Not only is hell above ground, it is surrounded by asphalt covered in white lines and cars driven by idiots. Those same idiots who drive aimlessly to find some white lines that suit their requirements, the most important one being as close to their destination as possible. Those idiots then bring their poorly-driven vehicles to a stop in the general vicinity of three or four white lines, because these people are under the impression that the more white lines you cover with your car, the better you are.
These same people then begin their amble toward the gates of hell. A very slow, plodding, distracted amble in what they think must be the widest sidewalk in history… right down the middle of the driving lane of the parking lot. This causes drivers to either carelessly roar past them at unsafe speeds, or follow the Plodders in their vehicles giving the drivers plenty of time to build up a full head of rage.
Plodders see no reason to act any differently in hell than they do in the parking lot. Shopping carts are propelled aimlessly through various departments, plowing through groups of Actual Shoppers who are attempting to complete their lists, thus scattering their carts to the four winds and making them start all over.
Besides the Plodders, there are several other species that dwell within the confines of this particular hell. They are all from the Genus, the Aimless Ones.
Freezer Standers will pause for long moments in the freezer section with the doors open, gazing at all the wonders thawing in front of their eyes. Never mind that the doors are clean and clear and the display is well lit, they must open the door and stare until one of two things happen: they actually make a decision (rare) or someone drops a coin on the floor.
For a while, I believed these Freezer Standers would be summoned back from the frozen wastes by their electronic umbilicus, aka their cell-phone, but no. Sometimes these idiots will stand in the freezer with the door open while they’re texting or chatting on the phone about something totally unrelated to frozen, or thawing, foods.
Close relatives of the Freezer Standers are the Aisle Blockers. Aisle Blockers are oblivious to anyone else in the vicinity and will stand for long moments giving the shelves of pasta the 1,000-mile stare. They don’t even want pasta, and neither should you, dammit. *Note: a sub-sub class of Aisle Blockers is the genus of Farters. Farters should be avoided at all costs, and above all, DO NOT FOLLOW A FARTER. If you do, you will succumb to the smell and be lost in hell forever.
Once the cart is full, it is time for the Lurkers to spring into action. Lurkers wait on side aisles until they spot People In a Hurry to Leave, and they lunge out of hiding, directly in the path of the hurrying people aaaaand slow down. Sub-genre of Lurkers are the Stop-n-Starers, which are not to be confused with the Aisle Blockers. Stop-n-Starers do their stopping and staring primarily in areas of high traffic and favor those aisles that lead to the check-out stands.
You can tell the difference between Aisle Blockers and Stop-n-Starers because Aisle Blockers tend to be either solitary or travel only with offspring. Small offspring. Small, noisy, ill-mannered offspring. Stop-n-Starers, on the other hand, travel in loose packs in order to block as much of the exit aisle as possible, slowing as many People in a Hurry as possible until we turn on each other.
Many have asked, “Why do Stop-n-Starers stop?” Who the fuck knows. Maybe they got a text, or there is a large display of unhealthy snacks that demand their full attention. Or because there is so much air… between their ears…
Once the gauntlet has been run, it is time to face the CHECKOUT DEMON! Checkout Demons are an odd bunch. Some are fast, efficient, and even friendly (and I only say that because I know one personally, and she is awesome, however, she was not working that day), while the majority are… not so much of the awesome.
For example, the conveyers are not automatic at this particular hell hole; they must be triggered by a switch which is controlled by the demon. The demon would rather reach across miles of broken glass and sharp rocks to get your purchases rather than move the conveyer forward, thus allowing you to finish putting said purchases on the conveyer and move up to the money-grabbing device.
But, it’s a trap! Not only do you have the slowest form of demon scanning and not moving your stuff, but you’re now becoming familiar with that vilest denizen of hell, the Butt Bumper. This dreadful creature will bump your butt with its cart every few moments, while you try to convince the Checkout Demon to please move the conveyer forward so the next person in line, a.k.a., the Butt Bumper, can unload their cart. If you ask the Checkout Demon to please move the items forward on the conveyer, said demon will look at you as if you just asked her to give birth to yet another litter of demon pups RIGHT THERE IN THE CHECKOUT STAND! How dare!
Once you’ve sold your soul and packed your souvenirs into your car, you have only one more task to complete before you can fully exit hell. You must once again face the parking lot trial. Only this time, you know to wait until the path is all clear before you proceed. Unfortunately, that’s right about the time they open the gates of hell and release the Discount Shoppers.
These final species are truly odious, for not only are they heavily laden, they are smug and oblivious. Like their cousins, the Stop-n-Starers, the Discount Shoppers lurch out in the path of oncoming traffic, unaware of imminent danger. They don’t care! After all, they’ve just shopped for hours and saved a TON of money they can now use to pay their hospital bills!
Next time, if there is one, I’m sending Og in to the fray. Won’t that be…fun?