It is not actually scientifically possible to just go to Fred Meyer and buy toothpaste. You always look for toothpaste, but then can’t find it, but ‘oh look there are party hats with raccoons on them on sale’ and then you are accosted by ancient semi-nude Russian women spouting profanities, Mexican gang-bangers, or drug dealers and then you stand in line for half an hour and then they have to do a price check on your toothpaste and then the toothpaste turns into a snake and devours your face.
Example: Not too long ago Jim purchased an entertainment tower and we got trapped in line behind someone buying a full cart of groceries from a checker on their first day (on this side of the space time rift?) and a guy who grabbed and squeezed Jim’s shoulder like he was checking a melon for ripeness. The entire furniture choosing process took literally 5 minutes, but before leaving Fred Meyer we stood in line 20 minutes, I almost bought a hummingbird feeder, and a man came-on to Jim. This is how Fred Meyer is.
So given that I’ve been shopping at Fred Meyer since I was 14 years old, I should have known that going to Fred Meyer with Czabrina last night was a ridiculously huge lapse in judgment.
Naturally, they did not have legal sized color copying paper (the only objective of the trip), but plastic bins were on sale, so I had to buy them.
Whilst waiting in line to buy the bins, we were trapped behind what I can only assume were Mormons preparing for the end of days OR John and Kate (of Plus 8 fame). But we were patient. We were having a nice time chatting. It should come as no surprise that this is exactly when the Fred Meyer Rule of Ricockulosity (the Third Law of Crazydynamics) came into play.
A clean-cut, petite, black woman came up the aisle and as she passed took notice of the under-the-bed bin I was holding and asked about it. Czabrina directed her to the correct aisle. But of course, as this is Fred Meyer, the conversation does not end with her thanking us and walking to the aisle, but instead took a sinister course as she declared that you could fit a person, or most of a person, in that bin and store them under your bed or tie them to the top of your car- but they’d have to be small, like my girl. This statement is chased by the phrase “you know what I mean”. Uhm. Do you mean you plan to cram the partially desiccated corpse of your next victim, probably “your girl”, in a Rubbermaid bin that you plan to buy here at Freddy’s today?
She immediately retrieved a screw driver from her person and went on at length about their usefulness, for fixing cars (?? Baroo??). I then decided that perhaps I should continue friendly conversation thus putting off the inevitable stabbing that was certain to come. (Could it be crazy lady, with a screw driver, in the garden department?)
She inquired as to what I would put in the bins, I said CD’s. She is shocked that I have that many CD’s. I explained that I used to work at a music store and got a great discount. Stabby (we are now on a made-up first name basis) announced (loudly) the many ways to steal CD’s when you work at a CD store. “You can get your buddy to come and buy one CD, but take the tags off of like 20 CD’s and then put them in the bag. You know what I mean? Or you can throw a box out the back door. You know what I mean? Or you can open them in the back, take the CD and throw the case in the garbage....” I said, “You could.”
Then she asked us to hold her spot in line and ran over and grabbed one bottled water and 8 candy bars. When she returned (drat!) she asked if she could put them on the conveyer and we agreed. She held them back as the conveyor rolled forward. Finally it was our turn, and as the checker rang up my bins, the Mormons/John & Kate left setting off the door alarm. The checker waved them through, which upset Stabby who yelled at the checker, “You can’t just let them steal like that! You are not good at your job, Michael!” A moment later she mumbled something and, stealing the screw driver, stalked out.
Initially we were all relieved. This care free attitude immediately evaporated as Czabrina and I peered anxiously out the doors towards my distant car. Somewhere out in the darkness was Stabby McGee, replete with stabbing instrument. We ran to the car and sped out of the parking lot, eager to arrive at Staples, where you can walk in, buy paper and leave, and almost nobody advises you on how to hide dead bodies.
You can look forward to a new installment of Department Store or Portal to Alternate Reality soon as the under-the-bed bin I bought does not fit under my bed.