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The lost vehiclePosted Tuesday, July 8, 2008, at 10:13 PM
I went to Wal-Mart yesterday and lost my vehicle. True story, and one that I hope not to experience again any time soon.
I sailed into the parking lot just like I do on almost every given day it seems. You'd think that by now I would have earned a designated spot with my name on it, but since I apparently haven't achieved that rank just yet, I found the nearest-to-the-door convenient parking spot and hustled into the store, with a thousand things on my mind and no shopping list.
Hmmmmm…I need some low carb stuff. Weight Watchers didn't work last week and low-fat just isn't getting the job done and as much as I am craving something with a little crunch to it, I better opt for low carb this week, so I'm thinking all the way into the store and as I enter, the sorts of no or low-carb items that would cause me to drop 23 pounds in the next six days. And God forbid that I should fit in any form of exercise in the daily routine. At this point, my body would go into shock if I actually forced one foot to move in front of the other on an oval track for any significant period of time.
And so….it's lettuce and more lettuce, tomatoes (though in limited amounts), eggs, Cool Whip Free, Jell-O (there's always room)…some more leafy greenish veggies and a box (that's right, great stuff) of wine (that would be my "fruit group" for the week).
When you're so busy making mental notes, who has time to look up at those numbers overhead at the front of each row of parking to perhaps have a point of reference upon exiting the store? Not Minnie. That would make way too much sense.
And so, exiting the store among the throngs of preschool children who were successful in screaming loud and long enough to gain some bluish candy at the counter, which by the time they exit the doors is oozing out of their bluish lips, I trek to the parking lot with bags in tow. I've wisely decided that I can handle the weight of five bags of groceries without the aid of a cart…carts are for sissies.
I proceed to the right, toward the end of the parking lot where I usually find a spot, and I realize that my vehicle is nowhere in sight. Seems like I might have not parked in my usual row, but where……..hmmmmmm again…..and again……I try to avoid standing perfectly still, looking in both directions. That would be a dead giveaway. I've seen people do this as I'm in my vehicle (which is where I wished I was about then), and it's a dead giveaway..they don't have a clue where their vehicle is.
I casually look over a row or two of cars, like I'm looking for a friend or to gauge the wind. No sign of my Jeep. I begin to walk, but just choose a direction at random, since by now the throngs behind me, including the bluish monster children, are beginning to think I'm stalking them.
Months ago I changed the system on my vehicle so that when you punch the unlock or the lock remote on the key, the lights flash, but the horn does not sound. I found that very annoying. About now I'd pay good money for that annoying horn to honk.
I casually roam through the lot. It's daylight, so the lights flashing does me no good at all. Oh, for the sound of that annoying horn! I roam down one, two, three double rows of traffic. It's hot, about 95 in the shade. And I'm not in the shade. I'm beginning to sweat and I don't like it….reminds me that I forgot to pick up deodorant. Doesn't matter. I'm going to drop dead from heat exhaustion anyway. Of course, I might have smelled better for the paramedics. Who cares…I'll be a gonner…but, they might tell my children. Should have written it down.
My Skinny Cows are turning into fat brownish blobs of goo in my grocery bag, and the checkout kid with an earring in his or her lip (the jury's still out as to its gender) didn't use a freezer bag, so it's just the thin plastic between the oozing Cow and my white capris. Oh well, Skinny Cows have a few too many carbs anyway. But I think all the bad carbs have left a chocolaty trail through rows 2 through 5. Where in the hell is my Jeep?
By now, I've ventured from the Food doors all the way across to the Garden doors and no vehicle. I've punched the remote unlock button so many time, I've worn a blister on my thumb, which reminds me…forgot to get Dora band aids for the granddaughter. Maybe next time, if she behaves. No bluish oozing candy for MY grandchildren. If they're good, they get Band-Aids, or perhaps a salmonella-free tomato ….works for me.
Back to the parking lot….People are beginning to stare and I know they're making fun of the old woman with the oozing bags who is trying to act nonchalant while looking for a missing vehicle. They know, cause they've all been there.
AND THEN IT COMES TO ME…like a knight in shining armor in a dream….I didn't park in the lot. I found an opening along the side of the building in that row of single side-by-side spaces. I turn around in row 7, as if I've realized I've forgotten to purchase an item in the store. (In reality, of course, I've forgotten at least 14 items, but who's counting?)
I trek across the lot, all the way to Row 1 and I turn south (I think…it's just an assumption since I have no sense of direction)… I walk and I look and I look and I walk and then I pray…something I probably should have done 15 minutes ago. Where is that darned St. Anthony when you need him? But then the patron saint of lost items comes through for me as he has for fifty-some years when caught in a pinch. My Jeep….in all its glory…parked in the second from the last space on the east (or is it the west?) side of the building, hidden behind several other oversized SUVs. There it was with lights flashing. It's a wonder the battery wasn't dead from the lights having flashed for so long. I approach it as if I knew exactly where I was headed all the time…just wanted to take the scenic route for a change.
I place my liquid Skinny Cows in the rear compartment with plans to sip them from a crazy straw (purchased months ago for the same granddaughter who has earned the Dora Band-Aids) upon arriving home.
The next time I go to Wal-Mart, I'm taking breadcrumbs.
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