I bought a couple thermal coffee mugs from Wal-Mart last week. One had an orange top and holder, one had turquoise. I used the orange one first and it worked well. I put that one in the dishwasher and tried the turquoise one. The top would not seal correctly and kept popping off, making the cup more of a dribble cup than a coffee cup.

I decided it made sense to wear a bandana while walking to keep the sweat (glow?) out of my eyes. I had given all my old bandanas to the grandkids, so I needed some of those. I was also getting really low on plastic forks, something I take each day to work so I can eat my salads.

I was up early this morning and figured it would take me just a few minutes to return the cup, get a replacement, and buy the few things I needed. I left 20 minutes early thinking this would give me enough time.

When returning merchandise to Wal-Mart, it has to be marked with a tag before proceeding into the store for the return. The man standing at the door doing this check was a soldier during the Punic Wars. I understand that senior citizens are caught in a money crunch and they need jobs, too. This man moved painfully – very painfully – no, exceedingly painfully slow. I hope they never have him working this station on a weekend.

I did not yell at the poor guy. I figured he wasn’t any happier about ending his life working at Wal-Mart than I was to have him there. But it did take a couple minutes longer to just walk into the store than I had calculated.

Thankfully, the three gossiping women at the service desk could take my cup right away and said I could exchange it for one with a top that stayed on. The top fell off twice while they were handling the cup.

I zipped through the store and picked up the items I needed. I really was hoping I could just buy a pack of men’s handkerchiefs and be done with it, but they don’t seem to carry those. They did have two-to-a-pack bandanas and I got those. Cheaper than buying them individually.

I paid for the items I was actually purchasing and then went back to the service desk. It was no longer just gossiping employees. The two other women had moved on and there was just one person behind the counter.

At the front of the line was a woman who was perhaps five foot one. Maybe not that tall. She weighed in at about 350, if my skills from my nursing years are still working. She may have been closer to 375, but we will be kind and say it was just 350. She looked exactly like she belonged in Wal-Mart. She was returning a pair of stretch pants that apparently didn’t stretch far enough. I have no idea where she bought them, but the store we were standing in did not carry that item.

It made lots of angst up at the head of the line and made one obese woman all cranky and huffy. She sighed repeatedly as both the worker behind the counter and eventually a sales associate from women’s wear tried to explain to her that the item couldn’t be returned at this store.

She finally relented and allowed her transaction to be completed.

Now, when I came up to this line, there was an older gentleman in front of me with a small item to return. He had his sales slip. Then I was there with my replacement cup. Along came another Wal-Mart customer with a phone he was going to exchange. This young man was also dressed fairly typical for a Wal-Mart customer.

He stepped behind me with his packaged phone. It began to look like the woman was going to be finished and he rushed forward to examine the phone he had returned, looking for all the world like he had never seen a cordless phone before and certainly had never seen the one open on the counter.

Tubby began whining some more, so phone guy moved back behind me. Finally, Tubby was getting her cash and phone guy rushed forward to the counter again ostensibly to see if that contraption on the counter was indeed a cordless phone.

Tubs left and the woman behind the counter began to turn to the young man with the phone. I said, “I’m in a hurry too and this gentleman in front of me should actually be next.” I really just said it, not even raising my voice.

Well, this totally affronted the phone guy. It didn’t really bother him until the clerk turned away from HIM and began to wait on the guy who was actually next in line. Then it bothered phone guy. That older man dropped off his item, wanted to get a replacement, and walked away.

Phone guy magnanimously allowed me to go next saying something snotty. I ignored it and indicated that I was the cup person and just wanted my cup. Phone guy spoke loudly saying, “Some people just need to be a little calmer. I wasn’t trying to cut into line. I just wanted to see this phone.” I again ignored him and refrained from asking if it was the first cordless phone he had ever seen and didn’t even ask how long he had owned it before returning it to Wal-Mart.

He kept going on and on, and I said to the clerk, “Thanks, I’m trying to get to work.”

Phone guy counseled me, “Maybe you should have left earlier so you wouldn’t be so rushed.” I ignored him some more. The woman behind the counter gave me a paper to sign and obnoxious phone guy said, “It’s supposed to be beautiful out there today. I hope you have a blessed day.”

Now, it is supposed to be hot and muggy out there today with a heat index of 115⁰ F, but I wished him a blessed day, too. I assumed we were both telling each other to fuck off, but who knows what his “blessed day” meant. I know what mine meant.

I got out to my car, drove on to work, and arrived just in time. So apparently I did leave the house with enough time to do what I needed to get done. As long as no one cut in line on me.