Supercenter? I beg to differ.

So here’s my theory: The doors to Wal Mart are actually portals to another dimension, run by sadistic aliens. I say this because of what years of observation have shown me. The behavior of people changes so drastically once they are within those sliding doors that the only possible explanation is that the aliens operating this portal aren’t getting everything quite right; somehow the time signature of our own bodies is not the same as that of the Wal Mart continuum. There’s a temporal distortion field that causes us to be ever-so-slightly out of flux, which wreaks havoc upon our nervous systems. The aliens then conduct their fiendish experiments upon us, stifling their giggles behind their long pale fingers.

 

 

 

If you have experienced any of the following phenomena while shopping at the abovementioned “Supercenter” then you, too, have been a victim of devilish alien manipulation:
1. Inability to make simple decisions. Faced with two packages of toilet paper, you find yourself calculating the price per foot in order to save $0.02
2. Disproportionate spending. Having saved the $0.02 on the toilet paper, you reward yourself by buying a flat screen television.
3. Finding random words hysterically funny. Did you ever consider the fact that the word “niblets” sounds like a cross between “nipples” and “giblets”
4. The inability to stop yourself from drawing funny faces in the condensation on the freezer doors as you stand there laughing at the frozen niblets.
5. Having an overwhelming desire to stomp your feet, cry, and wail that you want to go home. Obviously, the smaller you are, the less able you are to resist this particular phenomenon.
6. Impaired judgement. Just because the tripe is on sale for $1.03/pound does NOT mean you should buy it. No, you will not “find a recipe on the internet later” in which to use it. Trust me.
 

Not only are the aliens watching from afar, they have also placed Their Own strategically within the very framework of the store. For example, The Guy Who Stacks Bread And Bananas at my own Wal Mart stares at me and asks me how I’m doing every. single. time. I. see. him. He looks at me like he knows me. This is because…he does. Those kindly ladies who offer you free samples of the latest market offerings? You guessed it. Those little paper cups are LADEN with alien drugs. Why else would you buy 6 boxes of “chewy delicious trail mix with tiny bits* especially designed to get stuck in your teeth”? You don’t even hike!

 

You’re right, you’re right. I’m overreacting. I can’t possibly be right. Aliens cannot be running Wal Mart because they’re too busy running the government. Maybe Those In Charge in the Wal Mart realm are simply pumping nerve gas into the aisles. This would explain a lot. But I like the first theory better.

 

*alien tracking devices
 
 

 

Labor

Yesterday My Beloved and I cut trim for our upstairs bathroom. It is a small bathroom, but it has a footprint vaguely resembling a Tim Burton funhouse, and thus requires an obscene amount of small trim pieces. This would not be a problem if My Beloved was a manly-type-tool-loving-average-guy-who-lives-and-breathes-heavy-machinery. However, My Beloved is a computer programmer who loves to manipulate PC guts and say things like “I need to overclock the CPU to get the best Quake performance”. This means he has more motherboards than chainsaws, more CD-rom drives than nail-drivers, and not a whole lot of anything resembling a table saw.

 

We decided that was okay, however, since this was a small project and surely would not require more than what he DID have, which was a small yellow doohickey with a groove down the middle for the wood, and various slots placed at varying angles in which to place your saw for cutting. This, as I understand it, is called a “mitre box”.

 

Let me assure you, gentle readers, this “mitre box” is a tool of The Devil.

 

We placed the first piece of wood innocently in the groove, angled the saw just so in order to make the first 45-degree beveled edge, and proceeded to cut. Instantly the most hideous noise imaginable rose out of the apparatus, caused by the friction of the saw upon the plastic. Have you ever rubbed hard plastic vigorously with a piece of metal? And you lived to tell about it? I congratulate you with all the shreds of what used to be my heart.

 

At first I gritted my teeth and thought I could bear it, as I was required to assist by holding onto the end of the wood being cut. As adrenaline surged through my body in a desperate “fight or flight” reflex in response to the terrifying assault on my ears, I considered my options.

 

1. Eliminate the source of the din. We were in the garage. There was a hammer nearby. I could efficiently and decisively knock My Beloved’s head clean off before he knew what hit him. This option was becoming rapidly and alarmingly more attractive with every second that passed. I clung to my sanity by the tips of my fingernails, however, and reminded myself that the media have a way of making even the most understandable transgression sound terribly sordid.

 

2. Run. Believe me, this was attractive. In my mind I was already running in circles, waving my arms above my head and shrieking like a banshee. It would have taken very little persuasion to make it a reality. Again, however, my sanity prevailed as I reminded myself of how easily wrong impressions are created and how inconvenient it would be to have to move to another city state to escape them.

 

3. Cry, and curse. In the end, this is the option I chose, and I must allow that it was effective enough to get me through the duration of the sawing. The technique was simple enough: as soon as the work began I would begin to weep, simultaneously reciting every expletive I could remember in a long and continuous stream. I may have even made up some new ones in the process. It was not unlike childbirth, minus the adorable baby at the end, although a cleanly cut piece of trim takes on a beauty all its own when it is achieved through such travail.