Hubby and I went and did a little shopping at Tar-jay Sunday afternoon. Not fun shopping, just the average we-need-paper-towels-Advil-vitamins-Ziploc-containers sort of trip. No fun stuff allowed or else our checking account will slit its own wrists because its consistently low.
I decided to browse around the food section to find better deals on stuff that we buy at Publix. I love Publix almost as much as I love Tar-jay, but they are pricey. However, I just cannot bring myself to cross the automatic-door threshold of Wal-Mart. What good does it do me to save $20 if I gotta stand in line for an hour to pay for my groceries? Don’t believe it can happen? Well, it did to my aunt this weekend, so eat it.
Anyway, I’m looking at the macaroni and cheese, which is 40 cents more at Publix, but several of the boxes at Tar-jay looked like someone had tossed them one by one from the end of the aisle to a stockboy who apparently couldn’t catch a cold.
I reach toward the shelf to find a box that is in better shape when the power goes off. I mean, PITCH. BLACK. The whole hand-waving-in-front-of-the-face-thing? Yeah, it didn’t work.
I hear Hubby say, “Don’t move.” Well, duh. Although now that I think about it, he wouldn’t have known if I did, but he was totally protective of me, and it was really sweet. I felt him take my arm, and while I know the darkness lasted all of ten seconds at the longest, it seemed like forever. A handful of lights flickered on, as if a generator had started up, and just as my sigh of relief went up with dozens of other shoppers, it went dark again.
At this point I had what in hindsight I know is a totally ridiculous thought, but I’m going to share it with you because I know you won’t laugh at me… well not that hard anyway. But you know, I was standing there in the dark — TWICE — and the fear struck that maybe someone did this on purpose. Perhaps (*sigh* yes, I’m going to say this) terrorists?
(Pause for laughter)
Done yet? If not, that’s too bad. I’m continuing with my story and leaving your pathetic ass behind.
Yes, now I know that was a stupid thought. Al-Qaeda was going to attack a Target in Greenville, South Carolina. I’m not saying that it’s not completely and totally out of the realm of possibility, but I think there are other cities that are higher on the list.
The darkness didn’t last as long this time — thank God — and once the lights came on and it appeared they were going to stay on, Hubby grabs the cart and asks, “Do we need anything else?”
“Doggie papers,” I tell him.
He grabs the cart and starts off, “Fuck it, we’re getting that and then we’re getting the hell out of here.”
Well, a lot of customers had that idea, but I have to hand it to Tar-jay. Two people paced in front of the checkout area pointing customers to open registers, and once the registers were back online, almost every lane was open and ringing up purchases.
So those of you who are old enough to remember, get that mental image of Vicki Lawrence in your head — the pre-Mama’s Family, where she’s wearing the ’70s jumpsuit and the Dorothy Hamill haircut — and sing it with me: “That’s the night that the lights went out in Tar-jay…”