Wall to Wall Confusion

Posted on April 18, 2016 under Storytelling with 2 comments



5.05 acres of confusion

Shopping for groceries is one of my chores that I do cheerfully.  I know my way around the store, and can easily find everything that I normally use.  From time to time a recipe throws you a curve ball, and you need a staff member to assist you.  Every five years or so the store does a massive makeover and switches the location of every product, just to make sure that you notice other items in the store that you don’t typically buy … and to confuse senior citizens like me.

It’s one thing to find trouble locating Harissa hot chili paste, but when was the last time you went grocery shopping and couldn’t locate …. your vehicle?

It was a quiet Tuesday afternoon when I entered the Walmart on the outskirts of Victoria.  And make no mistake, this was no ordinary Walmart.  This was a 220,000 square foot behemoth, the largest of its kind in Canada.  On a typical day over 7000 shoppers pass through the checkouts, all 27 of them.  Why would any sane person, let alone a guy from a small town, ever consider going into a place like this?


With lots of free time on my hands I thought I would grab a few bags of groceries.  The underground parking lot was Disneyesque in size, but wise man that I am, I chose a spot not far from the escalators that take you up to ground zero; the main entrance to the building.

I don’t intimidate easily, but when you’re staring down the barrel of 5.05 acres, well that sets the heart beating just a bit quicker.  The grocery store section could have held both of our major chain stores back home.  Luckily for me there were lots of staff on the floor and I was able to find everything I needed.  I proceeded to the front of the store.  I texted a friend back home, wondering if I would need the Google Maps feature on my iPhone to locate the checkouts.  She politely suggested that I should have left a trail of bread crumbs as I was making the rounds.

Because it was a “slow day” according to the cashier, only 20 of the 27 checkouts were operational.

I exchanged pleasantries with the clerk, who tried to explain to me what it was like in this store during the lead up to Christmas.  I couldn’t even imagine it.  I left the store, proud of myself for having tamed the beast.

That feeling didn’t last long.

Even though I only had a few bags, and could have easily carried them to my vehicle, I just had to try the escalator that is specifically designed to take your shopping cart from the upper level to the parking garage.

I knew roughly where I had parked my brother’s car.  I hadn’t paid really close attention.  I should have. The first pass yielded no results.  Until today, I had been using his wife’s car which was small and red … like the one we own back home.  I wasn’t even sure what the make of his vehicle was.  The keyless entry apparatus wasn’t helpful.

I made two more passes of the garage.  A security guard walked by, but I was too embarrassed to ask him to help me find a vehicle, the make and model which completely eluded me.  Just then, a blind man whisked by and I felt a tad sheepish as he made his way effortlessly through the lot.

The panic button.  I gave myself a good crack on the side of the head when I realized that one press of the button and, presto, my vehicle would show itself.  One small problem; the battery was dead.

The good news was that I had lots of food, in the unlikely possibility that I would have to spend the night huddled in a corner.  And then, my mind cleared and I felt at peace.  I would simply stay there until closing time.  My vehicle would be the last one in the lot!

Just then, a car backed up and in that instant, I spotted the grey Honda.  I was enormously relieved.

A new version of “Amazing Grace” popped into my head.  “I once was lost but now am found … with Tommy’s CR-V.”

Enjoy this? Visit the rest of my website to enjoy more of my work or buy my books!
Highland Hearing Clinic

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


2 Responses to Wall to Wall Confusion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.