It is 0900.... I flip up the lid on the bench in the "foyer".... There are my Steel Toe Red Wing Boots... It's time for a trip to hell... Better be prepared... I slip them on, better double knot. This, after all, WAR. It is to be taken seriously, and prepared for appropriately, though no amount of training or conditioning can prepare one for the horrors that lie ahead.
We refer to "Sprawlmart" (we'll use that alias lest we anger the powers that be in the Evil Empire) as "Hell". As it is the place we have nightmares about going to. Forget the 'Afterlife', we have a lot more to fear from the disgruntled customers at the said convenience shop-all.
Aunt flow is announcing her monthly visit, loudly making her demands, bitching for this and that. Too bad she doesn't come with a mute button. *sigh* So, needless to say, I am at the mercy of the witch which has existed since the beginning of time, demanding as she is, I have no recourse other than to oblige.... I have no available option to abate her demands than to "Plug" her bitchy mouth... So, that is what I do... It is but a temporary fix.
We park in the 13th (if I counted correctly) spot down on the left side of row 12, next to the cart return. Damon is absent as he travels through the masses with my lovely... Troy and Nikki are with me. We walk through the hell that is beauty care items, searching for something that is good for chapped lips, finding nothing but colour this, and colour that, there is so much artificial "beauty"... we decide that it is in out best interest to travel to the land of once living edibles... broccoli, garlic, avocado, zucchini, beautiful green bell peppers... Oh the joy of being an herbivore!
On to the once living legumes and grains... The beauty of it all obscured by the carnivores cry for blood at every turn (now is the point at which I give the disclaimer that when "Quality" meat byproducts cross our paths we consume them- like venison, or fish that originated in the deep blue sea), and we see the lenth of cooler that runs from one end of the store to the other, packed with divided bits of shrink wrapped mammal carcass... Oh so sad!
We travel through the land of boxed mixes and pre-mixed seasoning blends, and "instant" everything else (since americans have apparently lost the ability to read a cookbook, or Buddha forbid- google something!) to acquire raw ingredients such as whole wheat flour and dried sweet basil... I ask the clerk if they have any ground or whole "Coriander" in stock, only to receive a sideways stare from the woman. She does not even repeat the word I have spoken, likely because she has too few teeth left to properly pronounce it. I am on my own in a world of foreign product, searching for something wholesome.
"Sprawlmart" frightens me for a number of reasons... Mainly the clientele, the scary ghetto women who will fucking sit on me with their 300 lbs worth of junk in the trunk if I DARE look at their man, effectively squeezing the life out of me with their grotesque buttocks the size of a side of beef. I'm constantly aware of my surroundings, and that I would fit much better in the middle of a Whole Foods or open air market- I'd even fit in better as an Atheist in the bible belt! (wait, that's me too!!!... Damned if I do, Damned if I don't).
It is toward the end of out journey. Troy sits in the basket seat of the shopping cart, he is just a few feet away as I search for fruit pulp with which to begin my wine making journey (unfortunately sprawlmart no longer carries it, since it does not meet the criteria of being heavily processed, artificially colored and flavored, containing MSG, aspertame or high fructose corn syrup) as an old blue hair approaches with pinchy fingers, exclaiming "Oh what a cute little GIRL!!".... Troy appropriately responds defensively in the absence of his mother who is just out of reach, exclaiming "I NOT a girl!!!!!!" while slapping the elderly woman on the arm. She looks up at me as though I had been the one that slapped her. I simply respond by smiling. I feel no need to excuse my sons behavior since he was responding to the crossing of a physical boundary that should never have been breached.
I am not only relieved, satisfied, and pleased but also proud of my son for knowing how to protect himself from random sprawlart attackers... He is quite the trooper, and responds with catlike reflexes to the combatant physical circumstances of WAR.