St. Paddy's Day:
somber, gray, wet, damp, windy
On St. Patrick's Day I summoned the courage to drive into town. Actually, I was compelled to go because I wanted to personally get an erroneous bill straightened out (from my Internet provider/phone company).
They were extremely nice about the error, and now I'm straight.
So to speak.
After getting gas, going to the bank, and hauling my trash to the dump, I was ready to call it a day - but I had to go grocery shopping.
There are three shopping choices in this minuscule town: Walmart, the supermarket, and the Dollar Store. If you really want to spice up your mundane existence and live dangerously you can always visit the Tractor Supply Company.
Walmart is inevitably my first stop. That's the only place that has decent cat food and tolerable bread.
Let me explain something: I've always enjoyed a wide variety of breads - rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, cheese bread, black bread, herbal bread, etc.
Rural Tennessee has white bread. That's it. Rye isn't in their vocabulary. Either is hard Italian salami. Or wine. Or fine cheese or pastries. Or all the other things I crave and would actually kill for.
The local Walmart at least has some mediocre Italian bread and smoked ham - so that's what I always buy.
I'm also able to get Viennese coffee and Earl Grey tea - thank God. One of the very few pleasures I have left.
So, I'm in the coffee aisle at Walmart. The Viennese coffee that I always buy is on the very lowest shelf. In fact, it's actually level with the ground. I have to crawl to get it.
There's an extremely attractive young Amish woman looking at the coffee. Hey, Amish women turn me on. It has something to do with the way they dress.
Anyway, this chick is carefully reading every coffee label on the shelf - - and she's standing directly in front of the Viennese coffee that I desperately want.
She won't move. She just keeps reading.
I linger near her, trying not to look suspicious or perverted, trying to pretend I'm looking at other things. And I'm thinking:
How the hell am I going to get the damn Viennese coffee? I don't want to crawl around the hem of her dress.
She finally moves just enough for me to quickly dive and snatch the coffee - - -and believe me, diving and snatching is not an easy feat with my notoriously bad back.
Did I ever mention how much I hate store employees who are constantly in the way so you can't look at things?
Walmart wins First Prize for annoying employees....
it also happens here at the local supermarket.
I'm trying to look at donuts and an extremely annoying but cutsie-looking male employee is blocking the entire area with a large cart while he carefully puts out loaves of bread. White bread.
I make a few strategic maneuvers around him to get to the donuts. While trying to grab one damn box of donuts, I inadvertently start an avalanche. At least half a dozen boxes tumble to the floor.
Holy shit!! (I think I said that out loud).
I quickly scramble to retrieve the errant donut boxes while hoping my ravaged spine won't snap in the process. I'm trying to look cool and nimble in the wake of profound embarrassment.
My life is like a Woody Allen movie.
Did I mention the two employees blocking the frozen food aisle? They have a gigantic food cart in the middle of the aisle while they slowly and carefully stock the shelves.
I stall around, hoping they'll eventually leave but they don't. Can't these Bozos stock shelves after hours??
I eventually have to force my way around them to get the damn frozen things that I desperately need.
I drove a hundred freaking miles (slight exaggeration) on perilous mountain roads to get to this raunchy supermarket and I'm not about to leave without my French fries and fish sticks.
As I was driving home on the narrow, winding, dangerous, slick - not to mention perilous - mountain roads, loose rocks started falling from the cliffs above. One of them bounced off my car but fortunately didn't do damage.
Five minutes after I got home it started pouring rain. I got drenched as I hauled the heavy stash of groceries up the muddy, slippery, annoyingly steep bank to my back door.
As if on cue, my cat Scratch showed up out of nowhere and dropped a dead mouse directly in front of the back door.
I kid you not. A gift from a grateful feline.