Friday, April 1, 2022

How About Them Gas Prices

 I had to go to Walmart this morning, along with all of the elderly people, to pick up a few things I needed, mainly seeing if they had any toilet paper. Or gas less than $4 a gallon

I'm not elderly, mind you, but I got enough crap wrong with me, that if you're one of those that ain't been practicing social distancing and all, and get within 10 feet of me, I can't be blamed for my less than pleasant reaction when you sneeze toward me.

I know the pollen count is above 20 million, but don't come during Senior time at the Walmart, when all us fragile folk are here. Or better yet, stay the hell home!

Rant over.

Anyway, I was unsuccessful in acquiring any toilet paper or Cadbury Eggs, but I did score the first box of chocolate frosted doughnuts of the morning. To hell with the diet and upcoming swimsuit season---I just want to make it through this trip and my next 14 days of self-quarantine since I left the house.

I finished up my shopping and took my cart over to the checkout lanes where happily, everyone was maintaining an acceptable distance from each other. I just settled into line behind a little old lady that closely resembled my late Granny.

"Oh, my goodness!" she exclaimed. "I don't know how these people can get away with charging three dollars for a loaf of bread. I'm just a little old lady on a fixed income, and I can't afford these prices. I stayed at home my whole life caring for my husband and my children only to be left nearly penniless by some fat cat insurance company in New York. Health Care reform, I think that's what they are calling it. A thousand dollars a month for health insurance, who would pay that? I was hoping to have an easier time in my Golden Years, and now I can barely afford food for my handicapped son and me. I had to leave him out in the car because I upset him when I get to complaining about these prices. I don't mean to, but I'm doing the best I can."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said. I felt sorry for the lady, I really did. Times are tough all over. I knew exactly how that lady felt about those astronomical premiums, I've been paying them myself.

It was finally her turn to begin placing her items up on the register belt, and she started talking to the cashier and pointing to me in a friendly manner. I wasn't really paying attention to what they were talking about. I had just discovered a copy of The Global Wacko News that had Tim Ruse on the cover saying that he was the reincarnation of Lon R Cupboard and was trying to convert the world into his new class of Cosmetology that would be opening new centers worldwide whenever he had another hit movie and earned enough money to do so. (Good luck with that.)

The little old lady kept gesturing and smiling at me. I didn't want to be rude, so I gave a little half-smile and nodded in agreement to whatever they were so animated about. I was maintaining my own acceptable distance from her and trying to keep my hand out of the doughnuts. You know what I'm talking about. When somebody tells a joke, and you laugh along anyway even though you don't get it.

By now, there was enough space on the belt for me to begin placing my purchases alongside the lady's items. My first item was a huge 8-roll pack of paper towels that were on sale (You can always cut it in half and then use as TP if need be), and it separated my things from hers. It also separated me from her as she gave another wave and headed out the door.

"That was awfully nice of you," said the cashier. "Your Great Aunt said you was going to pay for her groceries. That will be $188.32."

"Excuse me...I don't know who that woman is, I've never seen her before today." I replied.

"Well, ma'am, she said she knew you. You were being very friendly towards her, and we're maintaining the required six-feet of separation. Are you running some sort of scam? If you are, you could be charged with shoplifting or as an accessory."

"Six feet of bacon?" I questioned as I placed the bag with bacon in my cart. What is this Footloose or something? I don't know that woman, and I am not running some sort of scam. Why do you let people walk away without paying for their stuff? You better call security."

At that moment, the cashier, the security guard, the manager, and I went running outside to see if the lady was still in the parking lot. We looked at each other, realizing that we were no longer socially distant, and all took several steps in opposition directions. Someone behind us sneezed, and we all took three more steps.

As we looked over the parking lot, the Walmart employees began to look at me suspiciously. They thought I was a part of this lady's scam. All I had been doing was being nice--lending a sympathetic ear. I had been taught to be polite to my elders, and now, I might end up in jail.

A slight breeze stirred the dust around us, bright yellow in color, three of us sneezed, and I choked out "There she is," while pointing to the other side of the parking lot.

I really didn't want to go to jail. I know they provide three hots and a cot, but I got this thing about confined places. They make me a little edgy. The lady was putting the last of her bags into the trunk of her 2018 Cadillac SRX--that nice old lady who was trying to stick me with her grocery bill. The nerve of that woman--telling me such a sob story about her finances, her son and paying a thousand dollars a month for insurance premiums.

I pointed to her car, and all of us went running over to where she was parked. "Lady, what are you doing? What are you trying to pull? You almost got me arrested for shoplifting. I've never seen you before today. I didn't want you to think I was rude, so I listened while you went on and on about all of your troubles, and here you are, driving a Cadillac. Would you kindly tell me and the others here what kind of scam you are trying to pull?"

At that, the lady took one look at the cashier, the manager, and the security guard, and her shoulders just slumped in surrender. She looked past them and began to shuffle her feet as she fought for the words to explain this situation. "I bet you're wondering what this is all about," she said.

Then someone in the car sneezed, and we all stepped back.

We all nodded our heads in unison and waited patiently for the answer. "All of that stuff I told you in the store...about my finances, raising my kids, losing everything I had because of those high insurance rates...Well, I was just pulling your leg just like I'm pulling yours now.

Happy April's Fool Day!

P.S. Springtime in Georgia turns everything yellow from pollen. 


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