by Andrea Mulder-Slater
Walmart is always open, just like gas stations, amazon.com and that guy named Slippy who sells acetaminophen at cost. Still, I felt the need to call because I am philosophically skeptical. Unlike Slippy.
I held the phone to my ear. There was no ring – only some muffled noises somewhat reminiscent of the sound a cocker spaniel makes when he licks a goldfish. I’m only guessing here.
As so often happens to me, I was dialing out, while - at the exact moment - someone else was doing the same. Only, the man on the other end was not aware of this phenomenon and instead thought I was his wife. Or God. Whichever. I on the other hand, grew up in the country - with a party line - so hearing confused strangers on my telephone line is nothing new to me.
ME: Hello? Is anyone there?
Voice: Margaret? Is that you?
ME: Are you at Walmart?
Voice: How did you know I was at Walmart?
ME: I can see you.
Voice: You can?
Voice: Where are you?
ME: I'm here. Where are you?
Voice: I’m at Walmart.
ME: I'm sorry. I'm not Margaret. I can't see you. We must have just dialed our phones at the same time.
Voice: What do you mean?
ME: I was calling to see if Walmart was open.
Voice: But my phone didn’t ring.
ME: Neither did mine. That’s the point. So, how long are you open?
Voice: I’m not open. I’m trying to call my wife.
ME: She’s not here.
Voice: Ok. Thanks.
ME: WAIT! Don’t hang up! Is Walmart open?
Voice: I don't work here. Here's a cashier.
ME: Oh, thank God. I was just checking to see if you are open but someone was calling out from there while I was calling in.
(For the record, I always get this excited when I find out stores are open on a major holiday. I don't know why. I may need counseling.)
Cashier: I’ve never heard of that happening. I just loaned a guy my phone so he could make a call.
ME: I. Can’t. Not. Blog... about this.
Cashier: I'm sorry?
ME: Don't be. Seriously.
The moral of this story is to never, ever call Walmart. Or anyone who goes by the name of Slippy. Your choice.
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