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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Braving the wilds of the jungle

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It started out as just another Saturday night. My wife and I went out to dinner, hoping the night would lead us back home where I could sit in my recliner and watch something mind numbing on television while she could do whatever it is she does. Only this Saturday night took a turn and she decided we needed to go on a safari.

Some of you might know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you let me clarify that we didn't go hunting or exploring in Africa. Unfortunately we went hunting and exploring at Wal-Mart.

Normally, I try to avoid Wal-Mart the way I try to avoid the jungles of Africa. I won't go unless threatened with physical pain and even then I sometimes choose the pain. But Saturday night I had a rare moment of weakness and found myself standing in front of the intimidating double doors of Wal-Mart.

Before I go any further let me just say that for the most part I have nothing against Wal-Mart. I mean where else can you go and get your oil changed, nails done, eyes checked, have a Subway sandwich, get a roll of toilet paper and buy groceries for a month without leaving a building? It really does have everything and there is the problem. For a shopping-impaired individual like myself, Wal-Mart can be very intimidating. I would never enter the jungle of Wal-Mart by myself, but fortunately my wife served as a guide on Saturday's safari.

She's such a good guide, she didn't even need a map and began her hunting within seconds of entering the store. Meanwhile, I walked through doors into the Wal-Mart jungle and stared in awe at the number of wild animals, I mean people, walking around.

I'm not used to seeing all these different kinds of people outside of the jungle. There were people that looked like they were left behind a decade, complete with rat-tail haircuts and acid wash jeans. There were the women with tops that showed so much cleavage I thought the jungle might be a cover for the Playboy mansion. There were packs, I mean families, that congregated in the aisles forcing my guide and I to take alternate routes.

Upon seeing these many different types of wildlife I decided it would be best if I stayed with my guide who seemed to know her way around the crazy jungle. At one point I stopped to look at a big screen television that caught my eye and when I turned to look for my guide, she was gone. I was beginning to wonder if I would be left for dead when I looked down the aisle and there she was, stomping her foot and giving me "the look."

We continued our hunting expedition, choosing only the food we needed to survive for the week when I touched my guide's cart. Here's a pointer for all of you safari-novices like myself. Never, ever, ever touch the guide's cart or you might end up crying like the little boy in the toy aisle who obviously wasn't getting the Shrek doll he had always wanted. You see, touching the guide's cart means the guide no longer has control and has to go where the tourist wants. That apparently puts both parties in danger.

As a matter of fact even with the guide leading us we entered a dangerous situation when we tried to get through a pack that had congregated in the middle of an aisle and left no room to pass. As we nearly ran over one of the littlest ones in the pack that darted out in front of us, the mother growled some nasty words toward my guide. Fortunately, we were hunting for food and not clueless idiots so the guide gave the mother a pass.

The safari ended with no further problems, although I think it will be a long time before I enter that dangerous place again. However my guide is already planning her next trip into the shopper's jungle. I'll wish her luck.

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