The Missing Aisle

I took a quick shopping trip to Walmart the other day to pick up a few things. First of all, it’s an oxymoron to use “quick” and “Walmart” in the same sentence. And second, I’m a moron for even thinking I could make a quick trip to Walmart

Be that as it may, it’s not the point of the story I’m about to tell you. What started out as a quick trip to Walmart for a little grocery shopping ended up like an episode of The Twilight Zone.

One of the items on my short grocery list was coffee creamer. I like the liquid kind instead of the powder, so I walked to the dairy section of the store and opened the door to one of the commercial refrigerators to retrieve a bottle of liquid coffee creamer. But, as I began to peruse through the choices of creamers I only found bottles of French Vanilla, Cinnamon Cream, and Caramel and Coconut. But no Original flavor.

So I looked down on the lower shelves and finally spotted the bottles of Original. But they were extra large size. In fact, the bottle was so large it would probably spoil before I finished using it all. Apparently, everybody likes Original in the regular size bottle because there were none of those and plenty of flavored creamer bottles and plenty of supersized bottles.

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I would go to the Walmart Supercenter just to pick up a bottle of coffee creamer. For the answer to that question I refer you back to the last sentence of the first paragraph of this post.

Then, I decided instead to pick up a bottle of the powdered version of the creamer on the coffee aisle because I can’t drink coffee without creamer in it. I don’t really drink that much coffee, but I do like to make a cup in the morning and take it with me to work. I think it’s the “thought” of drinking coffee that I like more than the coffee itself.

So, I headed over to the coffee aisle located in the middle of the grocery store to fetch a bottle of powdered Original-flavor creamer. But when I got there, the aisle wasn’t there! I know it sounds crazy, but the coffee aisle was missing! I looked up to reassure myself that I was in the right place and, sure enough, there was a sign hanging from the ceiling designating that this was the place where the coffee aisle was located. But, still there was no coffee aisle!

I suppose you’re thinking by now that I’m not only a moron, but I’m delusional. And it certainly occurred to me as I stood there in the middle of Walmart looking for the coffee aisle that maybe I’m both stupid and crazy.

As I stood there trying to figure out how this wrinkle in my universe occurred, a friend walked up and we talked for a few minutes. During our conversation I casually asked her if she knew what happened to the coffee aisle hoping she wouldn’t think I’m crazy or that she might say something that would awaken me from this bad dream.

Instead, she matter-of-factly pointed towards the women’s clothing section and said she thought the coffee aisle was located over there. Women’s clothing seemed like a strange place for the coffee aisle to be located but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to happen in The Twlight Zone. And, she added that if the coffee aisle wasn’t in the women’s clothing department then it might be in the baby department!

Given the way that this shopping trip was going, I admit I was somewhat skeptical, maybe even frightened, by the prospect that the coffee aisle was located in either the women’s clothing or baby department. But I was in a hurry so I crept over to women’s clothing to see if I could find the coffee aisle.

There was an aisle there, all right, but it contained chocolate syrup. A little further down the aisle was mustard and ketchup, but no coffee. By now I’m pretty desperate to find that powdered coffee creamer and I remembered that my friend had said that if the coffee aisle wasn’t in women’s clothing it might be in the baby department.

So, I made my way over to the baby department and lo and behold, there it was, the coffee aisle! Yes, I had located the coffee aisle in the baby department. I was greatly relieved on a couple of levels. First, that I finally found the powdered coffee creamer and second that this wasn’t all a bad dream (though, it still didn’t give me any relief for my stupidity problem)!

So, I grabbed a regular size bottle of Original powdered creamer from the coffee aisle in the baby department, threw it in the basket and hurried to the checkout counter, happy that this weird shopping trip was finally over.

P.S. This is a true story. It really happened just as I have recounted here. I suppose I should mention, though, that Walmart was installing new floor covering in the store. To keep the store open and running while the floor covering was installed, they were installing a section at a time and had to move the aisles in one section of the store to another area. This particular day it was the coffee aisle that was relocated!

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