bid baby. I dont know what the Ebay description meant by “package deal”.

Clearance Sale: If you are trying to move inventory that sucks, clearance pricing might be an effective way to do that. However, knocking five percent off of AC/AD Live Guitar Hero which also dominates the sale bin in electronics is not a “Clearance” price. Clearance means we don’t want this crap and if you sold it for scrap you might make your money back. We’re talking 60% off before you should bring out the “C” word. And don’t give me a previous price that we both know to be a total lie. No one ever paid $59.99 for AC/DC Live Guitar Hero.

Car lots give thousands off MSRP, when are things ever sold at MSRP? At Target. Which is why I still go to Wal-Mart. Anyone who argues which is cheaper needs to check quantities; Poptarts are the same price at both places but at WalMart the box has 16 and at Target it has 12. Hmmm. It is the Family Dollar concept in reverse, make a cleaner store with similar prices and sell them less of it. Genius.

Great Value Brand: When will this generic rewards program extend to things like TV’s and Computers? I would buy a Great Value Blueray player. Think about it, it would be a Sony with a different box. Win.

Checkout Line: When did shopping carts become the same as cars in traffic? Probably from the moment they were put into use. The fear of a lengthy checkout makes people crazy. Society is pretty clear that if you are participating in a line of any kind, cutzies isn’t okay. The other side of that coin is that you won’t lose your place in line if you allow more than six inches between the front of your cart and the shopper in front of you. I actually got bumped in the ankle by someone crowding my bumper in the Wal-Mart checkout line. I admit I lost my cool on the poor man for a minute and said some mean things but deep down I feel there is zero need to ever be that close. When did we stop teaching personal space? A good rule of thumb is one invisible human between your cart and any nearby people. And while we are at it, calm down with the loading the conveyor and moving up on the credit card machine too quickly. If I want to load my cart to help the checker I shouldn’t have to ask you to move back so I can complete my payment. You have a brain. Use it and plan ahead.

All of this mayhem could be avoided by actually staffing at least half of the thirty two cash registers spanning the entire front of the store. You don’t pay fair wages anyway so it can’t be a big loss to have a few extra on the clock.

Who Are These Kids: Also along the personal space line of thinking. Watch your damn kids. It isn’t cute when a snotty petri-dish of a kid with a hacking cough wants to play with any of my children. Don’t touch my kids because I don’t know where you have been and you don’t know where my kids have been. Eating things they find stuffed in seat cushions, that’s where. Do you want to get slobbery kisses or germs from that? I don’t. So let’s keep our wandering free spirits out of the [nice man in front of us]’s ass. Toddling two year olds are cute and forgivable but a six year old who face plants in my butt crack is not.

Forgot an Item: Sending your kid to run and switch out an item while we all wait is going to give us all a stroke. We spent a lot of mental energy looking at line lengths and deciding which on seemed to be moving the fastest and you screwed the whole thing. Forgetting that you needed a 24oz. ketchup instead of the 18oz. is not anyone’s problem but your own. Back of the line. This is almost worse than holding up the bank line because you didn’t want to fill out a deposit slip like the rest of humanity. Almost as bad.

Creepy Social Media: Dear Wal-Mart coordinator of technology, it is creepy enough that you know when I shop and email me within thirty minutes. Please stop suggesting literally every item that I just bought. If I needed two I would have purchased both of them. Suggest something useful like if I buy diapers and baby food, maybe remind me about condoms and Tylenol. I’m just saying.

Security Procedures: What does the rent-a-cop patrol really do besides tell me to move out of the fire lane because I can’t park there. He knows my car is running and still in gear because I let off the brake every few seconds and inch up so he has to do the same to continue talking to me. By the time he is fed up with my game my wife is usually done grabbing whatever small item she needs and we move on. The rent-a-cop dwells on my subversion of his authority and takes out his rage on other violators of the parking codes. Maybe security should work to make the parking area more secure so people like my mother aren’t robbed at knife point. True story. Maybe share the security footage with law enforcement so it doesn’t happen ten times that week. Just some thoughts.

Discount Gas Station: Wal-Mart lowers the price on everything and gas is no exception. The savings are 5 cents per gallon at the most. Most of you are spending $20 to 30 dollars which is 7 to 10 gallons of gas. Congratulations, your road rage and thirty minute wait has saved a grand total of $0.50. That was worth it huh? Now move so I can fill my car up. I need that fifty cents and no I don’t want the fuel enhancer for $7.99.

Follow these rules and you can avoid being a jerk like me. You’re welcome.

Underdaddy to the rescue.