Sunday, October 23, 2011


One thing I've discovered about Super Wal-Mart--their salespeople are woefully inadequate when it comes to helping me pick out a suitable Halloween costume. 

In fact, it took me several minutes just to find someone I recognized as an employee.  He was hiding in the gardening department behind a stack of fertilizer, pretending to do something like they always do, so I pressed him into service as my Halloween "tailor", as it were, in order for him to meet my needs as a customer.

"I want to dress up as the Tyrannosaurus Rex from JURASSIC PARK," I announced.  To demonstrate my sincerity, I crouched into my patented dinosaur position and emitted a frightening growl, clawing the air with my "talons."

"We don't have any Tyrannosaurus Rex costumes," he said.  Without even looking.  I mean, it was as though this guy wanted me to believe that he had memorized every costume they did or didn't have. 

"What the hell do you mean, you don't have any Tyrannosaurus Rex costumes?" I countered, inching forward in my dinosaur crouch in order to intimidate him. 

"Look," the guy said, "all's we got is what you see here."  He waved his hand over a display of costumes ranging from "Sparkly 'Twilight' Vampire" to "Random 'Harry Potter' Character" to assorted princesses, pirates, game show hosts, etc.  There wasn't a single Tyrannosaurus Rex costume on the whole blooming rack!

"I WANNA BE A TYRANNOSAURUS REX!!!" I screamed in sudden rage, jumping up and down and pumping my fists.  He simply stared at me, nonplussed, so I continued to do this until a big guy from store security came over and asked what the problem was.  I was beyond verbal communication by that point, so I pointed at the salesguy and the costumes, and did my dinosaur crouch again, and then continued jumping up and down screaming, "I WANNA BE A TYRANNOSAURUS REX!!!"  Only by this time the words were garbled into something that sounded like "ARR GARR BAR RAR RARR RARRRRR!!!"

The security guy made a threatening move toward me, so I ducked out of his grasp and ran down the aisle.  Other customers were staring at me wide-eyed, obviously sympathetic to my plight and afraid that some simple request on their part might also result in them being persecuted for no reason. 

Regaining my ability to speak, I darted from person to person as I ran, grabbing them by the shoulders and screaming "DON'T ASK FOR TYRANNOSAURUS REX COSTUMES!!!" into each of their terrified faces.  Thank goodness my warning seemed to work, since several of them immediately ran away.

Upon reaching the electronics section, I whipped around resolutely and prepared to face my pursuers.  At first it seemed as though they were no longer chasing me.  I knew better, though, reasoning that they must be circling around for a sneak attack from one of the side aisles. 

Easing behind a DVD rack, I took the opportunity to check and see if any new "Pippi Longstocking" DVDs had come in that month.  They hadn't.  In fact, I couldn't remember ever seeing any except for those crappy recent ones that never got the character right like the authentic Swedish versions from the 70s did, and should burn in hell.

A saleslady walked by, so I asked, in my most polite voice, "Excuse me, are you expecting any new 'Pippi Longstocking' DVDs any time soon?  And I don't mean those crappy recent ones that never get the character right and should burn in hell, but the authentic Swedish versions from the 70s."  In order to better convey what I was talking about, I began to brightly croon Pippi's theme song while doing the Pippi dance. "I am Pippi Longstocking, a-hope and a-hey and a-hope sha-naaa!"

The saleslady stood there and watched until I came to the big finish, which involved a final hop-skip dance step into a frozen pose with the usual hand flourishes and big toothy smile.  "Uhh," she said at last.  "I don't think we have any of those."

"I know you don't have any," I said calmly, with only a small, controlled sigh betraying my annoyance.  "What I'm asking is, are you going to get any?"

"I don't know," she said nervously.

"Well then," I said patiently, changing the subject.  "Are you going to get any Tyrannosaurus Rex costumes?"

"Any what?"


The saleslady screamed in terror, and suddenly the security guy and the fertilizer guy were after me again.  I scrambled down the main aisle that cut through the middle of the store and careened into the grocery section, flinging potatoes and heads of lettuce behind me.  But as soon as I turned the next corner, I spotted several uniformed policemen moving in from the frozen foods section.  I was trapped!

Looking around, I spied a large cardboard cutout standing next to a Kool-Aid display.  I darted behind it and waited for my pursuers to run past, chattering about how they were going to "catch that guy."  And I was that guy!  Me, an unflinchingly loyal Super-Walmart customer whose only crime was wanting a damn Tyrannosaurus Rex costume! 

Fear and indignation merged within my roiling breast as the unfairness of the situation began to consume me with a surge of manic intensity.  "GRRRRRRR!!!" I growled, grabbing the cardboard cutout in both hands and holding it in front of me as I charged my way out of the store.

It wasn't until I watched the video footage of the incident on the news that night that I discovered the cardboard cutout was--in one of those funny coincidences--a Tyrannosaurus Rex from JURASSIC PARK which was part of their commercial tie-in with Kool-Aid.  Since my anger had reduced me to non-verbal status again, the rampaging cardboard dinosaur seemed to roar "ARR GARR BAR RAR RARR RAAARRRRR!!!" as it crashed its way through the store and out the front door, with the security guy, the fertilizer guy, and the saleslady all running for their lives along with the rest of the screaming customers. 

Again, I hadn't realized exactly what was happening when I went on to terrorize an orphanage, a hospital, and an old folks' home in similar fashion, unwittingly chasing a wide and ever-increasing assortment of terrified people down the street until I finally ducked down an alleyway and made my way home. 

That night, Mom called and asked if I'd had anything to do with "that story on the news", and I asked her why she would simply assume that I did and she just sort of sighed.  Later, some little kids in weird costumes came to my door begging for free candy, so I grabbed my Tyrannosaurus Rex cutout and chased them away.  Pffft--like I buy that stuff just to give it away to a bunch of strangers. 

No comments: