A Not Unpleasant Trip to Wal-mart

I needed crap for my trip–like small bottles of shampoo and shit–so I was forced to go to Wal-mart. And I found parking without too much trouble and found everything I needed pretty conveniently, and I got checked out in a timely manner. And things appeared to be clean and the staff did not seem homicidal nor suicidal.

It was the damnedest thing. I seriously was like “if I went behind this store, would I find a thousand people–employees, managers, and customers–all smoking pot?”

Speaking of the behinds of Wal-mart, I believe I already told you my most deeply chagrinning Wal-mart story, but I will tell it again because I had to bring it up yet again on Father’s Day just as proof of what a turd my dad is.

So, we have this family game called “Zip.” It’s pretty easy to play. When you are in the car, if you see a horse, you shout “zip.” You get one point per “zip.” If you see a bunch of horses, and it must be more than four, you can shout “blanket zip” and someone else in the car has to count your horses for you (though, if you are not driving, it behooves you to count them yourself, for your own safety, lest the driver try to count). If you blanket-zip an amount of horses four or fewer, you don’t get any points and you are now open to car-wide ridicule.

So, one day, back when my grandma was dying, I was up in Illinois and my dad and I were going to drive over to Battle Creek to see her. And, of course, standing between us and Battle Creek is I-80/I-94/Hell. Basically, Indiana by interstate, by interstate that is always being constructed upon, upon which there are always a thousand accidents, and upon which the speeds are basically “stop” and “speed for your life.”

We don’t really take the interstate. We cut over through the beautiful, non-fucked-up parts of Indiana. So, there we are, driving along 6, heading towards one of the last times we will see Grandma, feeling sad and kind of apprehensive, because, if she can’t die, it’s really going to suck for her, so wishing she wouldn’t die/hoping it will happen fast and easy. Doot-doot-doot. We’re driving along and then we cut up towards Goshen and my dad says, “Oh, crap. I have to stop at Wal-mart.”

Now, normally, since I hate Wal-mart, I would have grouched and asked if it couldn’t wait or if he couldn’t get what he needed any place else. But the man’s mom is dying, right? So, I’m all “Okay.”

And he pulls into the Goshen Wal-mart and, instead of heading towards the front of the Wal-mart, he heads towards the back. Where there are approximately one trillion–I am not even kidding–one trillion horses hitched to the front of black buggies. As far as the eye can see, it is nothing but horse-and-buggies.

And my dad, his dimples showing, says, with a kind of quiet triumph, “Blanket zip.” I didn’t even bother to count. I just conceded victory. But damn, I am still mad. I feel like that is totally cheating, to take me to the Amish Wal-mart, when my guard is down, because of my dying Grandma.

Another important thing I learned in Goshen on that trip? Some Amish people drive, so when you look in your rearview mirror to see what jackass in his big black pickup is tailgating you between stoplights? And you see it’s an Amish dude? Be careful not to run off the road.

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3 thoughts on “A Not Unpleasant Trip to Wal-mart

  1. We always played “Hawk.” Basically you spotted as many hawks as you could on the side of the road and said “hawk” when you did, and whoever saw the most won. Thrilling, right? Dad and I played this on the road for years and my dad always won, and finally one day, my mom pulled me aside and told me that my dad is far-sighted and would always win.

    Turd. This is the man who used to tell me he’d play “hide and no seek” when I was a kid, and I’d be hiding thinking I had the best spot ever while the man was flipping through channels on the couch downstairs.

  2. Okay, that is terrible of your dad, but I kind of wish being super nearsighted would give me the edge in some game I could teach my nephews, especially because I KNOW my dad would not be able to resist playing, too.

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