Saturday, May 28, 2011

How I Almost Got Saved By Jesus At A Walmart


We're still here in Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, waiting for the Memorial Day holiday to commence & close so we can get on the road and head north. And, I will tell you what, there's a whole lot'a Jesus in these mountains.

I went to Walmart yesterday and bought way too many groceries and was wondering how am I ever going to get them home on my Yamaha Vino 125 CC when all of the sudden, my eyes pop wide open and nearly right outta my head, and I will tell you... suddenly I am filled with excitement and thrilled beyond salvation when I actually find a Walmart checkout line with nobody actually, in line.

If you have ever been to a Walmart checkout line, you know that those lines are usually a long as a Pennsylvania Turnpike at rush hour. Shopping carts are piled as high the almighty himself, with Cheetos, Vienna's (pronounced vi-eeeen-uhs) pork rinds & sodie pop. There is usually some heifer in line 'at weighs at least 350 to 550 pounds, a'totin’ kids and takin' forever while screamin' & hollerin’ at them damned, pesky, rotten little kids: why if yer daddy was a here...

Some folks call 'em Maggots. Always bellerin' at the top of their lungs fer no good reason...

Or, you get some old man or lady 'at cain't hear a lick for no good, that's gotta count out ever last penny to the cashier, and then figure out which items they gotta put back cuz Wally-World don't take no food stay-amps and they is on a fixed incum.

So, I get my stuff up on the counter and the checkout girl is beaming an enormous buck-toothed grin and brown teeth. She's got on a Sundee frock with polka dots and a cockled collar, she's got bug eyes what-am bug eyes and coke-bottle reading glasses so large & thick that it actually makes her eyes look like they're poppin' outta her head about another 4 inches, and get this, she's got pink, blotchy skin, freckles that look like ants and a crappy, crooked black wig on her head that looks like it come-outta K-Mart.

K-Mark s'what Shirley Q. Liquor or Betty Butterfield calls it. I cain't remember which of 'em said it, but I know one of 'em did.

In my usual congenial way, with a lovely lilt in my voice, I smile large & say: You sure have an extra big smile on your face today, young lady. You must be in a really good mood...

And with that, she shoves her right arm straight up inta the air, clutches her breast bone with the left hand, and looks heavenward. She glares back at me with an even bigger, stained, toothy-grin and says, 'It's b'cuz I got Jesus!'... and she stands there for a minute or two wobbling just a bit while staring at the ceiling as I am hurriedly loading groceries onto the counter,
all the while,
thinking…

I
have
made
a
huge
mistake.

And the word:

Jeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzuuuuuusssssssssssssssssssss

is still loitering on the tip of her tongue and dangling in the air like the devil in my ear.

And then she looks down slowly, wobbles a bit, catches her balance on the counter and looks at me kinda sideways and says in a voice as soft as an angel:

Do you got Jeeeeeeeeee-sus?

Ah. Um, hum. Ahem... no. I stumble, clear my throat, stand my ground while I straighten up slowly and I say: No, um, no I don't... but I'm glad you're in a real happy mood when all of the sudden, her enormous buck-toothed smile disappears but the teeth don't and she gets all sad, cocks her head to the other side and asks me with a little puppy-dog face, why I don't got Jesus...

And then in a sorta quick way, I just blurt out: b'cause I'm old and read a lot and it's just not for me, but I am glad you found something that makes you so happy... and that's a good thing.

I'm happy for you honey.

And then she shouts a bit: Oh! Damn! Prances around a little like she's just stubbed her toe.
Then she slaps the counter so hard with her left hand that I think to myself: that must have hurt. The hand slaps with an overly-exaggerated way you would expect a large & bony hand to slap in slow motion, as if from Olive Oyl, and she says: Well, if you don't mind I'd like t' take a minute here t' try an' change yer mind about my Jesus a little bit and ....

... And then I look at her stern faced, and maybe start to get just a little bit red in the face and a smidge peeved when I realize I am trapped in Jesus country and most likely won't be able to make a clean getaway out of the store without being pursued, tackled & shot.

I can feel myself starting to shake a bit, and I say abruptly but directly:

Jesus is a myth.

There. I said it.

You could hear the air and the plastic cringe on the baggie turn-style. The bag-girl looked at me stone-faced, jaw-slacked. Her eyes enlarge. She's speechless.

Then the cashier snaps to attention with a:
WELL! HELL & TARNATION NO HE'S NOT! And this time, she slaps the counter again, a little bit harder and this time I think I hear a knuckle pop, and she gets a little bit madder about her salvation Jesus & all, and I say: look honey, I am in a hurry to get out of here and I need you to ring up my groceries so I can get on the road as I have a long ride. I am not here to talk about Jesus...
maybe some other time.

And she says:
WELL I AM GONNA TALK 'BOUT HIM WITH YOU... NOW.

You see... when I was finishin' up th' 11th grade I had an

in-op-er-able

brain tumor & cancer and I wuz about ta duh-eye
(she says "duh-eye" in an overly exaggerated way, kinda quickly so it comes out as an elongated like 'duh-aaaaaaaah', but not quite)

...When I actually did up n' duh-aaaaah and I went straight t' heaven and ah' met Jesus, our Lord & Savior what cured me. I met him face to face and he done talked to me, right there in heaven. I met Him.

Then she looks directly at me, batting her eyelashes softly in a clunky kinda way, as they flutter up against her giant coke-bottle eye glasses and she says in a calm voice:

So you see?

You have finally
met someone
at's been t' heaven
and has met Jesus,
our Lord & Savior.

I was supposed t' duh-ahhh on the operatin’ table 's I
had the rarest of all brain cancers ya ever gonna get and here I am at-

t h i r t y - s i x y e a r s o l d

t' live t' tell 'bout it..

Then she sucked a bit of air between her large teeth and said: 'at's twice thuh age as I shoulda' lived an at's all because of Jesus.

He done this for me. My Savior.

Then she leans into me and says:
My Jesus. I got Jesus and you need to get Jesus, too.

Right about now, my mind is nearly blank, swirling, and I am just about explode or let loose with a barrage of attacks about how billions of other people have died and how hundreds of millions of kids around the world are starving to death, sick, ill and dying... and how they didn't have Jesus to save their sorry ass...

...and I just looked at her, half smiled and said: well, yer doin' reeeeal good honey. I think yer doin' just great at livin'... and I'll tell you what, you keep that up real nice like, ya hear? I bet yer gonna have a long & happy life.

Then I scooped up my bags and hurried out the door, slightly rattled a bit, but happy I never engaged her. The whole time I stood there, the bag girl had a blank stare on her face.
I thought she might screech into the intercom at any second: Jesus Hater On Caysh Register Number THREE....

I could barely get my groceries on my bike, took off out of the parking lot a little razzled while glancing over my shoulder as if I was going to hear gun shot at any moment.
If there ever was a Jesus, I would have fallen off of my bike at that moment, for sure.

But I gotta tell ya, that's the first time I've been witnessed to by a cashier in a Walmart with bug-eyes n' buck teeth. And dang if 'at ain't the weirdest thang at's happened to me all week.
 
But you know what?
When I left that Walmart the sign on the bank said it was 108 degrees in Front Royal. The wind was blowing hard and hot. I managed to get that scooter back to my RV in the Shenandoah State Park, fourteen miles down 340 carrying $148 worth of groceries on my bike:
A 24 pack case of Aquafina
A seven pound watermelon
A slap of ribs that weighed 5 pounds
And eight plastic bags filled with groceries.
Damned wind was blowing so hard it almost knocked me off my bike. When I got back, I found out there were storms and tornado warnings all around the area were we were. Park ranger came and warned me, too. Thought one might hit the park and told me where to go for shelter.
But I got back safely.
Now how do you suppose I got back safely if someone wasn’t watchin’ over me?
Praise Jesus & pass the pickles.

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