It was half past 10 the day after Thanksgiving that I ventured out into the real world. By that time, many of the diehard Black Friday shoppers were either asleep in their cars or home, and there were no fist fights or wig snatching brawls in sight.
However, a quick trip to Walmart around 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for sour cream resulted in some interesting sightings — people camped out in the aisles in sports chairs surrounding large pods of things about to go on sale. The tension in the air was high and I leaned over once to get a glimpse of something in one such pod. An elderly woman with a hat stared me straight in the eyes and scooted her chair over closer to the stack so she could protect her claim.
I stepped back quickly because, quite frankly, she scared me. From the look in her eyes, there’s no telling what she would have done to protect her dibs on that $5 bath mat. It was, to her credit, made of memory foam and from what I could tell looked quite comfortable. Still, I knew my limits and I don’t think I could have taken her had it turned into a brawl. I smiled and kept walking. She didn’t smile back.
So it was with more than a little trepidation that I decided to go out the next day. Would there be more bath mat bullies waiting for me? Would a fight break out over the last Furby, or would someone get banged in the head by a flying television? No, no such drama. My decision to sleep in had spared me all of that. But there were still plenty of interesting people to be found.
Woman, holding up a sweater: “Do you think this would look cute on Karen?”
Woman: “Oh, I don’t know why I’m worried. She would look good wearing a garbage bag.”
Man: “Then why don’t we buy her a box of Hefty bags? Be a whole lot cheaper.”
Man to other man holding a purse: “Nice purse.”
Other man: “Thanks.”
Man: “You couldn’t pay me enough to hold my wife’s purse.”
Other man: “It’s not my wife’s. It’s mine.”
Man: “Oh ... well, then ... nice purse.”
Man: “Why do you need another pair of black pants? You have a pair already.”
Woman: “Because I’ve had those black pants for a long time and they’re about worn out and I’m tired of them.”
Man: “Well you’ve had me for a long time, too. Are you tired of me?“
Woman: “I’ll get back to you.”
Husband: “Are you ready to go yet? I am going to leave in five minutes whether you are finished or not.”
Wife: “Please don’t make me kill you before Christmas. I’ve already had the photo Christmas cards done.”
Mother to child: “If you don’t stop whining I am going to call Santa. I bet his elves are around here watching you.”
Mother, pointing to woman next in line: “You never know. She might be one of Santa’s elves.”
Woman next in line: Smiles
Child: “She’s not an elf. Elves brush their hair before they go out in public.”
Woman next in line: Stops smiling.
Mother: “Come on son, let’s get in another line.”
Bet that mama wishes she had something to crawl under. Like a table. Or even a memory foam bath mat which, for some reason, I can’t get off my mind. I wonder if they have any left?
Not for five dollars, I’m betting. Darn it. Maybe I could have taken her after all.
There’s always next year.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.