I am sometimes mistaken for a Walmart clerk. I don't know how that happens. One minute I'm wheeling my cart down the Clearasil aisle, headed toward the feminine hygiene products, and the next minute, a stranger is accosting me for top-secret store information.
Sunday, I hit the trifecta minus one. The bifecta, as I shall call it. Or one hat short of a trick. First up was not an actual stranger, but my mother's across-the-road neighbor from Czechoslavakia. Well, he was from Czechoslavakia, before he came here way back in the seventies or eighties. But he still has his accent. He's a woodworker. He makes doors and cabinets. But his mission today was to find a chain for his dog. And he wasn't finding any dog chains in the make-up and tampon section. "They've switched everything around on me! This used to be the dog area." Um. Yes. Back in the nineties, maybe. Because I distinctly remember some goldfish tanks that Genius liked to watch when he was a toddler. I can only assume that the Good Samaritan Czech, who leaf-blows my mom's yard without even asking, delegates most of his shopping to his Backroads wife. I directed him to the back of the store where, sadly, the pet supplies reside, bereft of goldfish. He took off towards sporting goods. Maybe he had never really planned to settle in Missouri, but landed here thanks to his wonky sense of direction.
I had shopped my way back to the soda aisle, where I was comparing prices on Reynolds Wrap, thanks to those crafty thing-moving-arounders bemoaned by the Czech, when the second sadly-mistaken inquisitor accosted me. She was a mousy little grandma. Undoubtedly stressing over hosting the upcoming feast.
"Excuse me. But I am looking for pie crust. REAL pie crust. Not cookie pie crust. And I don't know where to find it."
"Well, you've asked the completely WRONG person. I've never bought it. The graham cracker crust is on the baking aisle. But I think the real pie crust is in the refrigerated section. You might try there."
"Oh, thank you!"
Of course, that only narrowed it down to half the store. She took off towards the milk/biscuit/egg area along the back wall. I'm hoping that from there, she continued up the far wall past the sour cream, cheese, cold cuts, meat, frozen meats, then made a left and peeked into the end freezer just before the produce. Because that's where I glimpsed those real pie crusts, stacked insouciantly inside each other, gazing through the glass, practically oozing some "eat me, eat me" sentiment.
I'm thinking of submitting an invoice for services rendered. Can Walmart ever have too many pie-eating dog-chain experts?