Saturday, October 11, 2014

#276 See What's Happening In Your Community: Walmart Bingo NEPA Style

This is more of a tongue in cheek look at what is happening in my community. Wrote this one a few years back. Some minor adjustments but otherwise, still true. I still piss myself reading it.

*names have been changed to protect the guilty parties.

Wal-Mart- n. the demigod of all discount super chain stores.

Did you know I actually worked at a Wal-Mart on the overnight shift for about 6 months when my children were toddlers? My shift ran from Midnight until 8:00 AM. It was quite amusing to say the least. The drunk people would start filtering into the store around 1:30AM. For the next few hours they would provide plenty of entertainment for us cashiers. It was around 3:00- 3:30AM that they would start to sober up somewhat, realize they bought a bunch of crap they didn’t need and would rather go home and pass out on their own bed rather than in the sporting good aisles while wearing white and pink roller skates or bright orange hunting pants.

Some of them would even attempt to make returns on their spontaneous purchases. Have you ever tried telling a drunk guy that he cannot have a refund for the half eaten bag of Doritos and an empty 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew he consumed? They were usually too inebriated to give you a strong argument, so ultimately it became a waiting game along the lines of who would give be the first to give. It was never me! The conversations went something like this:

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but I cannot give you a refund for the food you ate”
Drunk Guy (looking hurt): “Why?”
Me (trying to keep a straight face): “Because you ate it.”
Drunk Guy (talking into the bag of Doritos): “Well I didn’t eat all of it. There is some left. Hey do you want a Dorito?”
Me: “No but thanks for offering.”
Drunk Guy: “Well can I get half my money back?”
Me (laughing my ass off): “No. Once you open it you cannot get a refund.”
Drunk Guy (Now swaying and slurring while holding onto the side of the conveyor belt for dear life, crushing any Doritos that were left in the bag): “I return stuff here all the time. I returned a vacuum cleaner last week because it was missing a piece of the hose thingy. I only knew that because I opened the box. That nice lady at Customer Service let me return it. Sooooooo (Dramatic Pause).................................................................................. what’s the problem?”
Me (tears running down my face from laughing): “Well…A vacuum cleaner is not food. Once you open a food product you pretty much bought it.”
Drunk Guy ( thinking this over in his mind while wearing a painful expression on his face. I could smell the wood burning now.): “What if the food is bad?”
Me: “If the food was bad, you wouldn’t have eaten half a bag’s worth and an entire bottle of soda now would you have?”
Drunk Guy (stunned): “ Oh…yea! You’re right!”
Drunk Guy ( walking around to my side of the register): “Can I check out the next person that comes to the register?”
Me (slapping away the drunk guy’s hands as he attempted to press keys on the register): “No, you can’t. In fact, you can’t be back here at all. You need to go home and sleep.”
Drunk Guy (smirking with raised eyebrows): “You wanna come with?”
Me (headache starting to take hold from laughing too much): “No. I don’t.”
Drunk Guy (stumbling back to the other side of the register): “So I really can’t get a refund? Are you 100% positive? Come on. I was really drunk when I came in here. I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Me: “ Nice try but the answer is still no. And by the way, you are still drunk!”

Yes, I have had a taste of both sides of the Wal-Mart anomaly. In fact, some of my friends work there and I am sure they have plenty of hilarious stories they could share. They could probably write a comedy about all they have seen during their tenure at Wal-Mart. A modern day take on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales perhaps?

It’s these very Wal-Mart sights that have brought me to the whole point of this story. Did you know that out in Internet land there is a game called Wal-Mart Bingo? It’s okay if you didn’t know about it because I sure as hell did and not only am I going to share the card with you, but since Wal-Mart had originated in Benton, Arkansas leaving the original card biased by favoring our southern countrymen, I have taken it upon myself to create a NEPA version of the Wal-Mart Bingo Card.

It’s okay. You can all thank me later. I really felt strongly that it was important for NEPA to have a voice in the Wal-Mart Bingo market just because. ( I used my time on unemployment wisely!) After much research by my lovely assistant (We will call her Madonna.) and myself, I feel this card is definitely suited for my neck of the woods.

Before I go any further though, I feel I need to put out a disclaimer. Anyone that knows me knows that I am one of the nicest, most non judgmental people you could ever meet. I don't judge others unless they give me a reason to. I love just about everyone. Appearances are just that, appearances. If you are a good person or a cool person, you are good with me. To hell with everything else! You may not be able to tell that by my writing but it is true. It is also true that I am not at all afraid to point the finger at myself because quite honestly, I can be somewhat ridiculous and downright quirky. I fly my freak flag proudly! So…… just take this for what it is, comedy. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Original Wal-Mart Bingo Card has 25 squares just like a regular bingo card. It even has a free space just like a regular bingo card which makes it so much more realistic! Some of the squares could fit just about anywhere in this country so they will remain intact on my NEPA version of the card as well but others are more divergent, and while they do happen at my Wal-Mart, they do not happen in the frequency that other occurrences do. We want to be able to complete a card with every visit to the store, so I wanted my card to be user friendly to my fellow NEPA’ers.

Off we go….

The “B” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- “Rat Tail” hair style
While very similar in nature to the mullet, the rat tail is much thinner in the back. Sometimes the rat tail is braided, sometimes it is dyed a funky color like blue or green but nonetheless the “Party” is not as hopping as a genuine mullet and we NEPA’ers take our partying seriously so on my card….
Spot 1 NEPA - “Mullet” hair do
Business in the front, party in the back. If the mullet happens to have a perm then you have pretty much hit the jack pot. BINGO!!

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- Rebel Flag T-shirt
Some pick up trucks in my neck of the woods don a rebel flag decal or sticker but it is rare that someone is walking around in "full on" rebel flag gear so on my card we are going to save this spot for….
Spot 2 NEPA - Bright Orange or Camouflage Hunting Apparel
NEPA is known for its large contingency of hunters and fishermen. My dad, his dad , his dad over in Italy all hunted. My uncles, my brother, my brother’s friends and their family members hunt and fish. Even my sister and myself fish. Alicia and I wanted to hunt too but Bill Sr. nixed that idea the moment I uttered the words "I want to shoot a real gun!". He cited something about several incidents involving my brother’s BB gun, a few of the neighborhood boys, visits from the injured parties' parents and young raging female hormones. Blah blah blah... ( Mostly Alish! LOL!) Anyway, yes, hunters and fishermen are very proud of their hobbies and wear their colors loud, even in the off season, if there even is an off season. There is always a new animal to hunt every month with a different weapon it seems. More reasons to buy weapons and eat red meat for male bonding I guess.

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Dirty Diaper Left in the Parking Lot
What can I say here except I can do you one better….
Spot 3 NEPA - Smashed Dirty Diaper in the Parking Lot
Why? Because someone threw it under a car trying to hide the fact that they were too lazy to walk to one of the trash receptacles to properly discard of it. Nonetheless it was run over again and again and again by unsuspecting patrons making it look like.... the most disgusting pancake ever! If you happen to accidentally step in said smashed dirty diaper, you can just go ahead and claim Bingo immediately because that really sucks for you.

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Child Over 5 Drinking From a Baby Bottle
We see that here in NEPA too, but more often we see…
Spot 4 NEPA - Randomly Eaten Food Items Hidden on Shelves
Hidden candy bar wrappers, open bags of chips, and half eaten cookies are what I mostly come across on my adventures in Walmart but once I found the remnants of a frozen Michalena's dinner hidden, complete with dirty plastic spoon behind boxes of pasta. It was a fresh kill too. Still partially frozen. Seriously?? Are you really that desperate and hungry? Don’t get me wrong, I have opened an ice tea container to drink while shopping on occasion, especially in the winter because blasting the heat with the windows up while chain smoking makes me parched. It happens. The difference is I always pay for what I take.

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Someone Giving Away Kittens
In NEPA we usually just advertise in the newspaper that kitty got out into the hood again, came home knocked up and we are looking to give her offspring away to a good home so my card shall say….
Spot 5 NEPA - The White Family That Thinks They Are Black
Yes, this is quite common in NEPA. No doubt black people have a unique style that is just down right cool but imitation is not always the best form of flattery. White people cannot pull off the finesse that black people naturally have so when seeing this form of so called “flattery” it is just downright sad. Even more sad is to see a whole family trying to pull this off. Reality check….you are white and so is the rest of your family. You are not from the Bronx. You are from the Valley. I went to school with you.You are not fooling anyone.

The “I” Line

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Child Without Shoes
Since we sometimes experience harsh winters in NEPA, parents at least make sure their kids are wearing sandals when venturing outdoors most of the time although there are a few bitches I have come across that I would like to slap for how they dress little ones in the freezing weather. And for Christ's Sake's bathe these poor kiddos once in awhile. Lazy ass m@therf@ckers. More fitting would be….
Spot 1 NEPA - Ghetto Cars in the Parking Lot
What defines a “ghetto” car? Some ghetto cars are suped up machines that really never had any business being suped up in the first place. Example: A Chevy Cavalier or Ford Tempo with a racing wing riveted to the trunk of the car, or a Dodge Caravan with flames painted on it’s sides. Other ghetto cars include vehicles with more primer than actual paint, garbage bags for passenger windows, decals or bondo holding the vehicle intact, and/or bumpers or doors tied in place with bungee cord. You get the picture. We all go through moments when something happens to our car and we are forced to drive it a little ghetto until we can get it repaired, but if you are driving it more than a month like that, yea, you are driving a full fledged ghetto car.

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- White Girl with 3+ Multi Racial Children
Yea, I’m not even going to touch this one. On my card…
Spot 2 NEPA - White Girl with 3+ Multi Racial Children

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Someone Using a Voice Box
People that talk with voice boxes still scare the hell out of my son and he is 16. As for me, I don’t come across many voice boxes in my Wal-Mart so instead let’s chose this for the next spot…..
Spot 3 NEPA - Facial Piercings Gone Wild
Piercings can be very sexy when not over done but to some people, moderation is way over rated. I shall give you an example. Last Saturday I was at Wal-Mart. For a moment I honestly believed they were filming another sequel to Hellraiser in the dairy aisle. Only this time, they cast a female to take over the role of Pinhead. Seriously! There was this girl in her late teens, early twenties whom had at least five lip piercings, two Marilyn Monroe piercings, two nose piercings (probably to evenly distribute the weight of all the metal on her face), several eyebrow piercings, sewing needles, a few staples, several paperclips, a padlock, a set of Black and Decker drill bits and .........I may be going out on a limb here, but I would bet my paycheck she had her tongue pierced too although I did not see it. Why would anyone purposely poke that many holes in their face? I must be old's your FACE!! I don't get it. ( I will say I have my tongue pierced as well and I love it! I'm not old, I'm fabulous! )

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Someone Buying Beer and Diapers
Don’t even get me started on this. We can't do fancy stuff like this in Pennsylvania. We suck. Although at the Weis store, hmmmm....I can always get some diapers in the baby aisle then walk over to the beer section and pay for both in the deli. Okay yea, I guess we are semi fancy. I see this more though.....
Spot 4 NEPA - The Ugly Couple Buying Sex Products 
They say there is someone for everyone and dammit it’s true. That is wonderful, makes my heart smile. And, while I am all about safe sex and lotions for increasing your pleasure as well as your stamina, making out and grabbing each others privates while giggling about your new purchases paints a picture in my mind that I would so rather not see. Puke City! Save it for the bedroom. Pretty please?

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Someone With Puke or Blood on Their Clothes
I am changing this spot just because that is completely nasty, blood makes me faint occasionally and I don’t even want it on my card. Instead we sometimes suffer from.…..
Spot 5 NEPA - The Random Cart Taking Up A Parking Space
You are driving through the crowded lot looking for a place to park within 2 miles of the store when like a ray of golden light, you see it. "This can’t be!" you exclaim. Why yes, it’s true! There is an open spot relatively close to the handicapped parking near one of the entrances. Why has no one else claimed this glorious treasure? You decide to step on the gas and race to the spot before anyone else notices this 8th wonder of the world. You are almost there. Finally you turn halfway into the spot when a shopping cart with a huge red alarm shaped like a “Stop Sign” lights up and says “Denied!”  People walking back to their cars now have the pleasure of watching you angrily back out of the spot, mouthing what could only be George Carlin’s 7 dirty words. Sons of bitches Bumpuses!! It’s times like these that you wish you hadn't told your kids “no” when they asked to come to the store with you. They could have moved the cart for you. Karma is a bitch isn't it?

The “N” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Woman with Curlers in Her Hair
Isn’t she lovely? Do women still use curlers with all the advanced hair technology out there like hot hair rollers, curling irons, perms and the curling shampoo crap? Sometimes my mother would set my naturally curly hair in rollers before bed because she was Satan and enjoyed making my life a living hell. Strega! Why put yourself through that pain when you can burn yourself with a 380 degree curling iron and get instant results? Yea… sure you burnt yourself on the neck with your curling iron……slut!! (I’ve used the excuse too ladies. It happens to the best of us and it’s a damned good time when it happens.) A more common eyesore in NEPA would be…..
Spot 1 NEPA - Females Wearing Pajamas
I know this is a pet peeve for many because I have seen more Facebook posts concerning this topic than just about anything else. It is right up there with political outrage and girls that looooooove their boyfriends. Look, I know pajamas are comfy and sometimes we do not want to get out of our pajamas. I know I don't but seriously....if you are running errands, take two minutes to put on regular clothes. You don’t even have to match, just spare the general public from having to see little gray sheep plastered over your hot pink flannel bottoms or your nightshirt that says Sleepy Devil with a picture of a grinning Tasmanian Devil. If you ignore my advice and insist on wearing your pajamas to the store, at least put on shoes. Yes people come to the Wal-Mart wearing bedroom slippers. Have we really become that lazy??

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- Someone Using an Oxygen Tank
When I see someone with an oxygen tank I make it a point to be at least two feet away from them when lighting my cigarette. Safety first people! I've seen this more in restaurants than in my Wal-Mart. What we do see a lot of in NEPA Wal-Marts are….
Spot 2 NEPA - People with Full Carts in the Express Line
The express line can be a beautiful thing if used properly. You are in and out of the store in a relatively painless fashion. Usually several express lines are open at all times, unlike the 20 regular check out lines in which if three to five are open it is a miracle. There is a ripple effect at play concerning the 1500 registers that are lined in the front of the store, but not being operated. People look at the 3 normal lines open with 75 + people waiting, say eff that, and try to sneak into the express lanes because they do not want to be in line for 5 hours.
Sneaking in to the express line with even say, 5 items over the limit is acceptable, but when you have 30 individual cans of alpo, 20 cans of soup, 17 jars of baby food, 8 clothing items which require removal of hangars (FML... adding more time to the check out process), 5 loaves of bread, 3 cartons of eggs and a box of rubbers, you have overstepped the boundaries of shopping etiquette. 10 items or less means 10 pieces of merchandise, not 10 product types. I say this because believe it or not, people have said to me "Well, yes I have 50 things in my cart but technically they only equal 3 items because it is all soda, ramen noodles and ice cream sandwiches. 3 is less then 10.” Clever….NOT. Man up and stand in the right line people! And fuck WIC checks! They put foodstamps on cards now, why not do the same for WIC?? And people stop trying to get cheese and cereal that is not on the list! It never works!

Free Space Original Bingo Card and NEPA Card- Someone Oblivious to the Fact That They Are in Your Way
Oh this spot is so much staying on my card because it is by far my number one pet peeve of all time. Wal-Mart’s aisles are fairly large. Why people need to park their cart smack in the middle of the aisle while perusing the shelves is beyond me. What pisses me off to the point of psychotic rage is when these oblivious jerks look right at you, standing there patiently waiting for them to get their sh@t out of the way, ignore your presence and go right back to browsing. You did NOT just do that?? WTF??? Depending on my mood, which is usually already agitated since I am in Wal-Mart, this is when I sometimes let my anger get the best of me and I ram their cart out of the way. I have done it plenty of times. I will continue to do so until this madness stops. The look of surprise they give you when you perform such an action is priceless. I have yet to get into a fist fight at Wal-Mart but the odds are in favor of it happening eventually. And please do not let me see you hogging the aisle while having a conversation or yapping on your cell phone because I am not above hitting someone with their own cart. I've done that before as well. Good times!
I understand sometimes people do not realize they are blocking the aisle. I've done it too but I apologize and move my cart immediately. It's called common courtesy. So much has become lost in this world. Sometimes people need reminding. I'll gladly assist in that with a shopping cart to the ass!

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Entire Family Wearing NASCAR Apparel
There are plenty of NASCAR fans is NEPA and yes, we do see families that love Dale Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson so much that they feel the more coordinated they are with one another, the more “outsiders” (non racing fans) will feel the love. Some families even have throwback days of old and wear Dale Jarrett, Richard “The King” Petty and Terry Labonte apparel. But, as much as the area has embraced NASCAR there is no denying this area’s hearts belong to….
Spot 4 NEPA - Entire Families wearing NFL or MLB Apparel 
NEPA is situated among several major metropolises. New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore are all within a 2 and a half hour drive while Pittsburgh, Boston and DC a mere 4-5 hours travel. Of course this is Pennsylvania so the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Phillies win the vote for most popular, but there are almost as many NY Giants and NY Yankee fans parading about. Coming in third are NY JETS, NY Mets, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Boston Red Sox fans.
Let’s just say this area takes it’s football and baseball very seriously and we wear it proud. I myself have a collection of Pittsburgh Steelers shirts that would make other fans envious, but ever since my kids have been old enough to dress themselves, we can no longer match in public because they could care less about football much to my heartbreak and dismay. (They get this from their father. No wonder we are divorced. I don’t care what team my next husband likes but he sure as hell better like football!)

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Unattended Crying Children
I know when your kid decided to pitch a massive fit in the middle of the crowded store because you would not buy them candy bars or toys, your first instinct was to walk away and put yourself in an ‘adult time out” since that bottle of whiskey was not handy. However, leaving kids alone to cry is wrong. Anyone that gives you a dirty look has obviously never had any kids because most parents have found themselves in this situation plenty of times. And while I am beginning to see more and more of this...I still see more of the following.....
Spot 5 NEPA - The Husband with the “Oh My God  Will My Wife EVER Shut The F@ck Up” Look on His Face
Yes, you married a social butterfly. Yes she knows everybody on the planet. What should have been an hour long trip to the Wal-Mart has now turned into a 5 hour journey into conversation hell because your wife/significant other cannot give a simple hello to everyone she knows. She must also stop and talk to each and everyone of them. To make matters worse, she has no filter, so all your personal business such as how you shave your back hair, religiously watch Grey’s Anatomy with her or suffer from hoof and mouth disease become public domain. These men are easy to spot. They are usually leaning on the shopping cart with a dazed or disgusted look on their face. Sometimes they just glare at the object of their affection. Sometimes they start pacing around the cart. If you catch one of these poor souls inadvertently begin to face palm, then they have just entered the fifth level of hell. May god have mercy on their souls. No wonder the first thing men do after a trip home from Wal-Mart is crack open a beer, sit in the recliner, turn on the baseball game and shove their hand down their pants. It’s all they can do to keep their sanity.

The “G” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Someone Wearing an Eye Patch
I don’t know about other parts of the country but NEPA’s Pirate population has diminished considerably since like…the late 1700’s, so this would be a little more suitable for my card……
Spot 1 NEPA -Hitting a Pothole While Driving to the Wal-Mart
If you live in NEPA, then you are more than aware of the chronic pothole disease that affects our area. If you visit NEPA, you have most certainly come across the canyon-like craters littering our network of roads. Even President Bush visited the area and said to our mayor “What the f@ck is up with all the pot holes man?” The NEPA pot hole phenomena can be contributed to the weather and coal mining: harsh winters, rainy springs/autumns, and hot summers as well as a maze of abandoned under ground tunnels that would rival the hedge maze in The Shining.
It’s the underground tunnels that were once denizen to miners that sometimes create what I will proudly quote from Jean Shepherd as the “Queen Mother” of all pot holes, the "Sink Hole". The sink holes are even more dangerous because they can eventually swallow a house whole. I've seen cars gobbled up by really bad sink holes. We even have a whole town that had to be abandoned due to underground mine fires. That would be Centralia, which rumor has was the inspiration screen writer Roger Avery mused for the movie Silent Hill. Anyway, much to the dismay of tire rims and front alignments across the area, pot holes sometimes can’t be avoided because the whole street is one giant pot hole. 15th Street in Hazy during winter is a prime example. If you nail one on the way to Wally World, give yourself an “X” to match the spray painted “X” road crews put on the potholes for eventual filling and brace yourself for that jarring case of pothole whip lash!

Spot 2  Original Bingo Card- Kid Riding a Bike in the Store
Our Wal-Mart’s lock the hell out of the bikes so this is a no go. On my card we shall put….
Spot 2 NEPA - Using the Demo Video Game Systems in Electronics as a Baby Sitter
So I may be guilty of this offense, but my kids were older, like 9 and 10ish and we always reviewed what to do if a stranger approached and tried to steal them. And…I definitely know I am not the only one who has done this. Next time you are walking past the gaming section of the store, especially on a weekend, glance over at all the parentless children fighting over whose turn it is to play the latest Mario game. Guilty party….right here!

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Bearded Woman
Well Wal-Mart is definitely a three ring circus and my heart goes out to all the cashiers that have to act as ringmasters but the women up in my neck of the woods usually know to shave their beards and mustaches so on my card I‘m going to put….
Spot 3 NEPA - People Stopping Right in Front of The Exit Doors with Their Cart Blocking You from Freedom and Fresh Air
Why do people wait until they are right in the front of the exit door to come to a complete halt and root through their purse, check their purchases or converse with their shopping partner. I always seem to exit the store at the same time the woman, along with her sister, her mother, their three packed shopping carts and 10+ children are also exiting the store. One of them always stops right in the middle of the door to make sure the other 20 people in their party are with them. My theory is, they know where the car is parked, if they are not there in 15 the cops. Just get out of my way! Maybe I am more perceptive than most, but the first thing I think about when entering Wal-Mart is a game plan on how quickly I can get the hell out of there. I do notice when someone is prohibiting me from making a clean and speedy exit from the store. It’s like that final kick in the ass to my whole shopping experience.

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Man Under 30 Without Any Teeth
Missing teeth, sometimes all but one or two, is more appropriate for this one time mecca of coal mining so I am just going to adjust my card to read….
Spot 4 NEPA - People Missing Random Teeth
And to make this more difficult (yea okay, like this one is difficult), you cannot “X” this spot if the person looks above the age of 50.

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Pregnant Woman With Visible Tramp Stamp Tattoo
That doesn’t mean she is a tramp but it could mean she is one. There is a 50/50 chance. It’s a crap shoot. I happen to have an oh so original Tramp Stamp myself. It’s pretty freakin awesome too! So, yea, this happens in my neck of the woods, I guess I could leave it on my card but I like my selection much better….
Spot 5 NEPA - People Wearing Clothes Disproportionate to Their Body Size
I am guilty of sometimes wearing a size smaller than I really should. Most women are. But, if I notice my muffin top is coming a little too abundantly over the sides of my jeans, or if the oxygen flowing to my brain is cut off as soon as I sit down while wearing my jeans, I do what most women in my situation do, starve myself until I can breath semi- normal. However, there are some people out there that take this to the extreme. When I can see a 400lb man’s hairy navel peeking out from the bottom of his shirt like a large man‘s “crop top“ or the cellulite of a large woman’s ass screaming through her size small stretch pants, it’s all I can do to not run away screaming like that very cellulite. I’m not just going after large people either, just because you have a skinny body does not mean you should trollop around in your wonder bra and a skirt so short that I can tell what your natural hair color is. Anyone of any size can look great and sexy with properly fitting clothes and a little hygiene. It’s that simple. And dudes, while it is sexy to see a little flash of undies peaking out from your waistband, walking around like a retarded penguin with your jeans hanging mid to lower thigh cinched in a belt isn’t hot or sexy. It is amusing, a little sad, and gross if your tighty whites are not so tidy. Just sayin…..

The “O” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Obese Person Using a Scooter
What can I say about this one? I think it pretty much speaks volumes all on it’s own. (Maybe if you walked through the 10 million sq. foot store ….. ) This one shall also remain on my card although we call them motorized shopping carts more than scooters in NEPA….
Spot 1 NEPA - Obese Person Using One of The Motorized Carts 
Okay, so I've decided to add a little more to this one. It’s actually directed at all people riding the carts, obese people, teenage punks and the actual disabled. Stop blocking the effing aisle with that thing or I’ll detach the cable running to the battery! Ever try moving one of effin those things when it’s not charged? Yea, thought so. Go ahead, make my day!

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- Frozen Food Left To Thaw in a Random Aisle
This cracks me up every time I come across it. Nothing like destroying even more merchandise by melting a half gallon of Blue Bunny Birthday Cake Ice Cream all over a neatly folded stack of bath towels. Guess they were concerned about the mess and figured the towels would absorb the liquid. How thoughtful of them. Or how about the random box of Gorton’s Fish Sticks shoved in between the Ritz Crackers and Wheat Thins. Those boxes probably smell really nice after sitting next to the thawed out fish that has permeated the air. Look, if you are too lazy to walk the product all the way back to it’s proper spot at least put it somewhere in the vicinity like the freezer or the cooler. Wow people! This one will definitely remain on my card.
Spot 2 NEPA - Frozen Food Left To Thaw in a Random Aisle 
See Above

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Tear Drop Tattoo
I don’t think I have seen a tear drop tattoo on someone at my Wal-Mart ( We do not discuss those tattoos up here unless you are asking for trouble) but I sure as hell have seen these…….
Spot 3 NEPA- Tribal Tattoos
Let’s make this one easy, if you happen to see me wandering aimlessly around the store, talking to myself, walking at Mach 10 because I so want to get the hell out of there, you can go ahead and just put a big ole “X” on this spot. I am one of the billions that have a Tribal Tattoo which I happen to love very much. You can’t see mine unless I bend over or squat since it a "lower back" stamp as I have revealed in another spot but it is there and will be forever because tattoos are permanent which is why you will never, ever, ever see me ever, ever sporting a man’s name tattooed on my body. Ever!! That shit is expensive to remove.

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Someone Missing a Limb
Yea, that’s unfortunate. On my card we have….
Spot 4 NEPA - The Chatty Cathy or Talkative Tim Holding Up The Check Out Line
Sure, small talk is acceptable to fill in awkward silences. It’s actually very courteous and polite to give acknowledgement to the person handling your purchases but honestly, the cashier does not need a detailed reenactment of  your Aunt Lucy’s cataract surgery or infinite detail about how your cat Fluffy is emotionally rejecting you because you no longer buy her canned tuna. She does not want to hear your life story and neither do the 50 people standing in line behind you. Shut the f#ck up, grab your bags and move along. If you have things you need to “work” through or want an ear to bend, call a psychiatrist.

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Someone With Unbearable Body Odor
EVERY SINGLE TIME I enter a Wal-Mart I encounter this. Every time! Now granted, my olfactory senses are much keener than most but stanky is stanky. Bathing occasionally, wearing deodorant, brushing your teeth, drying your clothes in a timely manner and not letting them sit in the washing machine for days, all good things. I shouldn’t have to douse myself with body spray before entering the store so I only smell myself smelling like flowers or cotton candy, but I do as a precaution. Obviously this is staying on my card too….
Spot 5 -Someone With Unbearable Body Odor
Hygiene people! Practice makes perfect!

So here it is..... NEPA's Version of the Wal-Mart BINGO card for you all to enjoy. Hopefully you will be able to proudly yell BINGO when visiting the store. As for prizes, there are no tangible prizes. The real prize is being thankful that you are probably the most "normal" person in the Wal-Mart. See, life isn't so bad now is it?

Honestly, I do not have a problem with Wal-Mart in general, but going into the store and dealing with crowds of people almost makes me want to go back on my anxiety meds. I needed something fun to do to help keep my mind distracted from the crowds. Obviously I am not a fan of crowds because I have used the word crowds 17 times in this paragraph and no matter how much I mentally prepare for my trips to Wal-Mart, sometimes it just isn't enough.

In closing I would love to give credit to the originator of the Wal-Mart BINGO card but have no idea who it was. Who ever they are, thanks so much for the laughs. And remember…. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing at others!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Finding Light In The Darkest Of Places

It's been 9 months, 3 Changing of the Seasons, Another Birthday, 11 New Moons, 31 Pizzas and 10 Accomplishments Off The Bucket List since I wrote anything.

I've wanted to many times, but the thoughts that are swimming in my head are sometimes too hard to put into words.
Hard, but not impossible.
All over the place, yet containable.

This blog was strictly to write about accomplishment. It was not designed for the rambling deep thoughts, random discussions, wacky theories and emotional outbursts of it's author. Yet, that is the running marquee in my head as of late. That is all I want to purge and share. Don't get me wrong, there are some things I just won't share, I'm not an asshole, I'm as private as I am open but there are other things spinning around in this brain of mine. So I ask myself....

Do I create another blog? Or do I incorporate everything? I mean I plan to write about the bucket list accomplishments very soon. But there is other stuff too. This isn't the hardest decision I had to make today, had a few tough ones earlier in the day, so I'm glad to shift my focus to this fluff.

Maybe I'll try incorporating although the OCD organizing personality quirk in me may not find it so aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. Do we wake this sleeping giant? F@ck it. I thrive on internal conflict. It's like comfort food for the demented.

Ready, Set, Ramble....

I made this huge Bucket List during one of the dark periods of my life.
(I've decided I have had way more than my fair share of dark periods in my 41 years and am now staging a protest against...the man? Yea, we are going with "the man" because I have no idea who, what, where, when, why or how I am supposed to protest and in the movies they are always talking about this "man". The Man. If anyone knows where I can find this man, please help a sister out cuz I seriously need to tell him ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Thanx.)

Anyways, I made this huge Bucket List during one of the dark periods of my life.
Because sometimes, no matter how hard you intently stare into the dark abyss, no matter how far you tread forward through that infinite pitch-black tunnel, no matter how feverishly you claw your way upwards from the dank, filthy depths of rock bottom, you see no light. It's.Just.Not.There.

So...I had no other choice but to create my own light from within myself because giving up is never an option at the end of the day.
Let me tell you, trying to force yourself to glow from the inside out when every thought, emotion and nerve ending in your body is negatively charged and waving the white flag is no easy task.
Luckily for me, I dug deep and found the psychological scars of my past have many uses other than the typical everyday crafting of titanium armor and building of stone fortresses.

These scars gave me the gift of two sub personalities under the umbrella personality of me. Ok, ok, before we all start screaming "I knew it! She's a Schizo." you all need to calm yourself. I am not a schizo. I am not suffering from BPD, DPD, PTSD or any other personality disorder. (BTW...We all have a little of this and a little of that in our personalities. It's called "Life Happens To Everyone" and it's okay.)

These two sub personalities are as natural to me as breathing. I have very little control over which personality is present at any given time of the day although one is definitely more prevalent than the other most times. I am both The Hard, Tough, Mature Woman of the World and The Silly, Vivacious, Easy Going, Little Girl. Both personalities traverse one another. They are both strong, intelligent, compassionate and full of passion. They can both be moody and anxious. They share many of the same characteristics. And sometimes the tough lady is the immature one and the goofy gal is the mature one. Go figure. (Actually, no. Don't go figure. It will make you dizzy.)

Normally the kiddo in me is out and about. I prefer it that way. She's pretty awesome and fabulous. The hard lady isn't nearly as fun but....she is necessary. Anyways it was the kiddo in me that gave me the strength to pull through this dark period. It was so simple really. Channel your inner OCD love for making lists but make it a fun list. Make it a list with purpose. Make it both attainable and utterly far fetched. Add anything and everything to this list.

I already knew what I disliked about life. It was all I was focused on. I was invested in looking for answers to questions where there was either no real answer or the answer was so painful that I would mentally abuse myself to the point where I became nothing but a pile of tears and self loathing hiding under the blankets of life. My thoughts so easily calibrate to all the bad shit that happens to me. It's a constant battle to get out of this mind set. It is said if you can do something for two weeks, it will become routine to you. Of course those two weeks feel like a lifetime but if you can do it, the rewards are good.

I've changed my mindset a few times. It's difficult but doable. I am currently working on not investing much time into the "whys?" of the bad shit that happens to me anymore. I'm still young enough to accomplish and achieve all that matters to me and roll with the punches but old enough to know who I really am and what can and can't be changed about me. Anyways, I could make a huge list about all the things I dislike about life. Or...can I? Can I really? If I said it once, I said it a thousand times. It's all about perspective. The fact that I have an open mind, am capable of adapting my thinking patterns to any discussion, and am a lover of knowledge make writing a list about the things I dislike about life not so black and white anymore.

I can say I hated something, but it was because of that something that I learned a valuable lesson to help me in life. I can say I went through something awful life threw at me but that something awful enhanced my character in a benign manner. Okay, I can say I hate snakes but they do keep the rodent population at bay. The Ecosystem is delicate. Every creature has a purpose. Rats are creepy and have rabies. See...I can't even truly hate snakes. As long as they keep the rats at bay outside a 50 mile radius from me in accordance with the PFSTSOOM agreement, I'm okay with that. ( PFSTSOOM is Protection From Scaring The Shit Out Of Me agreement between me and the snakes. The notary public I went to just looked at me funny when I tried to get this drawn up agreement between me and all snakes on the planet certified so I splashed some holy water on it instead. It seems to be working.)

I began to think back to when I was younger, when the world had just begun to jade and complicate me. Time was still on my side. I read so many books. I wrote so many little stories. I was curious about anything and everything. "Just list everything I could remember from childhood." I told myself. Remember what you were drawn to. Remember what you were passionate about. This is supposed to be fun. Who cares if it is ridiculous. This was supposed to be healing. In fact, you need to do this because this is who you are. You are a free-spirited, spontaneous, happy go lucky  little girl. You forgot that along the way but she never left you. She just had to grow up at a very young age. The balance that was lost in your youth can be restored as long as you stop caring what every single person on the planet thinks about you. This is your life. Be you. All of you.

So I went to town. I added the things I really wanted, to see my kids graduate college, to experience love, to achieve financial stability, to have a generally happy and positive life for my loved ones and myself. I added things I was curious to try or experience like ziplining, parasailing and having my palm read. I added exotic locales like Bali and ancient grounds like Egypt. I added things I wish I had done when I was younger like having a tea party, participating in a sporting event and writing a book.

Sure time wasn't on my side as much as it was when I was 10, but it was still moderately on my side. They say you are only as old as you feel and most days I feel 25 so bonus points for mobility. Financially.....well, there's a roadblock. That was okay too though. The things I truly want to have and accomplish in life are a tiny fraction of this list. I know what really matters most to me. And it was only through living and experiencing many lifetimes within my life that I was able to figure this out. Anything else is just gravy. As I became more inspired, I added more to the list. As I added more to the list I found myself slowly finding the energy and excitement to start accomplishing a few things.

All of a sudden, not only was there light but I could finally feel the fresh air and warmth filling my soul again. I felt stronger. I felt happier. I felt like a complete person again. I began inviting my kids and my friends and my family to join me in these adventures. The effects were just as positive and enlightening with them as they were with me. We laughed, smiled, enjoyed, conversed, discovered, and experienced. How is that not an amazing thing? How is that not living life? How is that not a welcome escape from this harsh world we live in? Having goals to look forward to, for me, has been some of the best medication of my life. No prescription needed.

There are still dark times where I can find no light. There are still situations where I find myself slipping deeper and deeper into a slow moving quicksand. Sometimes my reactions to these moments push me even further down into the darkness, suffocating me. Sometimes I have no idea what to do and that scares me. Sometimes I look at this list and it does not give me the light I so very much need. Sometimes I have to look to others for motivation and inspiration. Sometimes witnessing someone else doing something they are passionate about ignites the light within you. Sometimes you just need to take the fall, mend the broken pieces and figure out another way to bring out the light inside yourself, even if that means an attitude or personality adjustment.

The thing about life is, just when you think you figured it out, it goes and throws a curve ball at you.

Just when you finally paint that picture of what it is you want, life takes the brush and starts painting something else.

Sometimes, a lot of times, life is not fair. Sometimes it is downright heartbreaking and cruel. Sometimes it is downright ugly and mean. And the hardest part is, we can't control most of it, yet we still try. Truth is all we can really control is how we decide to survive it. Our coping mechanisms may not make sense to others, but if they make sense to us, and they help us see the light and restore our well being, then go with whatever works best for you. It's your life to survive.


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