Now imagine if you will, having to go to the hospital. There isn't one in Wakulla County, so you head to the county to the north and get asked, "are you from down in the county". You see, apparently there is a look, an attitude, or maybe a smell that just shouts, "These people are from Wakulla County?" Which is o.k. because it keeps plenty of space around you in the E.R. waiting room. Will-kill-ya county after all, is legend.
Now although there is no hospital in Will-kill-ya County there is a Walmart. Which just irks the hell out of Jefferson county residents because they don't have a Walmart. But they do have cows and a prison. We often fear, considering the number of folk in this neck of the woods who still pine for the Confederacy, that civil war may break out between the counties over "Will-kill-ya" county's Walmart. But then it is not for no reason that they call "down in the county", Will-kill-ya County.
We still remember Walmarts opening day "Down in the county". Oh my goodness. There were bands, balloons, a parking lot jammed slap full of every known variation of a 4 wheel drive pick-up truck you can imagine, co-mingled with regular "cars" sporting the ever popular "primer color dent" motif with a smattering of Cadillacs and Lexus's for good measure. Of course there were motorcycles. But they were all parked on the sidewalk so we are not sure how to count them, or if they were for sale or not, seeing how they was all mixed in with the Garden Tractors.
It did not take long for Walmart to become the go to place for just about anything in, "down in the county". Why I even know guys that would wait until after the Friday and Saturday night Bar closings to do their grocery shopping because the WalMart "down in the county" had become the de-facto premier "hook up" spot. Of course the county being what it is, no matter the time of day or night, you always run the risk of running into a family member. So discretion, or at least "down in the county" style discretion (were talking about a place where people pee by the side of their pick up trucks during fourth of July fireworks so discretion in Wakulla County has it's own definition) is always advised. It can be embarrassing to bump into your wife at 3:00am both of you pushing empty carts dressed in your best jeans.
Not being born "down in the County" resulting in being forever labelled a foreigner, we must admit this is the ambiance we have come to admire and love. Where else can you here the words, "Diddy my bottle rocket set that man over yonders John Deere cap on fire. Did I do good?" or try to bum a cigarette from a girl who has her pack tucked into the open zipper of her Daisy Dukes only to learn she is 14? Jail Bait on the hoof. Yepper we are quite happy residing in our little drinking village with a fishing problem.
Except, EXCEPT, when you forget to never, ever, go to the "Will-Kill Ya County" Walmart on Sunday after Church has let out. Oh my God, and we mean that literally. There may only be one Walmart in the county but I think there are, oh about, 832 churches vying for the souls of every man, woman and child in the county. What use to pass for "dinner on the grounds" after the service has morphed into the "Crawfordville 500" where Methanol injection takes on a whole new meaning and wrecked pace cars rust silently on the side of the road as sinners and the saved alike race to see who without a handicap tag hanging from their mirror can grab the first and closest handicap parking space. This is the only time of the week you will see the Walmart greeters armed and in full body armor. And if you must, and I mean absolutely must, go.......... Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT take your wife with you.
And yes my friends, Silly me, forgot every last one of them rules. And though I have not had a drink in many a year, I am now sitting here contemplating the number of kegs it may take to erase the horrible consequences of my violation of the man code from my consciousness forever. But then again, it may be something I do not wish to forget for fear of doing it again!
First off we got there to late to get a shopping buggy with tires that weren't freshly aired up and had rotting banana peels in the child's seat. I got no problem with rotting banana peels. Rotting Banana peels in a childs seat however illicit's to many visuals.
Then of course while being declined coffee at the embedded Subway my ol lady immediately strikes up a conversation with a pregnant woman in one of those little electric bumper cars (NOTE: If your fat enough you can get Social Security to buy you one of those electric bumper cars. Just sayin........And please do not get me wrong. I have nothing against Fat people. It is just that I have a personal affinity for that hollowed out, gray skinned, anorexic junkie look). So I wait patiently looking at the advertisements of stuff I don't want tacked to the walls cause frankly, I don't know the lady, she is surrounded by what appears to be friends and family and I'm a bit cranked about being told Subway is out of coffee?
The conversation ends and I join the wife for a leisurely stroll down the aisles of wonder known as the "Walmart Experience" when she says, "I have no idea who that was I was talking to and I don't think she had any idea who she was talking to."
So o.k. I'm crazy, well why then were you chatting for so long. Well......did ya ever just catch someones eyes and feel like you might know them so you need to speak to them. Well I think we both did that. And I'm thinking, yet not saying mind you, and I see dead people too.
Then comes the time to look for onion seeds. Why? Because the ol lady read this is the time of year your supposed to plant onions. And that means we should plant onions??? It was then I had to remind her about all those little bitty flies covering the computer screen that are the result of all the garden shit we planted in the spring that rotted in the kitchen as it went unused. Which of course meant we still had to make our way to the garden center to look for onion seeds???
Fortunately Wal Mart is expecting an economic recovery as they have moved all there garden supplies out and replaced them with Christmas stuff. So we looked all through the Christmas stuff for Onion seeds. Go figure we don't find any. So the lady asks, did you want to ask the clerk if they have any onion seeds. Well of course dear, I want to ask the clerk if they have any onion seeds. After all onions are on the top of the list as gifts I want to give friends for Christmas cause I'm like really tired of all the little bitty fly juice that makes it hard to see the computer screen of late.
So we mutually agreed to go to ACE at a latter date for Onion Seeds which as all guys know is a way of saying, "ain't no way in hell I'm planting Onions!" Besides we came here for groceries and I haven't had a craving for an onion seed sandwich in oh, God knows how long. But then this being the Sunday after church rush, the Christian next to me goes, "God does know."
Well oh yeah, well then maybe you might want to ask God how long you got before I pull a "down in the county" stunt and pee all over the wheels of your electric bumper car grocery buggy! And I know the Christian is thinking, well if you weren't worried about Onion seeds and thinking more along the lines of the "faith of a Mustard seed.....". So I'm thinking back hard enough that they can hear me, and if you say that in your out loud voice, I'm shoving a bottle of Grey Poupon up your nose and checking the paper in the morning for folk that had to call 911 cause their ass was on fire.
We did, after admiring the way the top of a $49.00 trash can open and closed so smoothly, but agreed that we would wait until Christmas and then buy each other matching garbage cans, make our way to the grocery section. And as I mentioned, Walmart is convinced an economic recovery is on the way because "Pigs Ears" were going for $2.98 a pound. Not that I like pigs ears. I was just looking for something cheaper than hot dogs. Which really would not have mattered since all the "down in the county" folk was pushing and shoving for the best hot dog deals which of course left the Steak section clear for browsing. And though I knew I couldn't afford the $8.00 a pound if you bought 10 lbs and had two 50% percent off coupons and were willing to say three hail marys at the cash register, but thought, hey, I can have a fantasy. Food porn at it's finest. Me all alone with a whole aisle of beef because nobody down "in the county" can afford beef anymore. They can afford bullets however. And with bullets you can shoot stuff to eat when road kill days are lean.
So we did as we usually do and headed down the bean aisle where we tried to wait patiently for two sides of pork to finish chatting about how they couldn't get their ol men to grocery shop with them anymore. This of course makes me feel "whipped". Finally I could take it no longer and hollered "suey...." and they scampered off in a Pavlovian response, leaving us to peruse the various brands of fat free chili with and without beans, as we discussed the nutritional merits of each one.
We finally get to the produce aisle where I caved and bought a bag of Onions. My thinking being as follows. I will sneak out after dark and bury it. Then next time the lady wants an Onion I'll go outside, dig em and holler, Eureka, I done growed a whole bag of Onions.
Needless to say, by this point in time my caffeine and nicotine levels are getting quite low and there comes a level when Im not a particularly happy camper and am likely to say something a bit anti social and politically incorrect so we make our way to the check out lanes because my lady knows that I am quite likely to do that and finds it embarrassing at times. OF course this is Church day so the Checkout lanes reach the 24 miles to the capital. EXCEPT the self checkout lanes.
Now these self check out lanes are brilliance. Once you learn to follow the contradictory directions of the robotic voice that keeps telling you "get the frick away from the bagging space". Apparently you can not help your spouse check out. It is a one person operation. If your hand is anywhere near an empty bag the machine yells at you causing all sorts of people to look at you like, are you stupid or something?
Well stupid I may be. But even I can figure out that no matter how many of them little plastic bags made from oil they make you fill up with one or two items before they make me get another bag assuming I will think Im getting a bargain cause now I got 75 bags of stuff that would fit in 10, I ain't getting no bargain. No what I figure is, if you let me fill the 10 bags to capacity I could shove the other 65 bags in my dipstick and save myself an oil change. Which would also save me from attempting the balancing act of seeing how many little plastic bags I can tote from the car to the house once we arrive home. Which of course means as usual there will be cans of beans all over the yard as them flimsy little bags break after I drop em! No Walmart, the bargain is for you. Cause now you have figured out how to do something cheaper than hire the "slow learners" (my wife just caught a politically incorrect phrase) and senior citizens at slave wages and make me bag my own damn groceries!
Which is all enough, as my caffeine and nicotine levels sink lower, to make me want to go postal. But then I notice this chick next to us with a humongous buggy of crap doing the self checkout thing with a cell phone stuck to her ear telling somebody on the other end that she's alone this weekend.
Well bitch, look around, you ain't alone. You are surrounded by people patiently waiting for your selfish inconsiderate ass to hang up and get on with the checking out so they can get the hell out of Walmart too. In fact I think I even told my ol lady Im gonna tell the selfish little foo foo bitch what an inconsiderate little ass she is and why don't she hang up and check out cause she can't multi task worth onions. To which my wife responded, I think you just did.
Needless to say we got out of there alive. We got home alive, where I slammed a pot of coffee and just went ahead and ate 4 cigarettes. When then my wife says to me, after I finished picking up a drive way full of cans of beans spilled from broken plastic baggies made of oil "Did you think you might want to trim those bushes out by the driveway.........................."