Monday, April 29, 2019

Val's Weirdo Magnet Still Retains Maximum Charge

I have been remiss in updating you on the uncanny powers of my Weirdo Magnet. I don't get out much, and tales of CasinoPalooza are often fraught with more newsworthy incidents. However, I assure you that my innate Weirdo Magnet is as strong as ever. I was reminded of that fact on Sunday, in the middle of Country Mart.

I only stopped for a few items. Large potatoes for baking, onions, chips, hot dogs, dill pickle spears, apple/cinnamon instant oatmeal, buns, and bread. You know, just the regular health foods that I feed Hick on a regular basis. Except for the oatmeal. That's mine.

The potatoes were not in good shape. I touched every one of them and settled on two. Then I veered from my list to pick out a few bananas. Hick has two left, and it will be mid-week before my Walmart excursion. I bent over to pick up a bunch from the boxes shoved under the bins, hoping that a giant tarantula didn't run up my arm. Decisions, decisions. The bananas still didn't look that great. Three should be sufficient to tide Hick over for a few days. I pried and pulled and twisted, trying to separate three bananas from that bunch of six. They were the strongest bananas I've ever wrestled with. I swear, it was like trying to break off a sapling's lower limbs.

While I was struggling, I sensed someone watching. Oh! Maybe I was in the way. That happens on a regular basis. No matter where I park my cart, somebody needs to get to the items behind it. I looked up to see a little old lady staring at me.

"Oh! Excuse me. Let me move my cart up a little bit. I'm trying to get a few bananas loose. I don't need this many."

Little Old Lady kept staring. She seemed neither perturbed nor pleased. Finally, she spoke.

"I just paid 18 cents a pound for bananas at Walmart."

"Huh. Well. I don't want to drive all the way to Walmart today."

... "I had to go anyway. For my medicine."

Things were becoming clearer to me. This Little Old Lady seemed to be high as a kite. I'm guessing opioids. She was moving kinda slow, like Uncle Joe on the porch of the Shady Rest in Petticoat Junction. It took her a while to voice her thoughts, and to respond to my replies.

"I usually buy my bananas at Walmart, but I have trouble with their potatoes and onions being rotten when I slice into them."

... "I have that same problem with the potatoes. Get them home, and three days later you can already smell them, because they're rotten."

"I have more trouble with the onions. Three out of four of them are rotten inside."

... "I read that if you buy the flat ones, they're less likely to be rotten."

"The onions here don't give me as much trouble. The last bag I bought DID have a lot of flat ones in it."

... "Yes. The flat ones."

"Okay. I need to get going."

Little Old Lady stood there, watching me go. If she called out, I had already traveled out of earshot. She seemed to be there with a Little Old Man, who was over by the deli counter, because I saw her glancing in his direction a couple of times. Or maybe she was going to go flirt with him. I don't know. She didn't have a cart to ram into him like Richie Cunningham trying to pick up a date at the supermarket.

I'm thinking Little Old Lady picked up her medicine at Walmart, and popped some pills on the way to Country Mart. Why she chose me to chat with is beyoooond me.


  1. 18 cents a pound sounds really cheap to me. Maybe you could buy a bunch of bunches at Walmart and sell them outside the Country Mart...or maybe the weird lady is quoting a bogus price...probable the latter.

    1. I'm pretty sure that would be frowned upon by Country Mart. Two days this month, I saw a Backroads police car parked on their lot, with the officer inside. Yesterday, there was a county deputy parked there. Somebody might have already tried the banana scam!

  2. 18 cents a pound for bananas??!! That's about 40 cents a kilo, which is how we weigh our stuff here and I almost never see bananas under $2.50 a kilo and often they're more than that, as much as $5.99.
    Maybe the old lady is remembering her youth, when foods were much cheaper, but people didn't get paid very much then either.

    1. Sometimes, Save A Lot has their bananas in a cart up front, for FREE! Like when they're turning dark. It's a good deal if you like your bananas that way. Or if you're a baker of banana bread.

      I don't know what she was thinking, but she was only trying to help me, I guess. I think she needs a sign to walk around warning folks about Country Mart's expired foods and squishy bell peppers.

  3. You have a friendly face and attract all kinds. Thinkof yourself as approachable instead of int he way.

    1. Good thing they never saw my old driver's license! They'd run away screaming. I think people approach me BECAUSE I'm in the way. But maybe that's just incidental, and they're drawn to my magnet. Quite often, they ask me stuff like I work there, no matter where I am. It's not like I have an assortment of different work uniforms!

  4. Here in Idaho potatoes and onions are almost free or free most times of the year. IT is sad that you buy them and they go rotten so fast. Sounds like she needed a friend or a d-tox center.

    1. I think the problem is with Walmart selling those onions and potatoes when they're already rotten! I read somewhere that a shipment might sit in the storage room for months. I expect an occasional rotten onion, but three out of four IS BAD! That's why I buy them at Save A Lot or Country Mart now.

      I think that lady was one of those "helper" people, who never met a stranger. She must have been with the old man, because he had a cart, and she didn't. I can't imagine she'd be walking around the store with no items in her hands, no cart. She should have waited until she was on the way home for her medicine!

  5. I have been known to start up conversations with strangers. Does that make me weird? And … I take a plethora of prescription drugs. Oh no, I am!!!!!

    1. You just might be THAT LADY! Except you seem younger, and more spry.