Thursday, December 07, 2006

We need stuff

I walk fast. I walk faster than most people. My perception of it is that everyone else walks painfully slow. I don't try to walk fast I just do. When I try and walk fast, I walk really fast. It's almost impossible for me to walk slow. When I go to the store I walk fast. I'm on a mission. I know exactly what I want.

I drive slow. Well, I drive the speed limit. I'm the only one. What I don't understand is how everyone can drive so fast and then get out and walk so slow. I don't get it, other than they drive while sitting down and they have to actually stand up to walk.

Today I went to Wal Mart. I prepared myself for what I would have to deal with. When I went through the door my eyes were scanning left and right for possibile paths through the maze of slow walkers.

The first obstacle was a woman bending over with her forearms resting on her shopping cart moving from right to left and blocking the whole isle. It must have been too much of an effort to stand up and push the cart. She was moving at a very slow pace, less than 1/8 mile per hour, and taking up a lot of space. So I rolled around behind her and got past. I was tempted to slap her on the butt when I went by. "Get a move on!" I wanted to say.

Then an older couple was creeping in the same direction as I was. They had no motivation and no direction. It was as if they had no idea why they were there. They were overwhelmed and confused by the products around them. They appeared to be totally lost and they had just entered the store. My wake threw them out of balance as I went between them.

Then a younger woman in grey sweat pants was with her mother. They were swerving left and right in a slow serpentine ~ motion as if they were intoxicated by shopping. One thing would catch their attention and then another. They would stop and go and then something else would grab their attention. Finally the daughter saw I was trying to get past and she let me by.

It was like Day of the Dead. Zombies just wandering around with their arms out "aaaaah...aaaaah... we need stuff,,,we need stuff. ". I imagined just pushing them out of the way. They would stagger a few steps and then resume their aimless pilgrimage.

At the checkout line I stood behind a wife nagging her husband. "We need this! And we need that!" No planning whatsoever. I stood there breathing in the second hand nagging, and feeling sorry for her husband who had a hair cut that was a cross between Las Vegas Elvis and Fred Flinstone.

Finally I made my way out of the store turning left and right to go around shoppers as if I was on skis trying to get to the finish of the race course as fast as possible. I wonder if that old couple ever made it out? I hope they told someone where they were going before they left home.

I got back in my car and locked the doors. There were many zombies returning to life as they got back in their cars.


Anonymous said...

I tend to walk faster too. It only seems to be a problem when I'm walking with someone.

Although sometimes when I'm shopping I go into "zombie" mode. If only because sometimes (especially here) it's nice to look at the lovely things merchants are trying to sell to you.

I blame Wal-Mart for the super-zombies, though. I'm so glad I don't live near one. Rather, if there was one near me I remain blissfully ignorant of its existance.

I'm sorry about the second-hand nagging experience. (At least you're not the guy getting nagged) My mom nags sometimes, and I tease her about it. She doesn't nag any less, but it makes the nagging more tolerable.

Anonymous said...

Just reading your post made my chest tighten. I am a fast-walker too. I have l-o-n-g legs and prefer to take a full stride, followed by another full stride and so on, until anyone unfortunate enough to be walking with me is forced to jog to keep up. I have been known to dawdle at times, but it seems that the more crowded the store, the deeper my desire to step lively.

My shopaholic friends say I take all the fun out of shopping. I tell them that it's not a recreational activity and they look at me with blank eyes.

GrewUpRural said...

I am too a fast walker. I completely understand your Wal-Mart experience.

Being a fast walker was tough while going to college in a city. Since our classroom buildings were in the heart of the city, there were always slow walkers..i.e. old people, college students, business people, etc.

I still encounter slow walkers as I work on a University campus. It still drives me crazy.

don said...

I think we should all get together and go for a brisk walk. I'll race you guys! :)