Annapalooza

Hot Times in Palm Springs June 21, 2013

It’s the first day of summer! That means vacation time! In honor of this special day, I would like to share one of my most memorable summer vacation stories.

 

The time: Summer, circa 2003

 

The place: Palm Springs

 

The vibe: Hotter than shit

 

The participants: Me and my kick-ass mom

 

The (approximate) conversation, as we are checking into the “bungalow” at our hotel:

 

Mom: Oh, how quaint. We’re in the “Lana Turner” suite!

 

Me: Yeah, this place supposedly has a lot of Old Hollywood history.

 

Mom: Hmmm. That’s kind of odd. There’s a framed photo of Edward Scissorhands  on the wall.

 

Me: Great. That should lull me into some sweet nightmares tonight.

 

Mom: There’s also a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker.

 

Me: And Princess Diana.

 

Mom: (now in the bathroom) And here’s a male ballet dancer.

 

Me: Interesting choice of photography for a hotel room.

 

Mom and Me: Hmmm.

 

We then go about our business of sunbathing, eating, shopping and generally sweating for the next few days until we check out.

 

Mom: Oh. My. God.

 

Me: What?

 

Mom: Look at that sign. Didn’t we see that when we checked in? (Sign: Home of Palm Springs’ first gay and lesbian condo community.)

 

Me: Apparently not. So that explains the pictures in our room.

 

Mom: How?

 

Me: Those are all gay icons. The gays love their SJP.

 

Mom: So this entire week the staff here probably thought that I was your older lesbian lover?

 

Me: I’m afraid so, Mom.

 

Mom: Now THAT is funny.

 

Once Bitten: The Tale of My Sadistic Orthodontist April 26, 2013

When I was younger I had some pretty jacked-up teeth. I wasn’t quite worthy of The Big Book of British Smiles (featured on The Simpsons), but things were bad enough that I definitely needed braces.

 

Enter my orthodontist, who basically had a monopoly on the entire snaggle-toothed population in the immediate area. The only other orthodontist available was some guy who was fighting tax evasion charges, so I guess the safer bet was to go with the guy who’d be able to finish the job. The last thing I wanted was for the IRS to storm in and shut the joint down while I’ve still got wires sticking out of my mouth.

 

This was all very unfortunate because my orthodontist’s office was nothing more than a money-making house of horrors.

 

Let’s discuss.

 

For starters, back in my day there was no such thing as “comfort” at the orthodontist. Asking for comfort at the orthodontist was like asking for a chaser with your Saganaki; it simply was not done. (Because we all know that nobody in their right mind would ever mask the glorious taste which is flaming Greek cheese. Period.)

 

This is a stark contrast to the orthodontist offices of today. I started realizing this when I brought my stepdaughter in for one of her very first visits.

 

It all started when the super friendly lady-helper cheerfully asked my stepdaughter what flavor she wanted for the mold/model of her mouth.

 

“Whoa whoa whoa,” I said. “You mean to tell me you people have flavors now?”

 

“Oh yes!” she cheerfully tells me. “We can do mint or strawberry or even bubble gum!”

 

I sighed and shook my head. Unreal. I only had one flavor for my mouth mold, and that flavor was CEMENT.

 

Next up, the ambience. My stepdaughter’s ortho office had cool retro album covers on the walls and pictures or puzzles you could stare at on the ceiling while you were reclined and getting your braces tightened. Plus they played a rock station. My ortho office featured easy-listening and absolutely no cool artwork of any kind, unless you count all the threatening pictures of kids’ messed-up mouths. These were meant as warnings to us if we didn’t wear our headgear or forgot to floss. It kind of gave a whole new meaning to Scared Straight.

 

And then there is the orthodontist swag. So apparently nowadays if you do what you’re told (avoid taffy, skillfully pick the food out of your braces, etc.) you get cool prizes like certificates for pizza. My “prize” was a crummy white tee shirt with an illustrated stick-figure brace-face girl. It said something like “Brace Yourself!” on it in big letters. Something I’d wear along with my headgear if my name was Joan Cusack and I was headed to the dance with Samantha Baker and Long Duck Dong.

 

And let’s talk about technology. My stepdaughter’s extremely personable orthodontist took the time to show this super high-tech mini movie about how her teeth would get fixed and put into their proper place. It was freaking amazing. I had to stop myself from asking him to “Play it again!” Needless to say, my doctor never showed me anything on the office Apple IIe except for maybe the outstanding balance on my hefty bill.

 

But I was tough back in the 80’s; I could handle all these inconveniences, and I never really mentioned them. But one thing I regularly complained about was the sheer PAIN.

 

Apparently my doctor subscribed to the crank methodology of orthodontics. He could barely contain his pleasure as he cranked and pulled and yanked on my teeth as hard as he possibly could. I never found out what was behind that one locked door, but my guess was it was a gym so that Doc could stay in fine prison shape and beat on all those mouths.

 

To add insult to injury, my orthodontist didn’t even fix my teeth right. Sure I look great compared to those cleft palate kids in the back of magazines. But then look a little closer and you’ll see that my bottom teeth all overlap each other. And it sure as hell wasn’t because I didn’t wear my retainer afterwards – I wore that thing religiously. (And don’t get me started on Retainers Now vs. Retainers Then. As you can tell, technology really pisses me off sometimes, especially when I see how easy it makes life for others while I had to suffer.)

 

Apparently my overbite was not fixed properly, so when I bite down, my front teeth cover my bottom teeth. They bump into each other, and my lower teeth get all moved around. So all that money and time and pain and my mouth is still messed up.

 

But at least…at least…I have this brief shining moment of revenge.

 

At one particular appointment, my orthodontist kept asking me to bite down on this piece of plastic he kept shoving into my mouth. This went on for quite a while. Insert, bite down. Insert, bite down. After a while it became rather rhythmic, and he didn’t even have to tell me to bite down. I just did. And then, instead of inserting the long orange plastic thing, he inserted his finger. And I bit down. Boy did I bite down.

 

While it’s true it was an accident, I felt pure joy. The rest of the patients around me heard the demonic doctor cry out in pain, and they all looked at me in a mixture of awe, gratefulness and worship. I was like that brave orphan who had stomped on Ms. Hannigan’s foot. If they hadn’t been strapped down, they probably would have started to clap. But then again that would have been pretty risky; come time for their own brace tightening, our sadistic doctor could easily go into full throttle crank mode, much like the life-sucking device used on Westley in The Princess Bride.

 

No, we would have to take this small victory for what it was: a small step for the young tortured mangled-mouth souls, who would soon lead the way toward a more peaceful, kinder orthodontic experience.

 

You’re welcome, kids.

 

 

 

Shameless Secrets from my Phone’s Text Log April 12, 2013

Filed under: Humor,Pop Culture — aniederkorn @ 1:32 pm
Tags: , , ,

Now that I have a fancy schmancy phone and two teenage stepkids, I have been forced to text. This was not an easy transition for me, much like when Steve Carrell left The Office, or when skinny jeans came into style.

Thankfully I have not turned into one of those people who hold marathon conversations over texting, because that is just asinine. If I wanted to talk to you for that long I’d just call you or show up unexpectedly at your front door when your house is a mess. Come to think of it, I’m not much into long conversations at all, unless I’m bitching about something, or you’re telling me the secret recipe for skinny thighs. Comfortable silence can be a good thing, people. And sometimes I’m reading my Us Weekly and just want to be left the hell alone. I can’t drink my  Trader Joe’s Lambrusco, kick everyone’s ass at Wheel of Fortune, read stupid crap on Yahoo! News and text you all at the same time. Something’s gotta give, and it’s not going to be my penchant for cheap wine.

Texting is just a lot of work for me, probably because I use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation for ALL my texts. And it’s a lot harder to get to that exclamation point and comma when they are on a totally different screen, damnit. Plus I am not  up on all the texting abbreviations out there. I feel like a schmuck if I even utter an “LOL”. But even though my texts are grammatically perfect and spell-checked, this doesn’t exactly make them remotely “classy”, if you will.

No, most of my texts involve my stepkids’ comings and goings and who is picking them up and where the hell they are, and what are they doing. But lest you think that my texting life is boring, I invite you to read some of these gems.  They basically come in three fun-size categories: Random, Disappointing and Strange/Shameless.

(Author’s Note: All texting parties will be referred to as “texter”. You never know when one of these people is going to run for office someday.)

Favorite Random Texts I’ve Received

Texter: Hey I got my period.

Texter: Remind me to tell you about going to the lesbo bar for a meat raffle.

Texter: Potty training loads of fun. He brought me a poop more than once. Put it in my hands!! Good times!!!!!

Texter (gay male friend in his 30’s): Just left One Direction World in Times Square.

Me: Who’s you’re favorite? (Author’s note: damn that punctuation is a bitch.)

Texter: Harry.

Me: Well OF COURSE he is!

Texts That Have Disappointed Me:

Me: Frankenweenie tonight?

Texter: I’m going over to Taylor’s.

Me: Ok

(Author’s Note: Frankenweenie rocked, by the way.)

Texter: I have musical practice till 5 and yes I would like to go to the basketball game.

Me: Why r u texting during school? (Author’s note: This is about as fancy as I get with abbreviations. Why yes I DID use the shortened versions of ‘are’ and ‘you’.)

Texter: It’s free time

Me: Sounds fishy.

Texter: (No response).

Texter: Hey I left my basketball shoes at ur house…can you bring them to the middle school during ur lunch brake?

Me: No but I can bring them during my lunch BREAK. (Author’s note: I warned you I was anal.)

Me: Wow what a fantastic concert! Very impressive!

Texter: (No response.)

Me: Please text when you get to P’s.

Texter: (No response.)

Me: Did u take my bike?

Texter: (No response.)

Me: Please shovel when you get home.

Texter: (No response.)

(Author’s note: One guess on how THAT all turned out.)

Me: Please have your friend Lindsey remove that pic of u on Facebook. Not really appropriate. Thanks.

Texter: (No response.)

Me: Did you take my $10 from living room?

Texter: (No response.)

(Author’s Note: Sigh.)

Strange (and Shameless) Random Texts I’ve Sent

Me: We are watching The Middle. Jealous much?

Me: I put some female supplies on your desk.

Me: My mom’s ringtone for me should be “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. DUH.

And Finally…

Me: Ungawa girl powra! (Author’s note: Understanding this one requires a fine appreciation for Jock Jams Volume 2, circa 1998.)

 

Worst. Gyno. Visit. Ever. February 26, 2013

Glad I got your attention, ladies. And for you men who dared to read further, congratulations. Glad you could join us. We’re going to be talking about lady bits.

So I’ve been a little stuck lately in the writing department. My novel and article writing are going great, but nothing was inspiring me for this blog (i.e. nothing that I could make fun of or complain about).

But then I visited the gynecologist today, and just like that my problem was solved.

Let me begin by saying that I have had several horrible gyno visits in my lifetime, so it shouldn’t surprise me that this one was terrible as well. But usually the bad part only happens when my feet are in the stirrups. This time the frustration started right when I walked in the door.

I was at a new office, and I knew I had to visit Suite 2030. I headed to the elevator, thinking that it was on the second floor. I stepped into the elevator slightly, looking over at the buttons to see if there was a directory. But then before I could figure anything out, some old lady who works in “hospitality” comes up behind me, flat out PUSHES me into the elevator and says, “PLEASE STEP INSIDE.”

Now I can see if you are escorting a bleeding body on a gurney, you’d want me to get the hell out of the way. However, as far as I could tell this lady was only going to the lower level to get herself a bowl of Metamucil from the cafeteria. I understand the importance of fiber, but this was ridiculous.

I exchanged a look with another lady in the elevator.

My look clearly conveyed, “Oh no she di’int…”

Her look conveyed something like, “Oh, what a crazy, spunky old lady! Isn’t she fun?”

If this were Say Anything, she would have been the kind and caring Diane Court and I would have been the insensitive, ageist Lloyd Dobbler who tried to show Cocoon to all the senior citizens.

Clearly I was not as forgiving.

Old woman: Well it looks like we’re all going to the lower level.

Me: Actually I don’t know where I’m supposed to go.

Old woman: Well where are you trying to go?

Me: 2030.

Old woman: (cranky tone) 2030? What does that mean?”

Me: Suite 2030.

Old woman: (crankier tone) WHICH. DOCTOR.

Me: Dr. C- (name is hidden to protect the innocent)

Old woman: Oh well you didn’t need to get on the elevator! You need to go back to where you were. Just press one and it will take you back there.

She says this last part in a patronizing voice, and you can tell she truly believes that she has been the most helpful hospital employee that ever lived.

Me: Gee, thanks for that advice on how the elevator works. I never would have figured out how to get back to the first floor. And by the way, I never would have had to take this f*cking elevator ride in the first place if you hadn’t PUSHED ME IN before I even knew where I was going.

 

Okay, I really didn’t say that last part. But that’s how it happens in my fantasy.

So I find Suite 2030 and sit down. For 55 minutes.

This is not entirely bad because I have my lovely SmartPhone and I can clean up my gmail account which is overflowing with offers from all the flash sale websites I belong to. Let’s just say it’s gotten a little out of hand, but I refuse to unsubscribe from any of them because I may miss out on the greatest designer sale ever. But in the meantime it’s either a whole lot of “Save 50% on Photo-to-Canvas Prints”, or else I’m about a day too late and all the good stuff is already sold to people who don’t have day jobs.

Oh, and did I mention that I was having an ultrasound done? (No, I am not pregnant.)

An ultrasound requires one to have a full bladder.

Yes, I sat there for 55 minutes while having to pee.

So about 30 minutes in I decide to whine on Facebook. A friend suggests that I do Kegel exercises to help pass the time.

I want to tell her, “Honey, I am on the verge of peeing myself right now. Believe me, I am the definition of Kegel exercises right now.”

When I am finally called into the ultrasound room, I then I have to endure a large probe jutting into my abdomen. While I still have to pee.

I am then allowed to relieve myself, but then I have to go back for the vaginal ultrasound which is basically the longest and most uncomfortable photo shoot ever. Kind of like when Lindsey Lohan arrives to the photo studio hung over and two hours late and everyone has to scramble to make up time, and the photographer has a really hard time getting the right shot and some incompetent stylist assistant did not get the right goddamn jewelry from Cartier.

Except in my case there was a crazy-long hunt/probe/expedition for my left ovary who thought it would be funny to hide. I was not amused.

After this, more peeing and then another fun procedure. I won’t even get into the details of this, but it involved a catheter and then more exploratory action.

I finally get out of there nearly three hours later. To use a quote from the musical Chicago, “I’m really irritated, and I’m looking for a little sympathy.”

And that, my friends, is why I’m having this second glass of wine right now.

 

 

 

Here’s Why I Can Relate to Cypress Hill and The Fresh Prince February 8, 2013

I hear you, Cypress Hill.

I feel your pain, Fresh Prince.

Both of you knew people who just didn’t understand.

B-Real and Sen-Dog were frustrated because nobody could understand how they could just kill a man. Well I’ll tell you why: there was some rookie who busted into their house and tried to take their chrome.

And The Fresh Prince…we all know how that turned out. His parents just didn’t understand. I mean sometimes a kid just needs to impress the ladies with his parents’ Porsche, and how are you supposed to do that if you’re wearing Brady Bunch pants, a shirt with a butterfly collar and Zips for God’s sake?

Well, my hip hop brothers…I too have people in my life who just don’t understand.

Let’s start with my stepdaughter. Once a week I will see her scouring the internet, looking for a “current event” for one of her classes. After a few minutes she will excitedly tell me about the article she found. It’s usually something about an abandoned cat with 3 legs, one eye and severe halitosis who is adopted by autistic conjoined twins after he saves them from a fire caused by their faulty iPad. What she clearly does not understand is that although this may be a super groovy story to share with her classmates, it is not – and I repeat it is NOT – a “current event”.

Calling this a current event is like calling Brett Favre a “loyal Green Bay Packer”.

Calling this a current event is like calling Audrina Patridge a “real” actress.

Calling this a current event is like calling Honey Boo Boo’s mom a “proper Southern lady”.

Let’s see…the fact that an angry, revengeful ex-cop is on the loose killing people right now is a wee bit more noteworthy than the feel-good cat story. Before you choose that current event, kids, let’s do a little gut check, shall we? If you can’t picture it showing up as a clue on Jeopardy! someday, then it’s time to find another story.

Another person who doesn’t understand is the hand crème guy at the mall. Don’t let him fool you; the hand crème guy is basically the mall’s resident gypsy. The second you take that sample of hand crème, he will take your hand, give you a flower, tell your fortune, and then accuse you of making him fall and injure himself as his buddy lifts your wallet. This is all done in a confusing Romanian accent of course.

Clearly the hand crème guy does not understand that the average person (i.e. me, who was taking a half day vacation) does not have the time to stop and hear his spiel about this magical crème which supposedly contains ground-up diamonds, gold flecks and skin cell samples cultivated from Kristin Cavalleri. (Because we all know that bitch’s hands are impossibly smooth, having never seen an honest day’s work.)

Most of us need to get on our merry way so we can buy more threadbare sweaters from Forever 21, or so we can check out the raunchy cards and tee shirts at Hot Topic. Hand crème guy needs to take a lesson from Panda Express. Distribute the delectable sample and then move on. If it’s that great, we will come back for the chicken.

The last guy who just doesn’t understand is my company’s Kaizen Event Leader. Now don’t get me wrong. I think Kaizen events are very valuable and actually kind of cool. After all, you find a bunch of stupid, redundant tasks that people have been doing for years, and you show how pointless and wasteful it’s all been. You and your team are then heroes for finding all this waste and saving the company time and money. Not only does management love it, but the entire week you are in these meetings you are fed free soda and snacks. It’s pretty kush.

The only problem I have with this is the clothing requirement. No, I’m not talking about a special dress code. Rather I’m talking about my company’s requirement for each team member to order some article of clothing with the company’s name and logo on it along with the embroidered words “Kaizen Event Team Member”.

My feelings on company apparel are quite simple. They run along a scale ranging from “Oh hell no” on one end to “The only way I’m wearing any company clothing is the day I start working for Prada” on the other.

Of course, the shirt is the first order of business on Day One of the event.

“What kind of shirt do you want?” the Kaizen Event Team Leader asks me.

“Uh…do I really need to order one?” I ask.

“Yes.”

“I’d be saving the company money if I didn’t order one.”

A confused look, then silence.

“Well how about I think about it and let you know,” I say, hoping that he will just forget about it.

No such luck. The next day I am approached again. So I try to avoid a decision by using smart-ass humor.

“Okay, get me a tank top,” I say. “Wait, no…a tube top.”

Laughter, then silence. His pen is still poised to take my order.

I really didn’t want to do this, but he leaves me no choice. I am forced to take the direct approach.

“I don’t think you quite understand,” I begin. “I don’t want a shirt. I will not wear the shirt. Not for camping. Not for highway garbage pick-up. And not even if I attended the annual Kaizen-palooza (I’m sure that’s what it’s called) conference, which, by the way, is probably someplace like Vegas…and I need to look cute there. Now this is in no way a reflection on all you fine people or this event. However, the only winner here is going to be the ironic hipster who buys this shirt from the thrift store. Because that is where it’s going once I get it.”

“You can get a sweatshirt or polo or even a long-sleeved shirt…those long-sleeved ones are nice…”

Sh*t.

“Fine. Give me a red t-shirt.”

 

 

 

Is My Town Like Walnut Grove? January 9, 2013

One of my all-time favorite shows has got to be Little House on the Prairie. I loved watching the adventures of the Ingalls family. Pa was always so strong and wise; Ma was calm and reassuring; Mary was smart and pretty; and Laura was a feisty tomboy who eventually wins the heart of the hottest farmer in town. Karri was just sort of there, all messy and babbly, while dumping Ma’s clean laundry all over the dirt ground.

By the way, does anyone know what happened to Grace? She was a toddler and then she just kind of disappeared. She must have done something shameful…or maybe she was just too boring? Back then there was nothing like Real Housewives to show those people how to drum up some drama for their characters. Grace could have learned something from those ladies; then maybe she would have become a more prominent member of Walnut Grove society. Who knows, maybe that drug addiction story line would have gone to her instead of that Ingalls family wannabe, Albert.

But getting back to the show. I loved rooting for the Ingalls family. Would Pa’s crops be ruined, therefore forcing him to take a dangerous job out of town in order to support the family? What kind of nasty trick would Nellie Oleson pull this week? Would Laura then get her revenge on Nellie, and would Ma tell her to instead turn the other cheek? Personally I always liked it when Ma would suddenly go ballistic and give someone like Mrs. Oleson a good tongue lashing. Ah, those were sweet episodes.

And then there was the little white school house. Not only was it a school, but it was also a church, a town council meeting place and a roller rink on Saturday nights.

So it got me thinking: My town of Ripon has a very similar little white schoolhouse (where the first meetings of the Republican Party were held) ,plus we’re also a small Midwestern town. But do the similarities stop there? Just how much is Ripon like Walnut Grove?

I’m sure this would make a fascinating (and unnecessary) case study. For one thing, just how warmhearted is Ripon? Do neighbors help each other out like they do in Walnut Grove?  If some seedy stranger came to town, would we all meet at the Little White Schoolhouse to discuss how to drive him out of town so he’s never seen in another episode…er…Village Green concert? Would we make a special shoe for Olga with the short leg, or would we just sit back and watch her run funny? I for one believe we would do the right thing. How do I know this? Because just the other week I witnessed a very noble act among our townspeople.

The scene: a local watering hole. (What, you were expecting church?)

My friends and I notice that not only is the place pretty packed, but there is only one bartender. This guy is sweating like crazy to keep up, and we feel pretty bad for him. Yet there is nothing we can do, since we are mere thirsty townsfolk without bartending licenses.

But then…as fast as schoolchildren can help a pregnant Mrs. Wilder after she collapses from heat stroke in the fields…in walks a bartender from another bar. Sweet relief! A few minutes later it happens again. Another bartender that we recognize from another local bar comes in the door, rolls up her sleeves and starts taking drink orders like she owns the place. We were saved! If we were in an 80’s movie, someone would have started a slow clap.

I wasn’t sure how this happened, but I imagined it was some sort of universal bartending distress call. A giant mug of beer projected in the sky, perhaps? Whatever it was, this guy got the instant help he needed.  That’s not something you see every day, and it would probably be unheard of in larger cities.

Okay so maybe Mr. Ingalls wouldn’t have been too impressed, but I’ve got to believe that fun-loving Mr. Edwards would appreciate our spirit.

We are so like Walnut Grove.

 

 

This Year I Resolve to…Avoid Wal-Mart January 7, 2013

According to what the self-help gurus tell me, I’m supposed to make my New Year’s Resolutions public so that I am more accountable to them. No problem, I say. Not only will this help me keep my word, but it gives me the perfect opportunity to rant about one of my least favorite places: Wal-Mart.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about capitalism and all, and I don’t hate big corporations. My hating Wal-Mart has everything to do with it being nastier than a Chris Brown Twitter rampage. (Oh and p.s., I am also boycotting Chris Brown and Rhianna in 2013 because they both suck.)

Yes, I have more “noble” resolutions…like using reusable shopping bags. It’s better for the environment and all, but it’s mostly because the cabinet where I store all my plastic bags is looking like George Costanza’s wallet. I am one plastic bag and a swift breeze away from it exploding all over my house with the force of Colon Blow cereal. However I’ll be damned if any one of those bags will be from Satan’s vacation home, otherwise known as Wal-Mart.

Many, many times have I stormed out of Wal-Mart and declared, “Never again!” And it’s even worse when I’m tired and hungry, so technically going to Wal-Mart makes me spend more and eat more. Because the last time I went I had to go through the Culver’s drive-through just to calm myself down with some pot roast sandwich goodness. Then when I got home I had to bust open the glass on my emergency dessert.

But this time I am never going back. Here are my reasons why, in no particular order:

1)     The Parking Lot.

Trash is everywhere, and don’t even get me started on the garbage. I can barely navigate my car down the narrow aisles because apparently everyone went to the Marcia Brady Freak-Out School of Driving. And tell me, was it Plow King or Mr. Plow that Wal-Mart hired to do a sh*tty job plowing its parking lot?[1]

2)     The People in My Way. All the Time.

How much are oblivious, slow-walking people drawn to Wal-Mart? Like gay men are drawn to the One Direction pop-up store. Like sixty-five-year-old women are drawn to PT Cruisers. Like Japanese tourists drawn to the size zero rack at the outlet mall. Like old men are drawn to those little cans of sliced mushrooms at the off-brand grocery store. (Trust me. They are.)

3)     The Nasty Grocery Section.

I recently entered the grocery section to find a dark deli and several scattered buckets which were apparently catching raindrops from the ceiling. Or maybe they were there to collect my shame – I’m not sure. Unless you’ve got a hankering for “REAL tomato ketchup, Eddie?” I’d stay away from the perishables.

4)     The Lack of Customer Service.

Recently when I found my hands were full, I searched in vain for a shopping basket. I then asked a worker if there were any baskets around, and she said, “Apparently not, but you can leave your stuff here and go get one at the entrance.”

Deep breaths.

Okay this never would have happened at Target. First of all, the Target worker would have gotten a basket for me. Secondly, Target has strategically placed baskets around the store for your shopping convenience. You want to encourage more impulse purchases? Make it easier for people to carry that Sham-Wow and Ove Glove they found on that “As Seen on TV’ endcap.

5)     The Lack of Check-Outs.

There were three check-outs open, and all of them were full of people with totally loaded grocery carts. The rest of us suckers with only a few items had to deal with the self-checkouts. I’m not eighty and I know how to use a self-checkout, however that does not make it any less annoying. This “cost saving measure” will still think that I’m stealing something when it doesn’t recognize that I just placed a five-pound object in a bag, so someone will still have to come over and help me…which kind of defeats the whole purpose, no?

6)     The Customer Service Counter.

Good luck navigating your way to the counter; you’ll have to dodge about six carts piled high with returns and scratch and dent groceries. You’ll then have to deal with the “friendly” customer service person who wants you to go away. The last person I dealt with looked like “Faces of Meth” times 100. Forget about taking teenagers to prison for that show “Scared Straight” – just take them to Wal-Mart to see this lady and they will clean up their lives real fast. One look at her multiple long chin whiskers and they’ll be cracking open those GED study guides in no time.

 

Here’s to Wal-Mart-free shopping in 2013!!


[1] Bonus points if you caught that Simpsons reference.

 

 
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