Wednesday, January 12, 2011

People of Walmart

It was just a few days before Christmas as I ventured into our local Walmart for some last-minute gift purchases. Being almost a full 9 months pregnant I thought it sensible to make a detour into the restroom before starting my shopping and was surprised to see a woman at the sink washing a small tub of dishes.

As I approached the sink to wash my hands the woman apologized for taking up a sink for her dish washing. I told her it was no bother to me but definitely wondered why in the world she found it necessary to clean her dishes in the bathroom of a Walmart. She answered my silent question with her next remark, "When we be out travelin' life's lonely highway tryin' to find that place we call home for the holidays, we gots to do what we gots to do to make things work."

A voice from behind me answered her, "Lawd, girl. You said it." I turned and saw that the dishwashing lady had a friend at the corner sink who I hadn't noticed before. Believe it or not, she was using the sink to wash her... unmentionables. Seriously. I can't make this stuff up.

At this point I was looking around for a hidden camera somewhere. I was not sure what to think.

"So, honey, when's that baby comin'?" the first lady asked me.

"I've got another few weeks," was my reply.

"This your first?" she inquired.

"No. My tenth, actually."

"You say your tenth?" she asked, incredulous. "Like, you had nine babies and this be your number TEN baby?"

"That's right," I answered, drying my hands.

"How many daddies for all them kids?"

"Just one." I answered, already growing weary of the way this conversation was headed.

"Girl, you got eight up on me. I had my oldest girl and 18 months later I had my second. And that's just 'cuz I forgot."

"You say you forgot?" the second woman remarked in a fit of laughter. "Lawd, you funny."

"So," the dishwasher asked, "you got your own T.V. show yet?"

"You say T.V. show?" the laundress laughed. "Girl, you bustin' my gut!"

"Really, now, your man got a good job to help with all those babies?" the first lady asked me.

At this point I was beyond ready to make my exit. I don't generally enjoy being the topic of an impromptu comedy show put on by two travelers in the WalMart bathroom. But I answered her question.

"Yes, he does." And then, as I started to leave I wished them well in their travels and said, "You have a Merry Christmas."

"Yeah, you too, Miss TEN BABIES. Ten! Lawd almighty. Bless you, honey. That's all I gots to say. BLESS. YOU."

And as I walked out into the store I heard the second woman comment, "When we all see that girl on T.V. we can say we met her at Utah's Walmart!"

Yeah. In the bathroom. As you washed your underwear.

Only at Walmart.

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