Dragnet – The Wal-Mart Walk
Zoom in from an aerial cityscape to a fairly crowded parking lot.
“This is the city’s gathering spot. 175000 square feet of it… 500 people at any given time. In my job, you get a chance to see ‘em all. I’m a sheepdog.”
A lone man heads toward the wide irresistible vacuum that is the Wal-Mart entrance, which looks curiously deserted, considering the number of cars in the parking lot.
“We’d been working on a tasty dinner out of Home Base. My partner’s Janet; she’s a sheep. My name’s Kmank.”
May 05, 2009; 7:08 P.M. In the kitchen on the main floor of Home Base, Janet briefs me on the situation: “I need to bring a desert to go with tomorrow night’s dinner at the Smith’s, and don’t have the necessary ingredients. I want to bring a Banana Cream pie, but only have the bananas”. What do you say to a woman in desperate need? Not much, it seems; my duty is clear – Wal-Mart.
Two days previously, a package was delivered in my name From Republic, MO. The package was ripped open with unstoppable determination. At long last, my Crossbreed Supertuck – the perfect match for my Ruger SR9. A new handgun. A new holster. A new sheepdog.
I slipped the IWB Supertuck inside my wide leather belt, clasping it into its new home – amazing comfort from the start. Next the SR9. In it slid, thrilling me with that testosterone-laden sound as it came to complete hold within the holster. I slowly slid the gun back out, testing its retention. My face betrayed my stoic nature as a crooked sideways smile slowly appeared.
Nine minutes past seven: “Wal-Mart!” I tell my much better half, “We need a trip to Wal-Mart.” Little did she realize this was the chance I needed to fulfill my rights of passage as a new sheepdog, so of course I was willing to sacrifice a little time to meet her needs.
“Instant vanilla pudding, Graham cracker crumbs and Cool Whip,” she stated. Emphatically, she repeated the list to me, making certain I had understood. Generally, that is unnecessary, but in this case I was already thinking ammo, cover wear and an action film. Repeating the list snapped me out of it.
I grabbed my iPod Touch because in it I keep a list of WallyWorld Tactical Stops. This mission is too important to rely on memory alone.
Half past seven: Walking to the entrance doors, they whoosh open as if I were walking onto the bridge of the Enterprise D. Of course, I’m greeted with a smile and the obligatory “Welcome to Wal-Mart.”
“At least that’s one thing they get right,” I think to myself, and I return the smile. The greeter gives me an inquisitive glance as I single-mindedly say out loud – “Nachos!”
In all fairness, I hold nothing against this location because it is one of the newer ones. No nachos, so Subway will have to do.
Unfortunately, Subway was closed – no sipping on a fountain drink tonight. No problem; on to the Men’s department.
Searching for cover garments is easy for me, as I am not of large stature, but certainly not small, either. And in this overweight state in which we reside extra large garments are abundant – and just right.
The red one goes in the cart which, by the way, keeps a beat all its own down the aisles, as one of the wheels is flat in one spot. Without that, I would feel like I was in a different store.
Now comes the fun, but expectedly disappointing part of my walk. Yep… ammo. The SR9 requires 9mm ammunition, and lots of it! Any picture from any Wal-Mart in the nation will produce about the same result as this one, posted just because.
The empty areas in the evidence above confirm the lack of 9mm and other handgun calibers.
Ten minutes to eight: Moving on to the fourth stop, Action DVDs, I realized that not only have there been no suspecting passers-by that I am packed to the proverbial hilt with 18 rounds of pure 9mm bliss, but I was extremely surprised that I was no longer aware that there was a thick leather holster strapped to my rear right quadrant. This thing is comfortable. If not for the extra poundage on my hip, I would be totally oblivious.
It was now time to add one of my all time favorites to my collection. No modern ballistic weapons here, but does it really get much better than this?
Moving on to the food department, I remember that I used to quip, “If WallyWorld doesn’t have it, you don’t need it.” I’m older and wiser now. Still… mighty handy.
Milk and eggs aren’t getting any cheaper, but they're staples!
Speaking of staples – red meat. Lunch for tomorrow. I have no picture of this one due to phone malfunction, but trust me… porterhouse goes with anything, or all by itself.
As long as I was in the food department, I needed to validate my time and mileage with the “reason” for my visit.
Eight minutes after eight: My Wal-Mart walk is almost complete, but before I exit I find myself indulging in one more item.
This is purely for research purposes. A sheepdog needs to keep abreast of the latest advancements in securing the flock.
Having walked through the valley of the shadow of Wal-Mart without incident and returning to Home Base with the very reason for the trek (as well as the desert ingredients), I gain a stronger sense of security. The added bonus was a hug and a kiss from my partner. “What took you so long?” she asks. The crooked sideways smile slowly appears again.