291 days left until the Zombie Apocalypse…
We ventured out to Sam’s Club yesterday…it was a very…interesting…experience. Actually, Sam’s Club is always an experience out here. There’s something about the Mississippian mentality which dictates that if you shop at a bulk store, everything has to be in bulk. It isn’t like Costco where you can just go in and buy your toilet paper, rice, and dog food in bulk and then continue on your merry way with your perfectly ordinary life.
No. Everything has to be in bulk. The whole experience is in bulk. You have to drive there in your bulky pickup truck so that you’ll have room for all of your bulky supplies. You have to bring your biggest credit cards so that you’ll have enough money to pay for all of your bulky purchases. But most importantly, you have to bring your attitude too…and plenty of it too. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that you have to bring your attitude in bulk…
Don’t ask me why.
Okay. Fine. Have it your way…
You have to bring your attitude in bulk because everyone else is doing it too. Yes, that is probably the lamest reason to ever do something…“If Suzie jumped off a bridge would you jump too?” But in this case, it happens to be true. Necessary even. After all, you have to be able to fight back!
You have to be able to fight back against the skinny, blonde bimbos who butt their way into your conversations by making disparaging remarks about the people who you are shopping with. You have to be able to fight back against the jerk who almost knocks over a little old man who can barely walk because he is in such a hurry to get to the straws first. You have to be able to fight back against the cow who can’t wait in line like a civilized person even though she can clearly see that there are only two misfortunates working in the cafe. Their attitudes are all going to be expressed in bulk. Yours has to too in order for you to come out on top. Because believe you me, there are all kinds of crappy personalities who regularly shop there. I think the store itself attracts them there because watching all of the crappy employees makes them feel entitled to let their own bad attitudes out to play too. You have no idea how many times I have gone in there calm and happy only to emerge in shaking fits of rage because of the employees. There was this one time when we were buying oranges…yeah. You don’t need to hear the details. Just suffice to say that I really could have killed the idiot at the counter that day! (God I really, really wish that there was even a single Costco in this state!!)
Okay, I’m calm again…where was I? Oh yeah…
Now admittedly, not all bulky attitudes are bad. Not everyone who works at Sam’s Club needs to see the Wizard for a healthy dose of brains. We actually met one such employee yesterday too. She was probably the textbook definition of what Jesus had in mind for ministry. We were talking to her about how awful our day had been and her response was to take it to God. First of all, I’m still just really, really not used to people saying things like this. In California, people almost never talk about religion out of the blue like that. Here people can be completely open about their beliefs though. It’s kind of nice–if not also really, really disturbing sometimes. Anyway, it was kind of bizarre for her to say it and it could have been really annoying. I’ve encountered that sort of situation over and over again here. There are a lot of people who are willing to talk about their beliefs–there are even more who are willing to talk about their “beliefs”. These sorts of people are the ones who will tell you pray about things without really meaning a word they say:
“A tornado blew away your whole town? Just pray about it.”
“Getting a divorce? Just pray about it.”
“The Niners didn’t make it to the Super Bowl? Just pray about it.”
It’s their general response for everything they don’t want to deal with and for everything they don’t care about. It’s like the polite way to tell someone, “Shut up and get over it already!” In short, it’s not polite at all–it’s freaking rude and annoying. So yeah. The chick at Sam’s Club could totally have turned into another one of those people whose bulky attitudes need to be fought against. Somehow though, she just wasn’t. I think it was because her faith was actually genuine. She totally believed that everything would be okay if we talked it over with God. I liked it. It was a very refreshing thing for someone to think. It was weird too. When we were done talking to her, I didn’t want to choke all of the irritating personalities we had come across in the store anymore. Don’t get me wrong, they still needed to be choked. I just didn’t care anymore if I was the one to do the honors. It was really bizarre how easily her bulky beliefs could trump the bulky attitudes of a bunch of other people.
It was a good reminder too: Sometimes, the things that seem so paper-thin are the ones that can bring down stone. It’s like a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Paper doesn’t always win–sometimes it get cut. But it doesn’t always lose either–sometimes it wraps itself around that which would seek to crush it and suffocates it into submission. There are never guarantees, no matter which way you choose to address those random, potentially volatile situations that we encounter every single day. However, it still makes you want to at least try to be the paper. It keeps people on their toes–no one ever expects you to pick wussy paper!!…
So yeah. I think that’s one of my new goals. I’m going to try to behave more like paper. At least until the zombies come. I don’t think it’d be all that helpful then. Before you could smother the zombie attacking you, all the blood would soak through that paper and tear it to shreds just as Mr. Bulky Zombie rips into you and tears you into tasty strips of really, really raw steak. So don’t forget: you can practice being like paper for now. Just don’t forget to also hone up on your slicing and bashing abilities too–they’re much more effective at defeating the zombie hordes. It’s best to always be a well-rounded individual… 😉
The Butcher of the Bard