For my first post in this blog of awkwardness, I’d like to tell you a story of an event that happened almost two years ago. In spite of this, the memory was sufficiently awkward to still remain fairly vivid in my mind to this day. It helps that I have another blog of sorts, where I posted this story on the night that it happened. That serves as a good refresher.
Anyway, everyone knows that one of the most important things about dorm life is knowing where the nearest 24 hour grocery store is. If you didn’t know this, consider yourself informed. The closest 24 hour store to my college campus happens to be a Walgreen’s. The closest 24 hour store that sells food happens to be a Wal-Mart.
A quick note on my views about Wal-Mart: I hate it. Certain Wal-Marts in other areas may be different, but this particular Wal-Mart is seriously THE trashy people store. You get all the fat, inbred white hicks. All the toofless black people on welfare. You know, all the people I generally despise on a group basis. And all of them in large numbers.
Wal-Mart at night is a different story all together. Wal-Mart at night consists of an entirely different sort of shady shoppers, most of which look like they really should only come out at night. Granted, you’re dealing with far fewer of them, but also far fewer open checkout lanes, so chances are you’ll have to deal with them sooner or later. Awkwardness abound.
Anyway, I digress. Regardless of my views on Wal-Mart, it still happens to be the closest 24 hour store that actually has just about anything I’d want to go shopping for at any given time. This is important, because I end up doing most of my shopping at night. I suppose my hatred for crowds is greater than my hatred of the types of people generally populating Wal-Marts at 2 AM.
Now that you have 300+ words of unnecessary back story, I can proceed to the story itself.
So let’s set the scene. It’s March 16th, 2006. Approximately 12:30 AM. And I am HUNGRY. So I check my private stash of food in my room. Nothing. I check the community fridge in the common room. Nada. I check all the drawers and cabinets in the half-kitchen. Oatmeal. The only thing to eat was OATMEAL. Plain oatmeal. My hunger will not be satisfied by mere unflavored oatmeal. None of my roommates even had any food lying around which I could “borrow” and restock at a later date.
There’s only one way to solve this, short of cannibalism. Late night Wal-Mart run. Since none of my roommates were around, I was on my own. Grabbing my coat, keys, and wallet, I set off to brave the freakshow that is Wal-Mart at 1 AM. But when I walk inside, the few people I see look relatively NORMAL. Somewhat relieving, yet somewhat unsettling. Further reflection on this was interrupted by the sharp hunger pains in my stomach.
Now normally, grocery shopping is something that should never be done on an empty stomach. I learned this lesson several times the hard way, by running out and only intending to buy a few items, but returning with twenty bags of edible goodness. However, this time I was prepared. I knew what I wanted: chocolate mini-donuts, corn pops, and a half gallon of milk. In, out, and eat. And you know, the hunger pains.
First stop: mini-donuts. Two boxes of these firmly under one arm, I make my way to the cereal aisle. I notice an elderly woman, not quite old enough to be a grandmother, squatting in the middle of the aisle and digging through boxes of Bran Flakes (or some other wrinkly-people food) for who knows what reason. As I approach her, on my way to corn pop goodness, I see her reach waaaay in the back of the shelves for a box…and promptly lets out one of the loudest and wettest farts I have ever heard. If I were this woman, I would have immediately checked my underwear for “uninvited guests”. It was that type of fart.
After she toots, I can see her visibily stiffen, then she turns her head and looks me DIRECTLY IN THE EYES. Time freezes. I don’t want to make eye contact, but I can’t look away. So I sit there and stare at her for what seemed like an eternity, not knowing what to do while her eyes were locked on to mine, DARING me to say something. Meanwhile, the only thing I can think is “I just wanted some fucking corn pops!”
What seemed like hours later (but in reality was probably only two seconds), she shrugs and makes an awkward half-smile as if to say “I’m old, what do you expect?” and then breaks eye contact and goes back to reaching for boxes of Bran Flakes.
I quietly grab my corn pops and proceed to the register, too stunned by the situation to even feel hungry anymore.