Let the Countdown Begin

IMG_0570.jpgWell, the countdown has begun.  We are T – minus a little over 24 hours until the jolliest fat man in a red suit this side of the nuthatch makes his grand appearance.  I don’t know about your hours but the natives are super restless.  As for me, I’m currently typing this blog from the checkout line at my local Kroger grocery store.  From the looks of these lines, about a quarter of my town’s population and I are here.  Apparently, we all forgot something crucial for our feasts, ran out of some basic necessity or are just plain crazy.

It is absolute bedlam up in here.  I would go so far as to say the crazy is at an all-time high.  First I was greeted by a grown man sporting footie pajamas with cats wearing Santa hats ringing the Salvation Army bell.  Let me tell you, he just oozed Christmas spirit.  LIMG_0567.jpgike the picture I got of the guy?  I tried to be stealth.  The aisles were jam-packed with all of us idiots not to mention all the people who I guess had nothing better to do than to go with their relatives and loiter in the aisles.  As I typed this, I was standing beside a family of five, Mom, Dad and three little girls that appear to be all under the age of five.  Did I mention the girls are in one of those impossible to steer car-shaped buggies?  Yeah didn’t think so. Why in the world did the whole damn family need to come to the store for eggs, chips, and Cheerios?  The only thing I can think of is one parent didn’t trust the other alone with all the kids or it was a punishment of some sort. You think I’m leaving you here at the house in peace? No way sucker, you’re coming with me. We are all going to suffer.  And, lookie what the hot sheets have to say.  It’s a sad day when the National Enquirer headlines look like legit news.  IMG_0566.jpg

But, do you want to know what the coup de gras is of this whole trip? It was the balloons at the checkout.  You know the ones, a bouquet of about 6 or 8 stationed at each check out lane.  They’re generally about the current holiday with a couple for birthday and get well.  Today the balloons consisted of the usual suspects.  We had Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Feliz Navidad, and balloons that just said Welcome.  I guess the welcome ones are to place outside your home to welcome visitors.  But, by far the best one said, I’m Sorry.  You know, nothing quite says the holidays like an ‘I’m Sorry’ balloon.  Was this a pre-emptive strike for horrible gift givers?  Is this something people will hand out tomorrow after Festivus and airing one’s grievances are over?  What is the purpose of the ‘I’m Sorry’ balloon? Quite frankly, if you have to tell me you’re sorry you better have something better than a $2.99 mylar balloon.  You better look contrite for one thing, you better have a damn good excuse/story and flowers would be nice or maybe wine.  A balloon does not cut it.

After that insanity, I made it home to discover I forgot about five things that I should have bought but we can totally do without and a roadrunner (yes the actual bird) in my flowerbed.  Wild horses couldn’t drag me back out to those stores and I left that roadrunner to his or her own devices.  For all of you who have yet to finish the mad dash of the final countdown I will give you the same encouragement my hubs gives me, “come back with your shield or on it.”

P.S. The next couple of weeks are going to be sketchier than gas station food as my kids are out of school for winter break and other family crapola.  I will post when I can.

P.P.S For those that are interested, the origin of “come back with your shield or on it” means either you win the battle or you will die and then be carried home on your shield. Legend states Spartan mothers would say this phrase to their sons before they went out to battle.


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