A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

24 April 2009

Stalwart? Not Walmart.

I don't typically write about my trips to Walmart - but this one just stood out more than the others, so I thought I'd share...

I needed to pick up a few things like a battery for my nifty pedometer I've never used (but am intending to), some sunblock, some Epsom salt, and some soda. So, I pack up my daughter and head on over to the Walmart down the street a ways.

First on the list: Get the Epsom salt before I forget. But first - pull out one carriage. Defective. A second. More defective. A third...worst of the lot...go back and get the first carriage. Yes, I know I only have to get a handful of things...but I will undoubtedly forget one of them...and buy 18 more I didn't come in for - therefore I need the carriage.

I go on over to where I figure they'd stock Epsom salt. The part of the store where they have band-aids, aspirin and soap. I walk around - I walk around some more - and sure enough I spot it. Right next to this lady who works at Walmart talking to another lady who works at Walmart. Epsom salt - bottom shelf...about inch from the one lady's leg.

Now I'm not invisible the last time I checked, but wouldn't you know it - I must be invisible today! Usually when someone comes within a radius of say a foot of your personal space, most people will take notice. Nope...not these two ladies. Even with me saying "Excuse me" - they didn't even pause in their conversation to each other and neither took notice nor moved. I had my face literally at crotch level to the one lady - and seriously, it really wasn't where my head was today...nor where I wanted my head at today. Even with me saying "Uh...I need to get the Epsom salt here"...she didn't flinch a muscle. She apparently had no problem with me being close enough to be able to read the manufacturer of her zipper; I, on the other hand, did. I reached over with my arm as extended as it could go and snatched up an Epsom salt and promptly left, remarking again very loudly to my daughter "You would think they could have moved over a TINY bit so I COULD HAVE GOTTEN IT!" Hey, since I was invisible today and all...I figured I should take advantage of it and be a little jerkier than usual.

Next stop: The battery.

I need a replacement battery which goes by the name of "LR43". It's one of those round watch-types; a seemingly easy to spot kinda dealie ...but all the round ones are pretty much round and vary by 1/1,000th of a micrometer in diameter or width or circumference or whatever...and they make a LOT of them and I'm figuring with the luck I've been having lately they discontinued this exact size ages ago or just sell them in the UK.

Now had I known that this would have been like looking for the needle in the proverbial haystack I would have sought out some help when I first saw someone pass by...but I'm a big girl and I can surely find where they keep the batteries in Walmart, right?

Wrong. While I might be a "big girl" - the store is much, much bigger than I am. There's also no real rhyme nor reason order to it. Let's see...batteries right next to the muffins? Yep...sounds like there was some master planning here. Heaven knows I like to pick up some batteries when I'm buying a tasty muffin...but not this time...I needed the round kind - everyone knows the batteries they sell next to the muffins are only the double A, triple A, and C kinds. Duh!

My daughter then makes a grand assumption. A pedometer is kind of like an electronic thing - round batteries just might be in electronics? Right? Sounds logical to me. So we wheel our wonky carriage on over to the electronics aisle where we scope out the batteries and find a very small display with more empty slots than batteries and sure enough - the only round ones there were LR44s. While they look the same - I'm sure it would cause my pedometer to blow up...so I'm not going to chance it. I decide to ask the guy behind the electronics counter who looks to be a whopping two years older than my daughter. He proceeds to tell me that they are on the other side of the aisle...where again...only LR44s. Close - but nope. And they really didn't have a wide selection of any batteries there to start with. Have you seen the size of a Walmart lately? I mean they are ginormous. Surely I can't be the only person in this town to ever need a battery. These two lousy displays AND the muffin battery assortment wouldn't serve the population of Mayberry let alone Wetumpka.

Okay, let's get the soda - I know where they keep that.

Much to my chagrin there's no batteries next to the soda. What a really lame store. We'll have to look elsewhere.

Now, I vaguely remember, once upon ago, when I needed another such round battery for something - they had them where they sold the jewelry - where I initially thought of going, but was reluctant as I spied no watches there...plus after the "Epsom salt incident" I wasn't too keen on asking another woman Walmart worker anything. But she was behind a counter and my fear of getting up close and nearly personal with this one was thus alleviated. I asked her.

As luck would have it - no LR43s. She was, however, helpful and directed me over to the pharmacy where she thought all the other round batteries were kept.

They only had a couple kinds there - most were super tiny...so again, I'd have to go away empty-handed. This was getting old. We gave up the battery search.

So, we shuffle off, still pushing our incredibly wonky carriage (I'm 100 percent certain Walmart doesn't own a carriage that isn't defective in some way...all Walmarts, not just this one) to go and get sunblock. It's the last on my list after all...I am not even going after the 18 other items that I don't need this time. I just want to grab the sunblock and get out as fast as humanly possible.

We look around and around and around. Up and down all the aisles in the pharmacy-area department. Not by the hair dye, not by the body wash, not by the tampons, not by the vitamins. I was beginning to think maybe they kept sunblock next to the muffins...but I didn't go back to check. I reluctantly (whenever I ask someone in Walmart...it's always my last resort) decided to ask someone behind the pharmacy counter as both "Epsom salt" ladies were nowhere to be found. A guy was talking there forever so we decided to look some more. We found a tiny one in the "tiny things to take on trips" aisle...but I couldn't believe there'd be less choice of sunblock than there was batteries - but it didn't look good.

Back to the pharmacy window...the guy was still there. Then another lady behind there popped over and asked if she could help. "Things are looking up" I foolishly think to myself. I asked her about the sunblock and she proceeds to tell me, "I don't know - maybe it's in the outdoor gardening section." "Yeah? MAYBE???" I reiterated "MAYBE???" to her...quickly followed by "I've been all over this store for the past forty-five minutes...couldn't you PHONE someone up to let me know where they keep it instead of just 'MAYBE' it's somewhere? Maybe it's somewhere - maybe it's not?" I didn't even wait to hear her reaction and we took off down the aisle towards the outdoor section...all the while I'm muttering under my breath, "I don't work here, she works here...she's got a phone, she could have asked someone where it was. I can't believe no one in this whole store knows where anythi..." ...then I spotted it: A huge section of the aisle across from the pet food, but well before the outside department, chock full of sunblock paraphernalia. How could I have been so stupid NOT to have gone directly across the pet food aisle to look for sunblock? Just what the heck was I thinking??

Oh, I'm sure that next to the Bedazzler and knitting needles there's a whole battery section I never knew existed. THEY don't even know it exists. Next time I'm in Walmart I'll be sure to check.

(By the way, in case anyone was wondering...Walgreens stocks LR43 size batteries.)


  1. What a fun and exciting adventure you had! Someday I want to do a post about the hypothetical Walmart job interview questions and acceptable answers. I mean, based on the people they hire, the interview must be hilarious.

  2. Oh yeah - it was fun...almost as fun as substituting. ;)

  3. great blog....I have had some similar experiences at WalMart--especially with the wonky carriages.

    What gripes me most about Walmart is the way the stockers just yell across to each other and joke and all that crap..do they not know that customers can hear them? Or is it just that they don't care? My bets are placed on the latter

  4. LMAO! I have also looked for batteries at Walmart and I don't remember where they ended up being, but I'm quite certain it wasn't near the muffins!

  5. I went there again today to buy some stuff - and I double checked. The batteries weren't next to the muffins. It was the juice and then they had one in the "gum" aisle. Oh well...I'm sure I can always claim the corporate people at Walmart read my blog and moved the display overnite. ;)

  6. Yea, Walmart is not so good. If you have a choice, next time go to Target.