First of the Month at Walmart 

On “Sore Ankles/Long Lines/Last Minute Grocery Shopping Wednesday” before Thanksgiving, I went to my nearest Super Walmart to pick up a few things to make corn pudding and candied yams. They are at the top of my list of edible items that I know how to cook and my close friends and family will eat. While there, I purchased four boxes of outdoor Christmas lights. Upon plugging them in on “Black Friday” after Thanksgiving, a random box decided not to shine radiantly when connected to the socket. Of course, I had to return them.

Using the brightest bulb in my mind, I waited until “Bruised-Body Saturday” after Thanksgiving to go back to Walmart. Because the store was still crowded, I retreated until two days later on “Disgusted Lynda Has to Return This Malfunctioning Box of Christmas Lights Monday” after Thanksgiving. To my surprise, it was the first of the month and the store was, once again, crowded. This time with retirees and others whose checks, cards, vouchers, et cetera had activated on that very same day. There was no turning back, so I weathered the “One Person Only Working the Customer Service Station” and returned my faulty item.

Since I was in my favorite store, I decided to browse the lanes and pick up a few things. I encountered Ebony and Ivory—two boisterous barely grown women with full carts blocking the aisle. Besides a difference in race, their up-the-creek/same boat-no paddle predicament was similarly situated. They were deep in dialogue, describing their previous night’s escapades, their babies’ daddies, and general bad-girl behavior. With colorful metaphors flying, the dramatization was playing-out in the presence of their children—three stair-step youngsters each—toddlers barely walking.

As I went about my business shopping, I encountered a couple of those babies running wild and in harm’s way. On each sighting, I hauled them back to Ebony and Ivory who didn’t seem to notice they had been gone or my presence in returning them. The main character in my novel A Complicated Love Song Bettina Charles has a Great-Aunty named Arizona Zooni Watkins who is known as the Dispatcher of Evil for true-to-form reasons. Coincidentally, Aunty Zooni was in the Walmart watching the incident unfold and a point came where she intervened.

While I chased after three of the children in the Electronics Department, Aunty Zooni found Ebony and Ivory in the Grocery section next to the ground beef display. Of course, she tossed pieces of her mind at them. “I been looking and listening and this don’t make no cotton picking sense,” she reprimanded. “Ya’ll need to shut up all that cackling and yapping and look after your own damn youngins. And when you get a spare minute, knot yourselves up, so you don’t make no more lost little lambs like these misfortunate ankle biters. Both of ya’ll are just young, dumb, and then some.”

Determined Lynda’s Final Thought for the Moment: If your situation is similar to Ebony and Ivory’s, leave the younglings with a baby daddy, a tribal leader, or willing worker before journeying to Walmart. Also, upon first glance, walk in the opposite direction to stay out of Aunty Zooni’s line of fire. —Lynda has magic to do. Do you?

Copyright © 2014, Lynda Jones-Burns. All Rights Reserved.