Thursday, August 8, 2013

Back to School Gauntlet and The Blue Helmet Blues

     The yearly ritual of Back to School shopping is one that I personally would like to do away with, and I'm going to place it on my personal "Banned List."  I have a Banned List similar to the one in Major League Baseball concerning performance enhancing drugs, but the difference is my list includes activities that I would rather not do.  My list includes things like Chuck E Cheese, The Kiddie Pool or Children's Cesspool as I like to call it, and anything to do with Wal-Mart.  Guess where the School Supply shopping takes place?  Yes, that is correct at Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart has been and will continue to be my arch-nemesis and a source of pure evil.  I have made no secret about my absolute disdain for this place, and I am still searching for a low price Nirvana that could possibly take the place of this horrible invention of Sam Walton.  To survive the school supply shopping experience we had to run the gauntlet and survive the Wal-Mart factor, and for all intents and purposes enter Hades.  Sling Blade and Billy Bob Thornton comes to mind, "Some call it Hell, I call it Hades."  Let me just say that as usual, Wal-Mart did not disappoint and it was madness.  In addition to the back to school extravaganza, we also had Football Helmet issues.  These issues led to my first ever attempt at writing a blues song, and it is entitled "The Blue Helmet Blues."  I am going to share this song here on my blog for the first time.  It's kind of a big deal, and if you remember MTV in the 80s it's similar to a "World Premiere" video.  Well, not really, but a boy can dream.  
     So here it was, tax free weekend.  Tax free weekend with a school supply list, and throw in a heaping helping of Wal-Mart and you have a recipe for disaster.  The participants in this fiasco were Me, Jesse, and The People of Wal-Mart.  Scary, I know.  We hit this challenge head on, pretty much like any other challenge.  We decided to go very early, and normally this would diffuse some of the bad things.  Not this time.  0800 hours was not early enough to avoid craziness.  The moms were aggressive on this day, and they would not be denied that big red eraser.  When we first entered the school supply area it seemed unusually calm, but then no sooner than the first item was checked off our list it was like someone had dropped a donut in an ant bed.  We were covered with extremely aggressive Moms, some equally aggressive Grandmothers, and some clueless Dads who seemed almost lost in this sea of confusion.  Wal-Mart Buggies blocked our every move, and the drivers of these buggies need to learn how to park those things, let me tell you.  You do not park the buggy in the middle of the notebook aisle people, and if you do you are subject to being rammed...that's the bottom line!  During all this ducking and weaving in and out of school supply aisles at good ole Wal-Mart it dawned on me that it seems like the schools in our area and Wal-Mart could maybe get on the same page and put all this stuff in some type of order.  What I mean is, put the stuff in some order that corresponds to my list.  Seems like it would work, and then you wouldn't have to go from one side to the other and then back again.  May not be feasible, but just an idea to make it easier.  We were able to get every single item on our list or at least something very close to what was on the list, and the finish line was in sight.  Along the way, we did take a break in the Ice Cream aisle.  Krazy Kookie Dough by Blue Bell is the bomb too, by the way.  Finally after adding some Ice Cream and Doritos we were ready to check out and go.  We got to the front of the store, and only one check out line was open.  Yes sir, just one flippin check out line, that's it.  I was ready to riot at this point.  I ran down some of those Wal-Mart manager type people who are always having meetings in the middle of the store and really just get in the way.  I told them, "You mean to tell me, that on Tax Free weekend, with all these Moms, who don't play let me tell you from personal experience, You're gonna have only one check out line open?  If you know what's good for you.  Open another one!  Open it now, for love of all that is holy in this world!  Open another one!"  They looked at me like I was nuts, and said, "We'll get right on that sir."  To their credit they did open a few more lines, but we got cut off by a grandma with a buggy full of canned goods before we could get to the empty line.  She had coupons too.  She also liked to talk about her son, Joey.  The checkout girl was on the talkative side too, and for a moment there I thought the evil minions of Sam Walton and the Everyday Low Prices had won this round.  I did my breathing meditation, and we were finally able to finish this task.  Well we escaped Wal-Mart's clutches once more, and Mama was extremely happy that we finished the list.  Mainly, because she didn't have to go to Wal-Mart for the school supply shopping, but I'm all about making Mama happy.  I refuse to lose Sam Walton!  Remember that I work every day to dominate my opponent, but a worthy opponent you are!  A worthy opponent indeed!
     This past week I also upgraded Jesse's headgear for football, but I made a mistake by purchasing a white helmet.  I thought that it would be easy to paint the white helmet blue, and it was probably something plenty of folks had done before.  I was terribly mistaken.  This experience led me to find my inner blues man, and I wrote a song about my helmet experience.  A wise man once said, "The Blues ain't nothing but a good man feeling bad."  Well, here it goes, my blues song debut.  I wrote this with the tune of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" as a guide.  Now, all I need is a Mississippi string tie and I'm ready to roll!  The Blue Helmet Blues:

Football is upon us, A Helmet is what we need
I Found the best fitting helmet, That I've ever seen,

The Helmet we found was white, but Jesse's team is blue,
So we got to thinking, What the heck are we gonna do.

Auto-Detailers won't paint it, They say the Warranty will be gone
The League won't endorse it, If you paint it the helmet is done,

(Chorus)
I got the blues
I got the Paint the Helmet Blue, Blues
The Blue Helmet Blues

Spray Paint won't fix it, Matte, flat, or gloss,
I didn't know what I was getting into, and now I'm at a loss.

The wife said return it, but it had already been used,
Cleaned it up and went to see what I could do.

Repeat Chorus

Took it back to the store, to get my money back,
Everything worked out, cause confidence I don't lack,

In the end we found one, Custom made too,
Finally, this ole boy don't have to feel blue.

Repeat Chorus