Monday, May 9, 2011

What do Wal-Mart, poop and Joan Crawford have in common?

It's an age old question, really....the answer whispered upon the winds of time and scrawled in cryptic markings on cave walls and Egyptian pyramids.

Actually, its just three things that made me laugh recently.  Sorry to disappoint you.  There are no universal truths to be discovered here today.

But the whole laughing thing is significant to me because there hasn't been a whole helluva lot to laugh about lately it seems.

I mean this whole blog is just shit that is funny to me.  It may or may not be funny to you too, but I try not to worry too much about that.  However, it's hard to write about things that make you laugh when nothing's funny.

Sad, right?

I hate sad.  Life has just been WAY too serious lately.

Anyway, I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And this is partially attributable to an unsuspecting friend and, shockingly, the Ex-husband...two people who unintentionally made me laugh when I really really needed to laugh.

I'll start with the unsuspecting friend.  During the bin Laden drama that unfolded last week, he decided that it was the perfect time to watch "Mommy Dearest" and post quotes from the movie on Facebook.  I think probably because the Osama bin Laden thing was WAY too serious to deal with.  And because, really, bin Laden couldn't hold a candle to Joan Crawford.  Bin Laden did his nefarious deeds from thousands of miles away in the comfort of his own cave.  Joan Crawford attacked her children with hangers in her rose garden and got dirt on her dress in the process.  Joan wins.

So my friend's post sparks a, for instance, was Joan really at fault in the whole wire hanger thing?  Could she have been driven to it?  Anybody who has kids knows that it is more likely than not that Joan had told her children at least 500 times that they shouldn't have wire hangers in the closet.  And did they listen to her?  Of course not.  So she goes off the deep end.  But what if it hadn't been the wire hangers that put her over the edge?  What if had been, say, dirty tube socks left in the middle of the floor.  Would Joan be as infamous today if she had beat her kids over the head with dirty tube socks?  Would her daughter have been able to sell her book?

This was funny.  Or maybe you had to be there.

Anyway, it made me laugh.

The second oasis of laughter came at about the same time courtesy of the Ex-husband.  He drove down for the weekend to see the Princess's last softball game.  Since her birthday was coming up, we decided to get her a new TV and thought that we could go pick it out together in a rare instance of parental solidarity.  I voted to go to Best Buy.  He insisted on Wal-Mart.

I hate Wal-Mart.

I hate the way it smells.  I hate the way the customers smell.  I hate the way it's sticky.  I hate the way the customers are sticky.  I hate the blue vests.  I hate the long lines.  I hate the sad grey-ness of the place.  I hate their business practices.

But nooooooooo....he had to go to Wal-Mart.  "They have the best prices," he says.  "We'll be able to save some money," he says.

Now, let me remind you that I live on the San Francisco peninsula and the nearest Wal-Mart is, like, a gazillion miles away in Mountain View.  OK, at least 20 miles.  San Francisco hates Wal-Mart too.  Because we're all inherently snobs.

But we own it...our snobbiness.  And we're ok with it.  We look down our noses at Wal-Mart.  At least until Black Friday when they have ginormous plasma screen TVs for $19.99.

Anyway, for the sake of parental solidarity, I caved and we drove to Wal-Mart.

The whole way, I reminded him of how much I HATED Wal-Mart.  He knows I hate Wal-Mart.  He would laugh and say things like "I remember when you were a girl from Ohio who drank beer and shopped at Wal-Mart.  What happened to you?"


(And for the record, I love beer, but it makes me burp and nobody loves burpy girls.)

So we go to lunch and I have a glass of wine to steel my resolve.  And then we go to fucking Wal-Mart.

Of course, by the time we get there, I have to pee because I was drinking wine (as all good Northern Californians should) so I tell him that I have to stop in the restroom but to go ahead and start looking at TVs and I'll catch up.

And he looks at me and says, "Are you sure you want to do that?"

"Of course, " I say.  "How bad could it be?!  It's a Mountain View Wal-Mart for chrissake...the middle of fuckin' Silicon Valley!"

Famous last words.

I walked in to the women's restroom to this scene...

Large child of probably 2-3 years of age.  In the middle of the bathroom between the stalls and the sinks.  Pants around ankles.  Crying.  Bare ass hanging out.  Giant turd hanging from a large brown tail.  I didn't know kids could produce turds that big.  Seriously.

So I stifled a shriek, turned around and hightailed it out of the restroom.

I was on the verge of complete laughter-hysteria by the time I made it to the electronics section.  I grabbed the Ex's arm and tried to quietly explain what I had just witnessed.  He looked at me sadly and said, "Wal-Mart karma...serves ya right".

And I laughed until tears streamed down my face.

We bought a TV.  And it promptly broke 3 days after we set it up.  So now I have to take the piece-of-shit TV back to the only Wal-Mart on the peninsula 30 gazillion miles away.  Or 20...depending on my frame of mind.

But it may just be worth it because it made me laugh.

So thank you Joan and Wal-Mart for some much needed lightness in my life.

Sometimes you just never can tell where those bright moments are going to come from.  You just have to be thankful that they keep coming.

Update:  In case any of you were silently hating on me for finding hilarity in the lonely bathroom turd girl...please know that an adult-type figure was yelling reassuring utterances from a nearby stall.  Or at least I think she was a language I didn't understand.  Frankly, she could have been telling her to shut the hell up and I would not have known the difference.


  1. Laughter. Travels. Music. All good for the soul and mood. Hope you get more of all of it.

  2. I agreed. The best part is the unexpectedness of something humorous related to, for example, WalMart or, say, dating ads. Oy. Laughter keeps us going.
    Be well.

  3. I waited. Then I waited some more... for someone else to comment first.

    There's anecdotal proof that Walmart is a turd locker. I wish our nearest Walmart was in the next county. There are so very few things I can say positive about that place. I guess it would be okay, except for the employees and the customers.

    Glad you're laughing again.

  4. I expect I would have done the same thing, if I found myself inside a Wal-Mart bathroom encountering a giant turd tail. I don't know exactly what that says about either one of us, but whatever it is, we're stuck with it.

  5. In my town, there's a Wal-Mart and a Target across the street form each other. Usually I go to Target, but one day it was closed, so I drove to the perpetually open Wal-Mart because apparently I couldn't wait one more day to buy hairclips.
    That place just...there's something about it that seems really dreary and sort of offputting. Like a clown that tries to be happy and funny but just comes off like a man in big shoes who stares at kids for a little too long.

    And I can't tell if that's just me projecting every bad thing I've ever heard about Wal-Mart on it, or if it actually is like I think.

    But I think your Wal-Mart experience pretty much tops all of mine that I've ever had.

  6. Damn, still no posts from Jane. I'm currently unemployed and bored to death, so pleeeaaaase come back and post something...I need to be entertained !

  7. This post is way late so probably nobody will ever see it. But Jane asks, "What if it hadn't been the wire hangers that put Joan Crawford over the edge? What if had been, say, dirty tube socks left in the middle of the floor?" Well, according to Joan's bio, "Not the Girl Next Door," on her wedding night with her first husband, Doug Fairbanks Jr., as the young man was excitedly stripping down for the experience, he dropped his socks on the floor. When Joan saw that she screamed, "PICK UP THOSE SOCKS!" This stifled his excitement and ruined the wedding night experience so far as he was concerned.