I accidentally went to Wal-Mart yesterday.
I don't mean by "accidentally" that I tripped and that's where I landed, or that I was unconscious and was carried there or anything. In fact, I was out shopping for back-to-school trinkets for the cherubs in our Sunday School class, and spent a very enjoyable 20 minutes or so in Mardel picking up pencils, stickers, etc. But, Wal-Mart is across the street from Mardel, and I needed a new drink holder for my bicycle (the old one was broken in my accident last fall, and gradually more and more pieces fell off of it to the point that it was no longer viable as a drink holder). So, in what I can only suppose was heat-induced madness, I thought to myself, "I'll just pop into Wal-Mart while I'm here and get a new drink holder." Also, I decided to look at the prices for decaffeinated tea, since my normal grocery store charges much more than I'm willing to pay, but I'm planning to make the switch to decaf as soon as my current stash is gone.
Now, I am not normally a WM shopper. I really don't like it there. They may have low prices, but that doesn't make up for the huge crowds and poor customer service. And going at night, which I used to do, doesn't really help that much-- the crowds may be gone, but the service is even worse, if you can believe that. Plus, since they do all of their stocking at night, the peanut butter you need may well be hidden behind a huge pallet of Windex.
Anyway, I made my way across the street, to the WM parking lot. Now, I seriously don't know why anyone would bother trying to actually park in that lot. I personally, if I had a car, would park three blocks away and walk, because that's about as close to the door as you can get, anyway. After I chained my bike to a convenient cart corral (one of the cycling perks), I went to stand in the queue trying to get in. Seriously, there were so many people going in and out, that there was a literal queue at the door. Once inside, it was a trek of several minutes to get to the bicycle section. Not because it's such a large store, but because half of the population of Lubbock was inside (I'm supposing the other half was at the other WM in town). And apparently quite a lot of people needed bicycle drink holders, because while there is normally a wide variety of said drink holders, there was only one yesterday. I poked around for a while to see if there were any others lurking somewhere, but no such luck. I also got to have a nice conversation with a woman who was in the bicycle section on the same errand, and I was amused by a small group of people nearby who were buying a bike for a young man (presumably, a new college student) who doesn't have a car. They were getting extra inner tubes and all sorts of gadgets, while he looked like he just wanted to take his bike and go. Meanwhile, the conversation ran something like this: "And how will you get to ____ on a bike?" "Well, I guess I'll go on X street, up to Y stoplight, then turn left..." I felt kind of sorry for him, and contemplating telling these rather flustered ladies that you can, in fact, go just about anywhere in this city on a bike, but I decided that would only bring their flusterment upon myself. So I headed for the self-checkout and out the door. It was only when I got home that I realised that I still don't know how much decaf tea is at Wal-Mart.
Moral of the story: Never, ever go to Wal-Mart on a Saturday. Or any other day, if you can help it.