I'm not trying to be funny in this one. It is actually what happened today, this craziest of all days. Black Friday, aka, kill your fellowman with the mace and kill your fellowwoman with the bow and kill those shorter than you with a great trampling--for 5 bucks off a TV.
Let me just preface it by saying it is 1 am, so any typos or anything are just going to have to be in there. I'm not fixing them.
There were no fights this time around. Well, I accidentally knocked a girl out cold, but that was just weird. And there were no Black Friday Gramma attacks.
Black Friday Grammas (yes it should be capitalized, as it's a title) are the worst, and the smaller the fiercer. They're like cranky little Cambodian commandos. I'm a 270 pound ogre, and I don't want anything to do with any of them. If they feel their grandkids need that $9 MP3 player bad enough that they're willing to shank the three people in line ahead of them for it, then more power to them. They can have it. Or all of them, as the case may usually be.
So here's the breakdown, chronologically:
As mentioned in the last post, I am manic again. This is a bad one, as it's pushing through both the anti-psychotic and the lithium with a vengeance. I can't afford the sedative, so I've been sleeping about 3 hours a night for the last few weeks. On top of that, I worked over 40 hours--not counting drive time--just in Mon, Tues, Wed. of this week. Then I was up most of Thursday, either playing with Little Joe (who was so happy I was home after basically not seeing me all week, he hung off me like a necklace all day), or making out with the hot wife (who was so happy I was home after basically not seeing me all week, she hung off me like a necklace all day). Dropped the bumpkin off at Grammy's house, fell asleep cuddling the hot wife, and got up at 2:30 am.
Lydia (we'll use her blogger surname for the sake of the blog) had to be at work at around 3:30, so I dropped her off and headed to Wal-Mart. Yes, I headed to Wal-Mart. I realize that's like the part in the Vincent Price movie where you're like, "DON'T OPEN THAT DOOR!!!", but I had to.
Our local Wal-Mart is a Super Wal-Mart. Each aisle has its own little LCD TV at the end, playing Wal-Mart commercials. I am not joking. Everything except for a few sections of the store. There are large LCD's in the meat department. Why, I don't know.
Anyway, they stayed open 24 hours. People were in line next to what they wanted. At midnight, they grabbed it and got in line. The lines took FOREVER because they were actually letting people check out with their Black Friday stuff. If you had the ad, they were price-adjusting. So you have a line with people rifling through an ad the size of those Sears catalogs we used as booster seats when we were kids, pointing to one item every five minutes, then moving on to the next of the 4 bazillion things that needed pointed to in the ad.
I waited for an hour to get Excedrin, a Milky Way, Halls cough drops (has to be Halls. Ricola is just nasty candy and Luden's is just castrated Halls. Halls turns into vaporized Drano for your nostrils when you suck on them), and a bottle of Aquafina.
This was all for the baby brother, Caleb, who had come up from Nashville since we all had time off. He was in line at Target. Since 12:30 am. Target had the stuff we were both looking for, so we were going there first. Neither of us was messing with Wal-Mart. That place is a zoo on Black Friday.
Yeah, I know, I was already in line there...look, just go with it, okay?
So I get to the front of the line, after an hour. An hour. And the only girl ahead of me puts her 3-pack of boy's size 6 Spongebob Squarepants briefs on the counter. Don't ask. I don't know why the girl stood in line for an hour for boys skivvies. She looked like they might fit her, but, I mean, would you question someone that stood line that long for Spongebob drawers? No.
So she puts them on the counter. And then passes out. Like, running backwards, trying to stay up but vertigo is pulling her down drops.
I tried to catch her. I've gotten slow in my old age, and couldn't get my arms under her in time. I had, however, gotten to her with a very first quick step. So as she tucked against me, and I didn't have my arms under her, my momentum proceeded to hip-check her into the pop cooler, where she smashed her head and promptly knocked herself out.
Oops. I still think it was better to glance off the pop cooler than smack full force on the ground.
She kind of thrashed a few seconds later, but her eyes were gone. I put my coat up under her head and tried to hold her down, gingerly, so that I wouldn't do anything that could be misconstrued as worthy of litigation.
Employees showed up, and even though I told them she needed to lie still and that her eyes were glazed, they lifted her to her feet and dragged her to the nearest bench. Whatever.
As the line re-opened, I looked at the couple behind me.
"We're all terrible people," I said. "Admit it. The first thought you had when she went down was,
'Oh, God, please don't let them shut the line over this'."
So over to Target now. I meet up with Caleb by hopping the barricade. We were surrounded by teenage kids. It's usually housewives and families, with the occasional gang of thuggish Black Friday Grammas (they tend to congregate before hand--concentrated fire). So me and Caleb are cracking jokes, as we usually do, and everyone is laughing, because we're funny, and I notice this little blonde girl behind us that is just staring. She smiled every time I looked at her, and I knew I knew her. Her boyfriend noticed it, and obviously wasn't too pleased.
She cuts me off and goes, "You go into (pizza joint in the country we frequent), all the time. You're Joe?"
And I recognized her. The pizza joint in question is one that we frequent. It's in the little country town we used to live in, and it's one of those small-town places on a beautiful stretch of road that you go to forget about stuff. Just has that vibe.
The thing with heris that she's adorable. Spare me the look. I want a daughter, and this girl is tiny. She's also very cheerful and pleasant. Like I want my daughter to be. Of course, Little Joe is quite enamored with her...
She knows she's adorable, though, and that little hint of arrogance is a little offsetting. And she had always been REALLY nice when we went in. Except when Lydia was there. Then she was only (lowercase) really nice.
Back to that later. The Target employees come out at 4:30, half-hour to open, and ask if anyone needs directions. And I asked them where the Play-Doh was. And everyone laughed, but I was there to get two things: a Polaroid digital camcorder for 30 bucks, and Play-Doh. 24 color superpack--with molds!--for 5 bucks? Heck yeah. The trail of broken souls--even Black Friday Grammas--would be long and piled to the sky on my way to the Play-Doh!
I then proceeded to ask if they were giving out tickets, and he said no. And I asked if it was not even for the Play-Doh. And he cocked his head and just blinked, and said there was plenty of Play-Doh.
"Okay. So I don't get a ticket. What the heck happens if I get back there and there's no Play-Doh? I swear to GAWD I will find you."
He shook it off like a joke and walked away.
Doors open, sprint for the back. I get my camcorder (which I'm going to return), Caleb got the GPS for Jackie (his beautiful wife), and then I stumbled up to the ring of employees by the toys, stood there, teetering from sleep, and just grunted, "Play-Doh?"
Caleb lost it behind me, but the women at the toy section all looked terrified. But they divulged the info I needed. As I'm looking at the various kinds, little blonde farmgirl from the pizza joint waltzes up, darts between me'n Caleb, and grabs a Play-Doh pack without even looking at what kind it was, then flashes a smile and runs away.
My brother agrees that she is curiously crossing our path quite a bit--as we walk out of the aisle and she happens to be there, uh-genn, smiling. We saw her a couple more times on the way to the register. I've told Lydia. I only hope my wife kills the poor child quickly.
Caleb's the first in line. He gets rung out. I'm the second in line. The camcorder rings out fine. Then the register freezes on the Play-Doh and we have to wait a few minutes for the computer to be reset.