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My Sojourn to the Planet SquallMart

OK, flog me with a wet udon noodle, but I had to go into our local SquallMart Stupor Store because they had black fabric paint. Anyone for a trip into the ninth circle of Hell? Sanity check: all meters green.


First sight was a way pudgy dumpling of indeterminate sex begging for a soda. Then the family discussion circle standing right inside the entrance reminded me why I don't go to that place. Where's my air horn when I need it?

It was a lovely brilliant day outside, but doncha know, the skylights in this megabarn were frosted, so that no natural light could interfere with the cockeyed lighting they use.

"Shreeeeek! I wantitIwantit Iwant it NOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!"Ah, yes- the wailing chant of the Consumer Child. Earplugs, anyone? Seriously, they ought to pass them out at the door or hang "Hazardous Noise Levels Inside- Use Caution!" signs on the door. But that industrial yellow and black would be Bad for Bidness. My poor ears…They were wailing in Surround Sound. Maybe I ought to check the phase of the moon next time I go.

I got my stuff, and on a whim, cruised by the sweatshop specials, quietly wondering why Ms. Kathy Lee's stuff doesn't come in larger sizes. There aren’t many anorexic starvelings in this part of the country. And why, oh why is plus-sized stuff ALWAYS collarless? I have a neck- I can wear a collar. But the plus-sized clothing manufacturers seem to think that only v- or scoop neck is proper for anything over a size 16. And there was the usual sleeveless redneck and Daisy Duke cutoff-style crap, side by side with the kiddy pimp/ho fashions...Can you say hypocritical? Dress your kiddos like streetwalkers, but sell them censored music. So much for familee valyooz. Ah, corporate hypocrisy at its best. Take all the money! Sell them everything!

Cruised through the Stupor Market- mostly prepackaged and frozen food it seemed, but no, they didn't have the Reser potatoes I wanted. Carts full of expensive frozen precooked corporate convenience food pushed by slack faced people blocked my way down most aisles, but I was in a fairly good mood- I didn't have to buy that crap- or eat it. I know how to cook. And I have TIME.

And on to the finale- the checkout. Must have been Baby Day, and no one warned me, because EVERY SINGLE CART had one or more babies, toddlers, or small kids in it. The noise level from kidlets denied crapola from the gimme displays beside the checkouts was nearly deafening- I'm sure that it violated at least a few Strategic Arms Limitations. (Heck, instead of blasting loud rock and roll for psychological warfare, the CIA would do better by recording a Saturday Wallyworld checkout line. The sheer ear-shattering icepick quality of amplified toddler shrieks would get any idiot dictator to surrender instantly!) It was almost like a Twilight Zone episode. Nice quiet CF me surrounded on all sides by mombies with squirming hyper little kids. Most of them looked to be my age, or older. Damn boomer boom...what is it about these peri-menopausal twits popping out kids? I keep thinking about that comic book postcard I have stashed somewhere- a frantic looking woman saying, "Oh, my God- I forgot to have kids!" I counted about two dozen kids in the lines around me. Of course, one could not keep her grimy paws in her cart and made a sticky grab for the gift bag I bought, but I moved it out of her reach before she could get it. The ‘isn’t she cyoot?’ indulgence look from the teen mom was returned with an icy violet po-faced Vulcan stare from me, complete with the rising eyebrow. She quickly moved her cart out of the way. Chalk up another one for the Vulcan Death Glare.

And what would a Squall Mart trip be without the usual near miss from a baby laden mom backing her oversized SUV without looking? A blast from my horn prevented catastrophe. I just wish I had a roof-mounted bazooka...

I felt so strangely alien there- out among the child-ridden...and I quietly said a word of thanks to whatever Providence permitted me the intelligence and strength to Resist the Borgian Breeding siren song.

And how was YOUR day?


2000 Lorie A. Johnson

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