To be honest, I don't go to the People's Republic of Walton very often.  It's very busy, and I'm not a huge fan of crowds, nor am I that patient.  But, every time I go out there, there seem to be the same types of people all around the store.  Maybe you've seen them, too.

1.  The Bachelor.

This guy is buying seven varieties of tv dinners, two cases of Natty, and a roll of antacids. He's probably still in his work clothes.  Might be a little dirty, but he's polite. He probably cleans up good. Bound to have some five o clock shadow.

2.  Mr. All Business.

He's here to get his prescriptions and that's it. He's in and he's out in five minutes flat.  He's walking a little too fast, and can weave in and out of people in the aisle pretty quickly. Every time he goes out there, he silently times himself and tries to beat his old record.

3.  The Dog Lady.

She's in the dog food aisle.  She's reading every last label to check for ingredients she doesn't like. She's got treats in one hand, and toys in the other.  She swears she doesn't buy new stuff for her dog every time she comes out, but we all kind of just know and accept that she does. The toys don't buy themselves, Barbara. 

4.  The Chatter.

This person knows Everyone.  They see everybody they ever met at any given point in their lives every time they shop. So, they have to stop and chat for a minute or ten, probably right in the center of the aisle. If they don't meet someone from church or the PTA or from that old job they had back in 1998, they'll chat with the cashiers.  In detail. About their sciatica.  Or about cousin Joe, did you hear about his boy? You know, the one with the face.

5.  The Mom.

She's got three kids and two carts full.  She's loaded with coupons, and hardly ever buys the name brand. One kid's in a car seat, one's on a leash, and one is "helping" by trying to sneak goodies into the cart. She's probably thinking of creative reasons why we don't have to go to the toy section.  Just tell 'em they're doing some work on that section.  It's not open to the public right now. If that doesn't work, tell 'em.... the cart can't turn that way? I don't know.

6. The Teenager.

You know that they think they're being "clever".  They're the FIRST PERSON to ever think of playing hide and seek in Wal-Mart.  They're putting things from the cereal aisle in the garden center.  Soooooo funny.  You'll notice the teenager travels in packs of three to five, almost never alone. They're probably there because they already got kicked out of Big Lots.

7. The Farmer.

He doesn't get to town much, and doesn't want to make more than one trip. So he goes to the Wal-Marts and gets everything at once.  He's in his overalls, probably with a ball cap from 1982 on. He'll be happy to tell you that his corn is fresher. He buys the big jars of salad dressing, ketchup and mustard.  He doesn't need to buy the bulk pickles though, because his wife cans her own and they're ten times nicer than them store bought ones.

8.  The Sampler.

This person goes to the deli first.  They buy some lunchmeat or cheese and snack on it the entire time they're shopping.  If there are free samples, you know they're taking three or four.  There's always a need to graze on something or another. They only buy three or four things, though, and most of the time the meat's half gone by the time they're done.

9. The Seller.

They're going to be in the parking lot, towards the back.  They probably have puppies for sale out of the back of their van. They'll make sure to have a few out and put up a big sign so your kids can see them and beg for a puppy.  They'll be back next week with kittens. Just look for the sign on the tailgate of the truck.

10.  The Opportunist.

This person will take their car in for an oil change.  Then, while they're waiting, they'll do their week's worth of shopping.  And then they'll take their full cart of groceries back to the automotive center and try to use that register. Come on, Sandra.  That's just not cool.

Martingly yours,

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