Now I remember why I don't shop at Wal-Mart...
Yesterday was the night my writing group meets, so I stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home from picking the kid up from school, because it is right on the way between our house and her school, and all I needed was a loaf of the white bread the kid eats (yes, she insists on white bread. without crusts: we're trying to break her of it, but so far, well), and I just didn't have time to go across town to the Harp's on Apostate Row.
Anyway. The Wall was its usual nightmare: lines stretching to infinity, even in the 20-items-or-Less line (the Grammar Nazi in me grits its teeth -- 20-items-or-FEWER, that should be), swarms of people with heaping carts lurching about, candy and bad food piled in mountains, idiot magazines shouting from every surface about who's been boffing whom and what diet will work and when Jesus will return...I got my bread and we got in the shortest 20-items-or-less checkout we could find, and waited and waited and waited. The kid is telling me her latest saga, about a dragon who got turned into a princesses and then found her dragon friends would no longer play with her. It's pretty good. I tell her she should write it down.
Finally we hove near the checker. He's about 19, smirky. The woman in front of me looks exhausted. She is buying the cheapest sort of white bread, a sack of oranges, a sack of apples, a half gallon of Wal-Mart milk. He asks how her day has been. She says fine. He says, not at all nicely, "You don't sound convinced of that."
She gives him a look. He's 19, did I mention that? She's at least 35.
He keeps on checking out her stuff. Gives her the total. She runs her credit card. He says, as we're waiting for her card to clear, to me and to her and to the guy behind me, who looks as tired and worn as she does -- this is the Fort, remember, where the average income is about ten thousand dollars -- he says, holding up one of those donor cut-outs, "Hey, anyone want to give some money away to lazy poor people?"
I look at him. The woman in front of me looks at him. The guy behind me, who's about 40, looks at him. None of us says a thing.
He seems to realize we don't think he's cute or funny. He says, handing the woman her credit card slip to sign, "Well, it's not like the money is going to teach them to fish, or buying them farms, or whatever. It's just giving them food."
"Right," I said. "Feeding the hungry. The bastards."
Mr. Snotty looked confused. And shocked. Probably at the bastards. People don't cuss in teh Fort.
The woman glanced at me, took her bag of groceries, and left.
Mr. Snot rang up my loaf of bread. I left.
I wish I had added, "Wonder what Jesus would think of that?" to what I said. Because I bet Mr. Snotty goes to church on Sundays.
I also wish I had said Yes when he asked if anyone wanted to give any money to lazy poor people. But I was so busy being outraged at his snottiness that it didn't occur to me.
I also should have gotten his stupid fucking name and turned him in.
Man, I need to learn to think faster.
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