Oh, it has its detractions. I know that not so long ago I was considering random sniping as a means of diffusing the effect of the persistent Winterliciousness of Tioga County. But Spring has finally shambled on over and plopped its lazy green posterior in this valley. My daffodils are peeping up on the side of the house, the loud children a few doors down patter up and down the sidewalks with abandon, the weekend chicken barbecues are being advertised, and the hills echo with the growl of ATVs.
I'm tired today. Early in the week I was on a call for a motor vehicle accident that ended up involving someone I know, so after the official duty part of it was over, I spent a few hours in a hospital waiting room with the family and got home around 4:30am. The next day, ambulance duty kept me out until 2:30am. Lack of sleep has made me a little brittle and fuzzy-headed and ill-prepared for my once monthly surgical-strike visit to Walmart on my lunch hour.
Look, I know Walmart is the new Axis of Evil. But we're an hour from everything here and I already put a billionty dollars of regular in the car to get me through the commuting week. So those of you within a short drive in your Prius to your co-op can wrap yourselves in your free-trade pashmina of righteous indignation about it and piss off.
And anyway, I needed cat treats and laundry detergent.
I hate that moment of confusion when I first walk in; I blink like Punxsutawney Phil for a couple of seconds while I'm teabagged by commerce. (Don't look that term up, family members. It means 'overwhelmed by & having an intimate acquaintance with'-- lets leave it at that) I squint at my Palm Pilot to remember what the heck I came in for, and dive into the fray.
The 'fray' usually consists of chatting women blocking the aisles with their carts full of grubby sullen children. I size them up and contemplate their capacity for violence while I decide how huffily I should go around them. Yep, cause I'm tough like that.
Perhaps I'm indulging in fantasies of terminal uniqueness here, but every time I go to Walmart I am convinced that the freakshow I witness has been orchestrated especially for me. Today I was treated to this:
(Mother, son, and daughter are perusing the wall of colognes and body spray in the cosmetics aisle. This entire conversation is conducted at a ridiculously high volume.)
Son: Try this one. I like this one. Smell this one.
Mother: YOU DON'T HAVE TO STICK IT UP MY NOSE!
Son: What about this one? This one? This one? Try this! Try this! (He was basically a nonstop wall of sound through the whole thing.)
Daughter: Idon like it. Its naaaesty. Git it off me! Git away from me! I hate you.
Mother: Dammit, gimme that one over there. That might work. Idon like the one that smells like cotton candy. They got 'em downta the Dollar Store, mebbe we should get those instead.
Daugher: MOO-OOM, There ain't nothin' here that's going to get rid of THAT SMELL.
Mother: What we need is for that g-damn dog to stop pissin' on the couch.
With this, they moved off before I could see them. My mind's eye was sending me grown out roots, tight jeans, a Harley sweatshirt, dental challenges, black eyeliner and a muffin top, and an 85 pound faux-goth boy.
I gather my stuff, head for the checkout, and try to avoid engaging the young man circling a display of Larry the Cable Guy DVDs like he just arrived at the Dome of the Rock. Leaving the store, I see one of the cart wranglers booking across the parking lot with great purpose and surprising speed, to intercept an elderly couple who are trying to wrestle a very large bag of potting soil into the back of their van. He unloads their whole haul with a smile and, taking the cart, returns to his post.
Its chilly and gray today, and I'm looking forward to curling up on the couch to read or watch this.
Other than that, Saturday will bring a quick hospital visit to my friend, a belated Girls Day Out for mah birthday with Sister and Mother-in-Law that I am very much looking forward to, and I'm sure some Random Ambulance Fun. (Speaking of which, if you are so inclined you can read about that here.)
For those of you looking for a mountain getaway to call home, I must call to your attention to a very special employment opportunity right here in the Northern Tier. The Northern Tioga School District needs a teacher. The listing, which you can read here, is for someone very special. A scholar. An athlete. A conjugator of verbs. Or, as they put it:
English Teacher- Football coaching experience and ability to teach a
second language preferred.
So if you are that John Donne reading, defensive strategy planning maestro que nos necitamos, send in those resumes.