Heath and Esme Have an Adventure
Disclaimer: It should be known to the reader that the following story (helpfully narrated in the third person) regards a pair of individuals whose names have been disguised under pseudonyms. Hopefully this veil of anonymity will protect them the harsh glare of the outside world for the subject matter of the anecdote below is a bit... sensitive. Under no circumstances should one imagine that the unfortunate experiences detailed below happened to me, or anyone else I might know. With that in mind...
Heath and Esme decided to take a lovely vacation away from their native Madison. While their trip was not far, it was sufficient to get them away from it all, and their destination was a two stop-light hamlet in the middle of nowhere, Iowa. The sleepy town was chosen precisely for its backwoods, old-timey, slightly old fashioned ways, and when Heath pulled into the motel he had already shed his city stiffness and a smile crossed his face.
Esme was thoughtful enough to have packed all kinds of foodstuffs for a simple cold dinner, as the pair had come here in years past and found the local restaurants either closed or... not particularly up to snuff. This evening was no exception as the diner was closed and a majority of the village's 12 cars were parked in front of the lone bar with a flickering Budweiser logo in the window.
After checking in the pair decided that it would be best if they secured some sort of dessert to follow their simple repast before settling in for the rest of the night. Ice-cream topped the list of desirables, and it was this delicious treat that propelled them back out into the foggy midwestern night. However, as the doors of the Toyota banged shut, Heath was reminded of an unfortunate spat of forgetful packing earlier in the day. Heath is a respectable and loving young man, and the particular item he had forgotten, one does not speak of them in polite conversation. Needless to say it is easier to forget them than say, your toothpaste.
Now, hours after the fateful blunder, it occured to Heath, that it might be advisable to procure some of said indelicate items. Surely this could be accomplished at the same time as finding some delicous ice-cream sandwiches, say, at a gas station or what passed as a convenient store in these parts. The first two stops proved futile, and whilst driving into the adjacent town they saw a glowing sign which might have had a hand in impeding their progress. There was a formidable sized Bible Camp in the area. As everyone knows, Bible Camps are notoriously anti ice-cream.
Perhaps because of this powerful Camp, a jaunt into the neighboring town's supermarket was equally unsuccessful. But there in the distance, loomed the mighty sign of the Dread pagan god Walmart. Surely they would have both items the young couple sought as no mere Bible Camp could dictate what a corporate behemoth stocked on its shelves.
Like the bar, Walmart appeared to be a recreational destination as a freakish preonderance of the (larger) neighboring town's populace roamed the megamart's aisles, looking for that one purchase that would complete them, I suppose. Sobbing human pupae in strollers and generously proportioned middle-aged men sauntered amidst scandalously clad tweens and prowling cougars. It took Heath and Esme no time at all to locate each and every item on their list, which had grown to include plastic cutlery for their ice-cream cups, some mints, and chapstick among the other items in question.
Esme did her best to select the cashier that might be least embarassed by the purchase, a firm but friendly mountain of a woman who as expected said little during the transaction. However the fate was not yet through with Heath and Esme this evening, for when they approached the exit doors they were greeted by a kindly old man, employed by Walmart simply to wellwish and say goodbye. And should by chance, an alarm go off, say, maybe he could check and see that the reciept for items pruchased matched the items in the bag.
As the alarm sounded after the sweet grandfatherly septuagenarian mumbled a sincere "have a good night!" Esme rolled her eyes and muttered, "Oh for fuck's sake," which it is true, was particularly apropos for this trip. She handed the doddering man the bag and the receipt while Heath folded his arms in exasperation. The couple blushed as the greeter exclaimed, "Gee, you've got all kinds of stuff in here." Which they did indeed. He was quite obviously just as embarrassed as the young couple and blushed profusely. However it must have been a Walmart policy or something because he then proceeded to take each item out of the bag and demagnetize it, following this up with a detailed scribbling on some notepad of each offending article.
Five minutes later Heath and Esme were laughing quite hysterically on their drive back to their Podunk bunk. Surely this wasn't the kind of story they could tell their friends, at least, not without a modest amount of impropriety. So they passed it along to me, and here I sit, having just narrated a story that by no means did I have anything at all whatsoever to do with.