If you’re looking for space and peace, 7pm at a Walmart on December 23rd is not where you’re going to find it. But I had last-minute shopping to do, and this was the only time I could do it, so off I went the nearly three miles to the Walmart Supercenter in Pinellas Park off Highway 19 just north of the Gandy overpass.
The parking lot, or at least the front of it, was jam packed as you’d expect it to be, but I have a strategy for times like these: park somewhere in the back, particularly a section of the lot that is well lit. Let everyone else play the game of trolling the parking lot, looking for that one good spot up front.
The mission was threefold: first, find shampoo and some Neosporin for a nagging cut in the front of the store to the right of the registers. Then, off to electronics to get some requested DVD’s and my gift to myself: an NHL 15 video game for the XBox 360. I don’t usually watch hockey until playoff time, but I think Doc Emerick of NBC is the best announcer today, pound for pound. When EA Sports signed him up to do play-by-play duties on their NHL franchise, I had this on my to do list.
Electronics was a Chinese fire drill. The associate who got my games placed me in front of a couple of women who had been waiting prior to my arrival. I heard their side of the story, did the quick math, and got behind them. It was such a wild scene in that I walked over to groceries and forgot to take the game and put it in my cart! Before I got too far, they got my attention and handed it to me.
Over to the back left side of the store it was to hunt down the groceries, and…
I feel the impact of a pallet jack impacting the right side of my body driven by a vertically challenged woman who could not see the path in front of her. Lucky for me that my six foot one, 290 pound body absorbed the blow without injury, I just bounced right off of it. I told her she should get a side mirror for her jack like they have in automobiles, and we shared a laugh.
And so the night went. I made sure to say hello to all the young children that were at the store. No, I’m not some kind of pervert or anything like that. You see, Christmas might be a pain in the butt for most of us adults, but we have to remember one thing this time of year that goes more and more forgotten the older I get: Christmas is for the kid in all of us, but especially for kids.
No one knows who among us will be here when Christmas of 2015 gets here, so we need to do all we can to make the day Jesus Christ was born as special as we can for all that we can.