In the weeks before Christmas, I find myself at a Target (you probably know it as Tar-shay) buying a few gifts.* I pick up what I need (you can never have enough Poppycock--I select a 1982 vintage) and get into one of the shorter check-out lines, which is about six carts deep. Almost as soon as I get into line, more people queue up behind me.
It is at this point that the woman directly in front of me looks around, as if waking from a coma****, and announces to me, "I've gotta get one more thing." I say nothing but it isn't like she is waiting for a response. Really, she isn't asking my permission so much as declaring a fact. Like the flower needs the rain, this woman has got to get one more thing.
She abandons her cart.
Now, you know that the chances of her being back before the line moves are a million to one. This isn't Kmart, where you can slip into a coma and nobody will notice.***** Nope, Target has cashiers that are young enough that they don't have to pause between scanning items to complain about their lumbago.
Sure enough, the line moves, and Ms. Gotta-Get-One-More-Throw-Pillow-in-the-Shape-of-a-Turtle is nowhere to be found. So, what? Now her cart is my problem? I get to move her and my cart up? And maybe I can unload her cart and pay for her stuff, too, hm?
I leave her cart where it stands and circle around it. Others seem uncertain whether to follow suit for, oh, two seconds. The line quickly closes ranks, setting her cart adrift. Yeah, there's your Christmas spirit in action.******
To her credit, when Ms. GGOMTPITSOAT returned, she quietly skulked off with her cart.
I say, you want to do more shopping? Fine. Get out of line. But I've seen this situation play out over and over again with a different outcome. Who's right and who's wrong?*******
*Well, that's not quite true. I didn't just find myself there. It's not like I woke up from a coma to find myself in a Target. That would be strange. How come they never do that? They should take coma patients and move them around and see what hilarity ensues.**
**What?? Alright, maybe not. Have it your way.***
***Sometimes, you're poopy.
****Oh, come on. It's practically a theme now. Like a prom banner: "Coma alive, class of 95!"
*****I'm hearing Barbara Streisand singing "Coma in and out of your life... is never easy..." I'll bet Babs doesn't waste her time at Kmart. I'll bet she sends James. Brolin, that is. Not Ingram, who'd be singing, "Coma to me, let me put my arms around you, this was meant to be..."
****** "Oh, coma, all ye faithful..."
******* 'Cause that's what it always comas down to.