How to Scare People at Wal-Mart

7 03 2008

Those of you who come here often know that I am hobbling around with swollen legs and feet right now. Mostly, I’m stuck in the house, except for fun-filled trips to various radiology places for MRIs, CTs and other interesting initials. Basically, I’m able to make one little outing a day before feeling pretty wiped out. Yesterday, however, was a test-free day. Since a winter weather blast was soon to pummel nearly the entire Midwest, I made the decision to hit the Super Wal-Mart. We needed just a few items to tide us over, and this was the one store where I could get everything I needed in one place.

Due to my current condition and the fact I was going in the middle of the day on a work day for most people, I made the bad decision to venture out of the house in the following condition:

– I did not shave

– I made only a half-hearted attempt to fix my morning hair

– I wore my relatively out-of-style glasses instead of bothering with contacts.

– I wore a sweatshirt and sweatpants. The sweatshirt is decent. The sweatpants, however, are awful. They are very worn. They are baggy. They are the homeless-man, mentally-ill man, “Ma’am-can-you-spare-a-dollar”-man kind of sweatpants.

[My wife sketched it here.]

As if this was not bad enough, one of the few items I needed to buy was a package of small girl’s underwear. Our toddler is in the potty training phase, and we needed more.

As if this was not bad enough, you need to know that I take shopping seriously. I’m not a just-grab-what-you-need-and-throw-it-in-the-cart kind of guy. I’m married to a CPA so I compare prices, quality, etc. In addition to this, our toddler is a bit fussy about clothing. This was not a simple decision. I had to find primarily pink ones, or she might throw a fit about it. I had to weigh the options between tagless or not. I looked at the material, etc.

So, there I was, scary and all criminal-looking, in the middle of a normal work day, standing, unshaven, in the little girls’ underwear aisle, with a couple of packages in hand, studying.

After a minute or two, I began to notice mothers steering their children away from me. I decided I better just pick one before I had to have a conversation with a dreaded Wal-Mart security person. I wanted to shout, “It’s okay. I have a daughter and a job. I’m just sick.” However, I’m afraid it would have been only the last three words that would have stuck out.

I made a quicker-than-I-would-have-liked selection and got out of there.

Luckily, the other items I needed were not at all suspicious (milk, bread, etc.) Can you imagine if, by chance, we had also needed things like rope or binoculars? Yikes, I think I would have been detained.

I’ll just stay home today.

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38 responses

7 03 2008
Brianmpei

Rope and binoculars…too funny! I thought these things only happen to me. My current favourite commercial is the guy at the store using his video cell phone to pick out the right package -wings or no wings? what the heck are wings doing on these things anyway – for his wife at home. Glad you can find the funny in the midst of your swell.

7 03 2008
Sarah

Just curious…while you were there did you notice any of those all call announcements where they announce over the loudspeaker to all associates that they are doing a security check of zone three or any similar announcements?

7 03 2008
Allison

I guess it was your hasty decision making that led to the skull and crossbones skivvies. She is going to rock her classroom.

7 03 2008
Maggie, dammit

hahahahaahahHAAA!

Oh how I love a little walmart pedophile humor.

Thank you for this.

7 03 2008
Laura

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

7 03 2008
Taoist Biker

Yep, them’s the kind of trips I hate.

For me, shopping for the family is always a terror. The more my wife describes a specific item in detail, the less likely I am to find that exact item. Then it becomes a matter of “Do stand here in the aisle and call her, branding WHIPPED on my forehead in big letters? Do I make an executive decision and face the imminent eye-rolling upon my return home? Do I go home empty-handed? Hmm.”

7 03 2008
jenefur

Well you would have fit right in at the WalMart in my area then! I try to steer towards Target whenever possible. Though today when we too were buying toddler underwear, my husband and I looked terrible from getting up at the crack of dawn throwing on sweats and flipflops to get to HIS CT scan. Too bad we didn’t meet up… you guys could have just done the ‘hey what’s up’ nod in the kids panty aisle and known that you weren’t pervs.

7 03 2008
Sarah

Great story, this could be why my dad never did any clothing shopping for me. I love the looks that people give other people in Walmart. I always get the “freak that might steal something” look. Creepy pedophile guy is definately a worse look though.

7 03 2008
Paperspoons

Matt, you sure sound SEXAY! Can we get a photo? 😛

7 03 2008
morethananelectrician

Really…too funny! When you started the story, I thought that you were going to be mistaken for a homeless man and someone gave you some money, but this was much more entertaining!

8 03 2008
pamajama

This may very well be my absolute favorite entry ever stumbled upon in my history of blog reading.

“9-1-1 operator, what is your situation?” “Bad, dirty man buying milk, bread & little girl panties. I’m guessing he’s got a child hidden in a secret room somewhere. Come quick.”

8 03 2008
Morgan

HAHA! This is a really funny post. I don’t think you looked any different than some of your average Wal-mart shoppers. Its seems like the times I have shopped there ( I don’t have a Wal-Mart very clost to me, but I prefer Target) I have seen men dressed the way you are dressed on this particular day….but I don’t think they were sick…lol.

Anyway, Hilarious post!

8 03 2008
Nicki

Oh man, I got a gooood laugh out of this one! You’re one funny dude!

8 03 2008
Glassowater

Last week, I was in WalMart and ran into a little girl crying. She came up to me and said if I knew where her mom was. I said I had no idea but I would help her look. I flagged down one the employees, some zit covered teenager who couldn’t have pretended to be less interested, and asked him for help because we had a lost child here. He tells me theres nothing he can do and that I should take her to front to the customer service counter. She takes my hand, still bawling her eyes out and we head to the front of the store. And of course customer service is right next to the exit….
So picture this: me essentailly making a bee-line for the exit holding the hand of a crying little girl, screaming for her mommy. Yeah, I felt really really uncomfortable. I kept saying in an overly loud voice “Don’t worry! Customer service will page your mommy! And I, a simple bystander with no criminal record who is just escorting you to customer service, will then proceed to the check out area to pay for the underwear I came in for.”

8 03 2008
Phyllis K Twombly

From ‘the other side of the counter,’ let me say that store managers have seen worse–much worse, and we know things are often not as they appear. We get pretty good at detecting the difference between someone having an off day and a genuine threat to our store and the other customers. You may not have attracted as much attention as you think, although it can be hard to feel otherwise.
One of the funniest things I saw was a customer who purchased sandals, but refused to put them on. When his friend asked, “Why not? Do your feet stink?” the fellow lifted his foot to his nose, sniffed deeply, and said, “Yup.”

8 03 2008
Have You Seen This Man? « That’s What She Blogged

[…] below at a Midwestern Wal-Mart on Thursday, it wasn’t as bad as it looked.  I swear.  Click here for the full […]

8 03 2008
Tasmaniac

Hilarious, but it does show how suspicious society has become thanks to all the real sicko perverts out there.

9 03 2008
Angela

Came your way via Allison. Had to read the story that linked to her sketch. All you seem to be missing is a cigarette dangling from your mouth…..and perhaps, you could have snapped some digital shots of the children who were clogging the aisles that day, as long as you were there. Might have even scored you an arrest…heh.

9 03 2008
Stacey

Could have been worse. You could have asked a nearby child which underwear she liked best.

. . . and then mentioned the puppy in your van.

People are very judgmental. My parents adopted a baby when I was in college. Whenever I took my new sister out anywhere with me, I would get tons of dirty looks from people who assumed she was my kid.

9 03 2008
Matt

Stacey, great idea. I would have done it if I thought of it. Or at least asked the Moms. “Excuse me, could you tell me which of these you think would look best on your daughter?”
Paper: I’m afraid I’m not at my “sexay”ist, but I’m glad you “enjoyed” my wife’s rendition.
Angela, perhaps I will take up smoking if this continues.
Phyllis, I should have done that. Wait, I couldn’t lift my foot up that high right now!
Glass, that’s hilarious. Hopefully you didn’t scar her for life.
Pama, thanks! Drat those dreaded cell phones. They don’t give a guy like me that time to get a head start!
Morethananelectrician, I’m considering begging outside Big Lots tomorrow.
Sarah (with the M&M), we should go together the next time anyone in either of our families needs underwear.
Jenefur, how did your husband’s turn out?
Brian and Tao, those are tough situations…between a rock and a hard place, or maybe more like between a pad and a panty liner.

9 03 2008
mrsvierkant

Just tripped upon your blog. Funny. 😀 Thanks for the laugh. I also enjoyed the artist’s sketch.

9 03 2008
JGirl4You

haha good one !

9 03 2008
duffboy

Sorry to hear about your health issues. I sort of felt that way, when I bought a pair of kids’s undies for an art project I started. I did not, however, stay too long in the kiddies aisle. I felt weird about it anyway.

9 03 2008
romi41

Hahaha…..”I’m just sick”….oh man, it’s amazing how your only way to judge a stranger-book is by it’s cover, ’cause what other conclusion would a nervous mom in a store have come to???

You pedo!!!

LOL, but seriously I hope you feel better, and maybe it’s time to re-fresh your jogging-pant inventory 😉

9 03 2008
Adam

This is hilarious!

But I agree with Jenefur… at my Wal-Mart, you would have fit right in.

10 03 2008
stopbouncing

Thanks for the Monday morning laugh.

10 03 2008
Catie

That sounds exactly like something that would happen to me. The next time I see a scary-looking man in the little girl’s underwear isle (which may be a long time from now, since I don’t have kids), I’m going to remember your story … 🙂

10 03 2008
brilliant monster

Your outfit alone was criminal enough, but some haggard, holey, limping man buying little girls’ underwear is priceless! i laughed until i choked–literally.

11 03 2008
dontdatethatdude

You must have a wonderful Wal-mart. I can’t go into the one around here because everyone including the employees are dressed way worse then you were, in fact it’s my humble opinion that if you entered our Wal-mart you would have been dressed up! I would also bet that you smelled much better! LOL, great story nonetheless!

11 03 2008
mollymac

funny… that’s the exact getup i wear when i go to buy little girl’s underwear…

gchat isnt nagging – its a good reminder!

12 03 2008
Aneesha

Love the way you find humor in day-to-day life.

12 03 2008
betme

Matt ~ I am printing out your post and handing it to my husband. He is all about appearances and mutters if I go out the door in sweats with my hair in a pony tail. I am forever telling him, “It is ok. I am not walking the runway. I am going to the grocery store.”

This is soooo funny!

12 03 2008
Allison

Just imagine if you had shopped for skivvies at Target instead. I think the tone of the comments would be considerably different. Gone would be phrases like, “Oh, you probably fit right in,” or “I’m sure you look better than 75% of the Wal-Mart shoppers in my town.” In their place would be comments like, “I’m sure the Target security team had you under surveillance the whole time,” or “Wow, you probably even had the stockroom boys hiding behind boxes.”

14 03 2008
Matt

Allison. Good point! I’ll try it next week! Or, maybe I’ll even (gasp) go to the mall! (Insert ghoulish laughter)

17 03 2008
Alyson

I love this story.

Good thing you didn’t go to Target. My hubby was told to leave when he was searching for a pair of camo panties for a gag gift.

21 03 2008
The Incredible, Expirable Egg (How to Keep Neighbors From Having a Fight) « Licensed to Blog

[…] The easy solution hit me! Our neighbors were gone, and we have a key to their house in case of emergency, such as needing an egg! Surely they had them. I wouldn’t have to make a quick trip to the store in my sweatpants (many of you know what happened the last time I tried that.) […]

29 10 2008
Chris

Scary?
Whats scary about this is that at a local Walmart thats what everyone looks like so you would have fit right in.

20 06 2013
small business ideas

Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it
can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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