“Outta my way! Outta my way! I got a shelter in place going on over here.”
They wouldn’t listen so I sniffled and the shopping carts parted like the red sea.
No toilet paper! I wonder if I can steal that big round roll from the bathroom? Nah. I have six rolls at home. If that’s not enough for the apocalypse then I’ll use leaves! It won't be the first time. Now who’s laughing at my bidet?! Fools! Mwahahaha.
Milk, eggs, strawberries, yeast, yogurt, where the hockey sticks is the bleach? Why is there no cooking oil left? Oh I need some vodka...and whiskey for a hot toddy in case I get sick. These chocolate chips are 99 cents? How come I’ve never come to Walmart in L.A. before?
There is no cheese! I rush through the store to the great last hope for dairy-like delights. Lo and behold I find the loot. Velveeta. Stacks of it. It's the only thing left on the shelf that even remotely resembles cheese. I see a young millennial couple staring at it. The girl looks at the guy and sheepishly asks, "But what is it exactly?"
I chime in.
"It's a cheese-like product that tastes like 1985 and, if used properly, one can create a mac-n-cheese that will bring delight to even the most bougie of food critics. Plus it's shelf stable."
I ponder the stability of being a Velveeta rep for a moment, but before I can get into a full blown fantasy about job security a man starts having a coughing fit down the aisle. Is he fooling or for real. I'm not sticking around to find out.
I slam some Velveeta in my cart as everyone begins to disperse like a school of fish being penetrated by a dolphin attack. I almost run down an old lady who says she doesn’t see what the big fuss is all about.
“I don’t give a damn about an epidemic!” She yells as people rush past her.
“It’s a pandemic, ma’am.” I correct her.
“Whatever demic it is I don’t give a damn. I’ve lived a good life and I’m ready to go when the good lord takes me.”
What a pioneer she is. I almost feel like yelling to the virus, “Here she is. Come and get her and spare the rest of us.” But I don’t because I don’t want to waste time missing out on all these deals.
I head out of the aisle and that’s when I see some red MAGA hats bobbing along here and there. I guess Walmart truly is the Mecca of conservatives and I can see why. Walmart rolls back prices just about as fast as a Republican Congress can roll back universal healthcare on the needy. Which reminds me I need some medicine.
Tylenol is what they said I should use. Oooh, this box of 200 band-aides are 99 cents! Somebody stop me.
“Excuse me, can you tell me where the Sudafed would be?” A younger guy asks way too close to my ear.
“Aaaaah. Don’t ever sneak up on a man in a medicine aisle. I’m reading labels here! Back up 18 feet.”
“Sorry, do you work here? I can’t find the sudafed.”
“No, you wouldn't catch me working for the Walmart Corporation. I just shop here in pandemic emergencies”
I’m wearing red. Like, why does he think I work here? Poor dumb kid. I better help him.
“Ok, listen. I might be able to help you find the sudafed. OMG, grab me that last bottle of alcohol!”
Time to check the heck outta here! I rush to a cashier who is wearing a mask that has been pulled down leaving her nose exposed to diseases untold. Her name-tag reads Kim, but in my mind she was COVID-Kim. Somebody needs to show her how to properly wear a face mask.
“That will be $195.86 cents.”
Jeez Louise! Everything was so cheap that I must have bought everything. Yeah. That’s it. I bought everything and a bottle of Vodka. Wait, did I really buy 5 lbs of butter?! No time to worry about that now.
“Outta my way. Outta my way. I’ve gotta get home to shelter in place.”
I sling the groceries in the back of my car and bath in hand sanitizer. Nothing like that alcohol fresh smell to really get me pumped after shopping.
I mash the gas and onto the freeway I glide. So easy. So smooth. No traffic. I hear sound bites of someone on the radio talking about the end times and all I can think is: Where the hell am I going to stick all these groceries when I get home?