Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lot Stalkers

In other words, @#$%^&*! I hate Lot Stalkers! They have been plaguing me since I started my new job back in July. They have always been present at Wal-Mart. But since it is cold out now, and also Christmas time, it is getting worse, as it does every year.
WTF is a lot stalker? These are the drivers who will circle the front row of a parking lot, waiting and waiting for someone to move their car. You know you've encountered them!

So picture this: You are in the store. You have just come for a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, and some Diet Mt. Dew. You have a Veruca-Salt-ish little boy with you. He wants/ needs/ will die without everything! I swear, one day I was in the pharmacy section to get some Advil, and he even managed to throw a fit there! Over what? What could a 7-year-old boy want in that area? Fricken Ironman band-aids! He would even throw a fit for an enema if it came in a colorful box!
So you make your way through the store. The three items you came in for in the first place? You did manage to actually pick them up, but you wouldn't know it by looking because they are at the bottom of the shopping cart, buried beneath the box of cereal the kid had to have (Hey, no added sugar, so it is good for him and you just cannot say no.), the shampoo you forgot you were out of at home, the packages of socks that were on sale, the book that looked too good a read to resist, and much, much more. There is a cart-load of generalized crap. You have heard "BUTMOMMYINEEDTHISFOR_______" so many times that you are contemplating just exactly what you were thinking in the first place when you decided to reproduce. The love of your life is with you, your partner in this fine mess. He is no help, because he alternates telling the kid to shut up in a tone you just know will result in a call to social services by an onlooker who has not had the priviledge of navigating a store with a kid, with asking you if you really need whatever you have absentmindedly thrown in the cart most recently. (Yes, John I really do need the tampons!) You get to the checkout line, and Grandpa Moses is running the register and manages to comment on every single item the 500 people in front of you in line are buying. You absolutely cannot wait until it is your turn (so, do you find that Super Plus is really all that more absorbent than Super?????). And the beauty of it is this: You are at your wits' end. You are about to kill your loved ones. You really need a cigarette because, at this point, it be worth the risk of lung cancer. The old man at the checkout is taking forever, and this is where they put.......wait for it.............The CANDY! The BUTMOMMY's go into overdrive at this point. By this point, you are at the register and pay $300 for the three items you need that should have been about $10, but is not because the list grew. The kid demands his own bag for every little thing he wanted, so between frayed nerves and telling him to just be quiet, you have to make Grandpa repeat the total 3 times so you can pay him.

After you have paid for your load of crap, and you head to your car. You manage to get the kid into the car and get the heater going for him so you can load up the crap without giving him a nasty case of hypothermia. You try and smoke your cigarette while you load the crap into the car because you cannot smoke in the car. The cig may be worth the risk of lung cancer to you, but never ever for your baby. You are taking your time because, though it is raining/ snowing/ sleeting/ cold out, it is quiet out there. You are at peace for the first time since you pulled into the parking lot 2 hours earlier. You casually turn your head, and you see it! The string of traffic, backed up by some woman who must wait on you to empty your parking spot because it is all-so-much-closer than the empty one two spots down! You really want to teach her a lesson and lean against your car with folded arms until she gets tired of waiting, but you feel badly for the mom in the mini-van stuck behind her who just had the same experience you did and wants nothing more than to get the hell out of this parking lot and get home. So you have to hurry up and finish what you are doing, run the cart to the corral to save the brand-spanking-new beemer parked beside you, and get in the car. Find the keys that you just had in your hand, resulting in emptying the contents of your extra-large purse, only to realize that you are so frazzled that you didn't even know they were in the ignition in order to allow the child to have heat. You try to navigate your car out of the spot with the 2 feet of room the haeffer has given you to back up. You are on your way and turn the corner to leave the lot, when you end up getting stuck in yet another string of traffic waiting for yet another spot to open up.

I have many problems with this, but I'll address that in a sec. These lot stalkers? They are at work also. I came outside from a grueling night shift. I was tired, as I had just finished my 72nd hour for the week, and it was freezing out. Whetever was falling from the sky was a mix of snow and little ice balls. My car had been in this for 12 hours, so my windshield was encased in ice. I have no gloves yet, and have managed to forget to put the ice scraper in the new car, so I have no choice but to wait for the front and rear defrosters to work so I can at least have a 1-square-inch window through which to see. Cue the Lot Stalkers! Follwed by the string of traffic behind them of drivers who just want to pass and find a spot that is open anywhere or drivers who just want to leave that God-forsaken place after a night similar to mine. I have no choice but to wait until I can actually see to drive. I need to find my phone in the bottom of the bottomless purse so I can charge it. I need to find some hardcore tunage to keep me awake for the drive home, which means I have to find the IPod and then find the adapter and plug it into the stereo. And I am being rushed by these #$%^&* people.

So here is my problem: I am fully aware that everyone covets that spot near the front. This desire is 10-fold when it is cold or raining or snowing. I also fully realize that some people cannot walk well, and need a spot close to the front of the lot. But those people should have handicapped parking permits, and thus should have the good spots available to them. I also realize that people are in a hurry to get done whatever task is on their agenda. But is waiting that long for me to leave really worth it when comapred to the 2 seconds it would take you to pull into a spot that is only 2 feet away and already empty?
Don't get me wrong! I don't exactly relish the idea of walking across a vast parking lot after the trip to the store described above, or after a long-as-hell night of saving the world. But I look at like this: I have spent hours walking by that point. What's a few steps more?????

So.....I guess the moral of the story is this: Do NOT be a lot stalker, lest my wrath be upon you!

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