The weirdos always come out at night.
I’ve always known this. Ever since the first time I shopped with random families of seven and possible drug addicts on a late night Wal-Mart trip, I’ve been very aware. No one normal is out after 11 p.m.That’s just the way it is.
These trips led to a lot of great stories. There was the time that a fire alarm went off because some mastermind wanted to smoke in the automotive section. There were the sightings of people eating bags of chips in aisles. Most of all, there were just the people, each stranger than the last.
As I’ve aged, I’ve stopped these midnight quests to the great land of Wal-Mart. I am far too tired to be out that late and I don’t really feel like standing in line behind someone who is on a late night Fun-Yuns and YooHoo shopping spree.
While my reasons for stopping these visits are sound, I have occasionally missed these weirdos. Going to bed at 10 seems to cut down on my interactions with them drastically. There just didn’t seem to be any weirdo sightings for me anymore. That’s why last night was such a treat.
After a nice work dinner, my wife and I retreated to her car for the drive home. As she turned the key, a light began to flash.
“We need gas,” she said, unaware that I was able to read her dashboard. I nodded at her brilliant deduction and we headed to our local Quik-Trip.
A stop at Quik-Trip always means one thing: Diet Mountain Dew. I have a few weaknesses. I can’t resist a good cheeseburger and there’s a good chance I would kill a person for a Reese’s cup.DietMountainDew, though, beats all of them.
As she began to fill her tank, I made my way inside. Meeting me at the door was a very confused looking individual. He smelled strongly of marijuana. In fact, he smelled like his ride to the gas station had been Cheech and Chong. He slowly, and I mean very slowly, made his way inside and grabbed a cup next to the soda fountain.
As I prepared my delicious beverage, I watched this person stare at the ice filling his cup. Then I watched him slowly pull the cup away as the ice toppled over the top. Then I watched him slowly begin to fill it again.
This must have gone on two or three times. His current state had clearly left him unable to fill a cup with ice adequately. I still don’t know if he ever got a drink in there or not. He may still be there now, trying to figure out the proper ice to drink ration in a 32 ounce cup.
His ice filling process came to a sudden halt as his concentration was interrupted by three people walking in the door. In my part of the country, there are many people who fit into a category I like to call “Super Redneck.” They wear too much camo and they speak as if they did not receive no book-learnin’ down at the ol’ school.
These three fit that description to a tee.
“Hey! You gonna git some Skoal?” shouted the first guy (For the sake of this post, we’ll call him Bubba) to the other gentleman (We’ll call him Cooter).
“Yeah. I was gonna git a can or two!” Cooter shouted back.
“Okay. I’m just gonna use your can. I don’t wanna git another one.”
“Hey!” The female (We’ll call her Dottie) joined in the conversation. Her shrill voice echoed off of the drink coolers and soda machines. “Did you git your girlfriend a Redbull?!”
Bubba looked confused. “NO!”
“Well,” Dottie continued. “She said she wanted a Redbull!”
Now Bubba looked even more confused. I don’t know if he couldn’t remember his girlfriend asking for a Redbull or if he couldn’t remember having a girlfriend in the first place. Regardless, he had no recollection of this. “She did?!”
Bubba paused, deep in thought. “Well, I guess I better git her one…”
As Bubba made his way to the energy drinks, I stood in line. At the front was Cooter, kindly requesting “two of them blue Skoals.” Behind him stood a strangely quiet person I had not noticed until I got into that line.
He had long dreadlocks that dangled over his shoulders and framed a face that was mostly covered by a pair of glasses even your grandparents would say was far too big. He wore a Kansas City Royals cap that was tilted just so. As Bubba stepped to the side, this person placed his bottle of water on the counter.
“Is that it?” asked the cashier.
“Naw,” said the man. His arm slowly raised from his side. “I got this doughnut, too.” He proudly showcased his treat, smashing the half-eaten long john in his left hand. Having bypassed the normal act of putting the doughnut in a bag, bits of it flew everywhere as he moved it about.
Everyone was caught off guard by this. Even Cooter took a step back and stared at a doughnut that may or may not have come out of this man’s pocket. The only person not fazed by the sudden appearance of the maimed doughnut was our pot-smoking friend who was in the process of filling his cup with ice again.
“Umm… okay…” the employee said, trying to seem nonchalant as he brushed doughnut crumbs off the counter. “A bottle of water and… one doughnut.”
As he left, doughnut in hand, I placed my drink on the previously clean countertop. Five minutes and $1.05 later, I had my drink.
More importantly, though, I had gotten my weirdo fix. After that trip, I should be set for a while. If I need more weirdo time, though, I guess I should head to my local gas station.
The weirdos seem to show up there a lot earlier than they do at Wal-Mart.