The best time to go shopping is early Sunday mornings. There are fewer people in the store at that time and those who are there are usually mission specific. There are fewer children brought to stores on Sunday mornings. The world is still asleep late on Sundays and there is less traffic to dodge. Not that there is a lot of traffic downtown in a small town anyway but there are people in their nineties driving around sometimes and I am here to tell you; you can tell who they are from a distance.
There’s a guy I know who circles the parking lot at least twice no matter where he goes. His philosophy is that any given moment there is someone parked near the door who will surrender a choice spot and he won’t have to walk so far to get inside. He’s about seventy pounds overweight and can’t get around without moaning and groaning like a zombie. I park in a location that makes it easier to get the hell out of the parking lot. Usually that means somewhere as far away from the door as possible. People can’t drive well to begin with and once you put them in a maze they lose their minds like drunken labs rats testing energy drinks for Mexican drug cartels.
I plan to keep out of other people’s way. I park so I can stay out of their way. I plan my shopping so that when I get inside I can get in, get out, and spend as little time as it is possible around what seems to be a mindless set of people who have no idea where anything is, why they are there to begin with, or in fact, there might be people around them who have better things to do then work around those doing nothing.
There are two entrances into the store. The entrance to the right is where the shopping carts are parked so most people go into that way. But that is also a choke point for the store because when people get to the inner door they tend to pause. If two people get there about the same time invariably they either stop to talk to one another or they slow down because for some reason that’s what people do when they get there. So I’ve learned to grab a cart out of the parking lot and go through the other door and if there is someone coming out it’s usually still faster than those people who stop to relive their pasts with others who are going in.
I dodge people. I go around people. I change where I am going and what I am going after to either get around someone stuck in reverie over a jar of olives or someone who has parked a cart sideways in an aisle and left it there. Two women came in this morning and stood with one on one side of their cart and one on the other which effectively closed traffic around them or past them. When they got to someone who was already blocking an aisle it was like watching three hippos giving birth in a telephone booth while trying to pick out what sugar laced cereal to kill their offspring with.
You don’t want to be in a burning building with people like this. And this is exactly why people die when they’re in burning buildings; they have no concept of how to more around other human beings with anything in mind except what they want and how they want it. Today I was trying to buy some peppers in that convoluted little area where they keep produce on kiosks as if the island approach is better than aisles, and some woman parked right in front of me and looked at me with an odd sense of bewilderment because she could get to where I was standing. With little effort she could have gone around and gotten behind me but no, that would have made sense and been logical and it is much better to trap two people and immobilize the whole pepper desiring population than to do something that might actually facilitate everyone’s day.
In a burning building these are the types of people who will push other people down and try to trample them even when it is obvious there is no more room at the doorway for more people.
A man and a woman, got into an involved conversation in from of the meat counter and from what I can understand, they were trying to plan their day around reruns of some television show where zombies are hunting people. The man in question wanted to watch the rerun where a character named Sophia was turned into a zombie but the big debate is whether or not the person who played the human being Sophia was the same person who played the zombie Sophia.
I interrupted them and told them the girl who had played the zombie was actually someone else and they filmed all the zombie stuff first because it was the hardest. But after they filmed the zombie scene the girl who played the zombie was killed in a car wreck so they had to hire someone who looked like her, but was nearly a foot taller.
I haven’t the first damn clue as to what they were talking about but this seemed to animate them and they moved on.
I moved on as well and finally made it to the check out. It’s fairly safe there because the help doesn’t want us hanging around anymore than we do. The Zombie Loving Couple fell in behind me and the guy asked me what I thought was going to happen tonight. What? New Season begins! Oh, and I looked around as if I was trying not to be overheard. “Well, I’ve already watched the new season on the British internet and I can tell you, it’s sad at the end when he dies”
“Who? Who dies? You don’t mean Rick do you?”
“Yep.” I say sadly. “Rick”
I gather my stuff and make my exit, dodging people as I go.