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  • Penance: Three Hail Mary’s And A Trip To Wal-Mart

    December 3, 2007

    The other night I dreamed that I died and went to heaven and when I met Jesus at the gate he said, “Remember that time you busted my head off?  Well take this.”  And then I was cast into hell, which was actually Wal-Mart on a Sunday afternoon.

    And remember that part in the Bible that says if your eye causes you to sin that you should gouge it out and if the left hand causes the right to sin, then you should cut if off?  Well apparently my right hand was feeling really repentant about the whole dropping Jesus on his head thing because in the shower on Sunday, while I was shaving my legs, my right hand “slipped” and tried to slice off my left hand. Luckily, the left hand has always been a pretty agile and wily kind of hand and was able to zig and then zag and then serpentine and it got off with what I thought was just a nick in the nail, no blood. Yay for the left hand, boo for the right hand.

    But later, as I was making the bed and tucking the covers under the mattress, swiftly executing the perfect hospital corner that is essential to a well-lived life, I realized I had sliced my fingernail deep into the quick because a thread from the blanket caught the….. and oooeeeowwee! Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. Yeah. It was a near death experience.

    Then later that day… (cue Twilight Zone music) I WAS in Wal-Mart and verily I say to ye, it was hell. I won’t describe the kind of hell Wal-Mart is on Sunday because I know y’all are sinners too, just like me, and have probably been cast into Wal-Mart on a Sunday.  It causes you to rethink your life, doesn’t it?

    So I get in line with my necessities – plaid wired Christmas ribbon, tortilla chips, more plaid wired Christmas ribbon – and wait for all eternity as the snot encrusted little boy in line behind me, who is standing in the back of his mother’s cart eating a cookie, keeps trying to wipe his mushy cookie hands on the back of my shirt.  And as I’m trying to dodge cookie boy, the elderly man in front of me is telling me a long and involved story in what may or may not have been English.

    When it’s finally my turn to check out, I put my stuff on the line. Chatty Cathy, who grew up to be a cashier at Wal-Mart, sees the bandaid on my finger and asks what happened. Without thinking I told her that I cut myself shaving.  She stopped scanning and asked incredulously, “You shave your hands?”

    And because I am rotten and wanted to mess with her and be the freakiest person she had to check out on a Sunday, I just nodded and offered no further explanation.


    1. Jennifer says:

      I love it! Hilarious.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 8:40 am

    2. jeanne a says:

      You make me laugh—-even when it’s way too early and cold and all FIVE kids are up dancing around because their school just got cancelled due to an ice storm and my head aches!!!!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:00 am

    3. Llama momma says:

      I’m sure you’ve given that Walmart cashier some blog fodder of her own!! Too funny.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:05 am

    4. Irene says:

      Your stories are always amazing. And hilarious. Just love them. Thanks for making me laugh 🙂

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:09 am

    5. Susan J. says:

      Thanks for the laugh this morning. Hilarious.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:29 am

    6. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

      Hee hee Llama Mama, that’s what I was gonna say! Somewhere out there this morning there’s a blog post entitled, “Thus Proving My Contention that Wal-Mart Customers Are A Bunch of Hairy-Knuckle-Dragging Baboons.”

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:33 am

    7. Julie says:

      You shave your legs AND make your beds?! I’m really impressed.

      And I want to read that cashier’s blog, too.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:34 am

    8. Howdy says:

      Here I was at the end of my blog reading this morning… and I’m soooo glad I started at the bottom of the feed list and worked my way up to the top! Thanks so much for the LAUGH OUT LOUD today!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:54 am

    9. chrissy says:

      That’ll teach her to be nosy. That may have been my kid with the cookie. Sorry.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:57 am

    10. CircusKelli says:

      Hee hee hee! That’s AWESOME.

      I go into Wal-Mart on average, about once a year. And it’s always around THIS time of year. Gotta say… not a big fan of Wal-Mart.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 10:06 am

    11. Angeline says:

      *laugh* you lift up my spirit again! Thank you!
      read the post on Bustin Jesus too!

      Its really an enjoyment to read your blog all the time…

      December 3rd, 2007 at 10:14 am

    12. Veronica Mitchell says:

      I wonder if she shaves her hands now, too.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 10:22 am

    13. ~*~ Jennifer ~*~ says:

      Oh me… I DID indeed laugh out loud!! HA HAAA!! Oh to be a fly on the wall and see her reaction!!

      Ohhh…. funny!

      THANKS for sharing today. Ü

      December 3rd, 2007 at 10:37 am

    14. Kiy says:

      Sorry, you lost me at … while making the bed. Wow. A 4 year old, a near-fatal shaving accident and you make your bed. I am lucky these days to brush my teeth, much less get dressed.

      Seriously though, thanks for the chuckle and sorry about your nail. 🙂

      December 3rd, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    15. zoom says:

      Oh. My. Gosh. I spit herbal tea- That is one of the funniest, funniest things ever.

      I double dare you to go back to WalMart and purchase a plethora of razors and then go to Chatty Cathy’s checkout line.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    16. My Buddy Mimi says:

      I shave my knuckles actually. They are very hairy and masculine, so it makes me all self-conscious.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    17. Maddy says:

      A giggle a day keeps the doctor away.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    18. Pam says:


      And I have to go to Wal-Mart today… perhaps I will put a bandaid on my finger just to see if I can mess with the cashier’s mind…

      December 3rd, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    19. Sarcastic Mom says:

      You crack me up, woman.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    20. Pieces says:

      Hilarious! And you have described hell perfectly. Truly, that is the way I imagine it. Which is why I never, ever go to Walmart.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    21. Sue says:

      Ha ha ha ah aha ah ha! Oh, man.

      See, Walmart on Sunday in UTAH? A ghost town. The restaurants, that’s another story. Apparently the commandment is Thou shalt keep the Sabbath Day Holy, but if thou feelest like going to IHOP, then by all means, go ahead.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    22. gretchen from lifenut says:

      Oh my goodness…that is the funniest thing I’ve read in ages.

      Shaving hands……LOL.

      Your description of Walmart is priceless, too. You captured the whole boogery experience.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    23. Tina says:

      Omigosh. That is the biggest laugh I have had all day!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    24. liebowitz says:

      I hate to begin generalizing about the caliber of folks Wal-Mart enjoys hiring as its employees, but HOLY COW!! even the little baby Jesus would be rolling his eyes in his tiny head (if you hadn’t already knocked it off) at the stupidity of that cashier. You know it’s true and so do I. I’ve been to Hell–er–Wal-Mart on Sunday.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    25. Andrea says:

      I would have answered exactly the same way… and chuckled all the way home!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    26. Sincerely Anna says:

      You had me at serpentine. Oh, I laughed!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    27. Evonne says:

      Fantastic. Thank you for the decrease in my headache.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    28. shelley says:

      Oh. My. Goodness. I am so glad I wasn’t drinking anything because I seriously would have spit it all over my monitor!

      I recently had my first Sunday Wal-Mart experience and just thinking about it makes me twitch a little.

      Thanks for the LOL!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    29. Lindac says:

      Oh too funny. My right has offended my left when shaving a calf. And by that I mean the back of my leg, not cattle. I swipe with the right and then immediately, so fast it’s almost simultaneous, feel with the left to make sure I didn’t leave stubble. One day the left was a bit sluggish in the getaway. Right sliced half a pinkie nail off.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    30. Cheryl says:

      Thanks for making me laugh out loud…yet again!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    31. becca says:

      When I was a cashier, I was a Chatty Kathy–on my good days. I was washing my mom’s cabinets the other day and somehow the knob on the cabinet face went under my fingernail and deep into the quick. It bled and bled and I was speechless with pain.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    32. Sarah S. says:

      If busting Jesus won’t get you eternal damnation, that little fib to Chatty Cathy will surely do it. You better be REALLY sure of that whole grace thing.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    33. Clemntine says:

      Band-aid: 4cents
      Taking someone else’s brain out and playing with it: priceless

      December 3rd, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    34. Rocks In My Dryer says:

      You did NOT! She’ll be telling people about you for years.

      December 3rd, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    35. SG says:

      No you did not…did you? You are so funny. I think we should hire a camera crew to follow you around taping your funny life. It would give us something to watch during the writer strike…And this week if I pitch that to the networks they might just bite…have you seen the promos for the new wave of writer strike driven reality TV coming to a tube near you?
      Anyone have the number to NBC handy?

      December 3rd, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    36. Teah says:


      December 3rd, 2007 at 9:51 pm

    37. Jammie J. says:

      I love offering no explanation for the weird things I do. It leaves so much to the imagination. Heh. I wonder what she thought of that one. Too bad you weren’t buying Nair, eh?

      December 3rd, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    38. jamie says:

      That is hilarious…If I am condemned to be in Walmart on a Sunday with the other sinners, I usually try to go when all of the true saints are in church…at least the lines aren’t as long!

      December 3rd, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    39. Roxanne says:

      I bet she quit chattin’ and scanned your dozenth roll of plaid wired ribbon REEEEEEEELY fast to get you OUT of her line.

      December 4th, 2007 at 12:13 am

    40. stacey says:

      you were brave just in the fact you went there with an open wound! girl-an open wound in walmart! now that is crazy 🙂

      December 4th, 2007 at 1:40 am

    41. daring one says:

      I don’t think Sunday is the only day on which Wal Mart can be seen in that light.

      And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who shaves my hands.

      December 4th, 2007 at 1:47 am

    42. Owlhaven says:

      my hubby says you’re evil.

      But funny.

      Mary, mom to many

      December 4th, 2007 at 2:12 am

    43. Carolyn says:

      A Safeway Chatty-Cathy once asked me if I had a headache when I was buying Bufferin. I told her no, it was for my dog (it really was – I had just come from the vet & was assured it would help alleviate joint pain). With a completely serious face, she asked me how the dog told me it had a headache.

      December 4th, 2007 at 4:29 am

    44. Antique Mommy says:

      Carolyn, that cracks me up! Wal-Mart is such a study in humanity. One time I was in Wal-Mart and I picked up something, I can’t remember what, and I pre-emptively told the cashier they were two for $3 and so she scanned them and so, “No ma’am, these are $1.50 each.” So I said, “We’ll um, okay, but not a penny more!”

      * * *

      Mary, the good nuns at my elementary school also said I was evil, but they did not find me funny, just merely exasperatingly sinfully evil. 🙂

      December 4th, 2007 at 8:09 am

    45. Deanna says:

      Too funny! As WalMart is just about the only place in town to shop, I am thrust into that hell quite often! Cookie boy reminds me of the threesome in a cart, mom oblivious to the fact that they were ‘washing’ each others hair with the shampoo in the cart, followed by the conditioner, natch. She said, “I thought the store smelled really good everywhere I went!”

      December 4th, 2007 at 9:14 am

    46. Jim says:

      Being a Mgr. in the retail business for many years, I can say that it is an experience from any other. Every store(s) has one or two of the chatty cathy type employees. There are some customers who “have names” also. Picking the brain works on both sides of the register, and each declare themself a winner! However, I must say “the customer is always right”. This was a very funny post, and it jogs my memory of so many things that I have experienced thru the years. LOL

      December 4th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    47. kittyhox says:

      Ha HA! That last line just got me. I wouldn’t have had the nerve. For some reason, I care what chatty Kathy check-out girls at Wal-Mart think of me. And I also wouldn’t have been able to keep a straight face. That is soooo funny.

      December 4th, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    48. Fiddledeedee (It Coulda Been Worse) says:

      You are my hero.

      December 4th, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    49. J says:

      Walmart is for evil doers, so there’s no way not to suffer when you go there.

      Too funny about the shaving the hand. I’m thinking that bible is not to be trifled with, huh? 😉

      December 4th, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    50. April says:


      I shave my hands too.

      Just kidding…

      You’re hilarious!

      December 4th, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    51. rosheeda says:

      This is just NOT right! But it IS hilarious!

      December 4th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    52. momhuebert says:

      I can well believe that Hell is probably Walmart on Sunday afternoon. Especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

      We often stop at Walmart after church on Sunday to pick up a few things for dinner. Few, meaning, what two people can carry easily. I can’t believe the hordes of people in there who have carts piled high with a month’s worth of groceries and other stuff, all standing in line IN FRONT OF ME. And there I am, hungry, tired, in a hurry, and not feeling very spiritual any more. It’s not easy to go directly from church to hell.

      December 4th, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    53. Karen Morris says:

      Thank you for sharing your fabulous gift of writing! This was a hilarious yet tragically true post- been there and so wished I had done what you did! You are part of my daily routine-let the dogs out. check. make coffee- check. computer on. check. read antique mommy- check! Last night, dh and I laughed when we watched “Charlie Brown Christmas” and came to the part about “the eastern syndicate” we exchanged a knowing look…referencing your previous post about Christmas-which, by the way, really was point on!

      December 4th, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    54. JCK says:

      You shave your hands! That is HYSTERICAL.

      December 5th, 2007 at 2:02 am

    55. Diane, Sand to Glass says:

      Hilarious really. I almost didn’t post because there are so many but, gosh — here i am!
      Delightful reading these posts. Glad I stumbled upon you.

      Diane, Sand to Glass

      December 5th, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    56. noodle says:

      ROFL!!! Yes, Wal-Mart is its own special kind of hell — on Sunday or any other day.

      I must be evil too. I would have absolutely done/said the same thing! Five years of working in a comedy club will do that to a person.

      December 6th, 2007 at 2:42 am

    57. carrie-the gremlin wrangler says:

      I couldn’t help but speak up on this one, since I chronicle my own cashiering at this particular place of torment.

      Except I call Chatty Cathy “The Consummate Cashier”, while I am merely The Friendly Cashier. There is a difference. Chatty Cathy is the one likely to card a forty year old man for a rated R movie. I usually end up at the register right next to hers and laugh my fool head off at her instead of my freaky hand shaving customers!

      Nice to hear the experience from a customer’s perspective.

      December 6th, 2007 at 10:32 am

    58. LaLa says:

      I think telling WalMart folks you shave your hands would be an *excellent* strategy for getting through the WM experience with relatively few skirmishes. That’ll show ’em!

      December 8th, 2007 at 1:26 am

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