I had to run into Walmart this morning because—just before bedtime, naturally—TK told me his fancy graphing calculator thing needed batteries. And, of course, while we have an overabundance of AA, he needed AAA.
So I’ve been shopping at this Walmart a long time. I can tell you precisely how long, as a matter of fact—on July 22nd, it will be fifteen years exactly. Random thing to know, right? But I was suffering the beginnings of labor pains while walking around the store with my husband on their Grand Opening Day, looking for a birthday gift for his niece. A few hours later I was in the hospital and TK was born the next morning.
Anyway, we’ve been there for theft alarms and lost kid codes and the day the auto door stopped working and everybody stood around like sheep until some smart guy pushed open the non-auto door and led everybody to freedom. But this morning, an alarm went off.
This was no get the DVD outta your pants alarm. This was more like a ZOMG, the Russians are coming alarm.
The shoppers all looked at their carts, wondering whether or not what they’d gathered was worth standing in the parking lot for who knew how long until the FD cleared the building for. My plan was to pay for my damn batteries before they figured out it might be a good idea to abandon ship. Mostly, everybody went about their business with nothing more than a scornful look cast upward toward the siren gods.
But my cashier? She was freaking out. She was trying to hide it, but I could tell she was one sudden movement away from doing a Crocodile Dundee over my head to get to the door. Twitching, eyes wide, and muttering about somebody feeding her cats when she died.
And the Coke guy who’d been filling the cooler next to my register was darting around like a chicken, asking anything that moved if we should GET OUT NOW. Most people shrugged and gave him a wide berth.
What amused me most was the fact even the management didn’t seem to know what the alarm meant. It wasn’t the fire alarm, so…whatever.
I didn’t pass the fire trucks as I was leaving so, knowing this Walmart, I’m guessing they just ignored it until somebody found the OFF switch. But I got TK’s batteries and now I must commence with…taxes. Gah.