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What’s Christmas anyway without a quick trip down Wal-Mart’s aisles?

Today, so far, has been an extremely good day, I told myself last week while shopping in Wal-Mart, of all places to be during the mega shopping season. Since I just needed to pick up a couple of last-minute items, I figured just about everyone else had finished, so there would be only a few other shoppers on Wednesday, about midday.
You could tell right away I wasn’t the only person to think that. I drove up and down the aisles for a good 10 minutes looking for a spot to park. Eventually, however, I found one not far from the south door. Inside, I headed straight to electronics where the clerk went straight to the computer game rack and handed me the one I had asked for. I absolutely had to have it for the grandson in Cookeville, Tenn.
Do you know how much these ‘games’ cost? How does a young family get by in these times, when practically the whole world revolves around a computer chip that probably costs $2 max to produce and package? Somebody is making a major haul, for certain.
Anyway, I decided to pick up another necessary item for my hubby, but I can’t tell you what it is because he might see it this morning, when The Corydon Democrat hits the newsstands. I can only tell you it’s computer related, and if it were any bigger it would be called a ‘rat.’ (For the reader who still uses an electric typewriter, that’s a computer mouse, a part, that now comes in wirelesss remote-control. Don’t tell Virgil.)
Then I decided to try to find a box to fit this thing in, so he couldn’t feel the wrapping over the caved-in, empty space (why do packaging people do that?) and poke his finger through it, swearing he had hit it on the end table by mistake. After decades of Christmases with Virgil, I know this guy pretty well, and I know to wrap his gifts in sturdy, industrial-strength boxes.
By now I’m all the way back in Santa’s Shop, where the garden shop usually is, so I stop my cart to look for the package to determine the size box I needed.
Nothing. Not a thing. Just an empty cart. No $39.99 game, no remote, nothing.
Naturally, I thought a thief had taken these precious things and how stupid it was of me to turn my back on the basket, even for a moment, to check out a DVD movie on the stand. I wondered if my homeowner’s insurance would cover the theft. Well, no matter. I had no choice but to start over, so I headed back to electronics.
‘Would you like your package?’ asked the pleasant clerk, who’d waited on me earlier. ‘Oh, thank heaven!’ I exclaimed, embarrassed but grateful to learn I had paid her and then absent-mindedly walked away without the goods.
I finished shopping quickly and headed toward the checkout. Before I could get out of the store, though, I began to feel guilty. How could I have thought, for even a moment, that someone in Corydon, Ind., a major birthplace for all things Hoosier, would stoop so low as to steal Christmas gifts? I should have known better.