Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Walmart trouble

I just got back form Walmart in the Highlands. I was there at 11:30am this morning stocking up on some essentials as the blizzard continues to drone on like a Rosie O'Donnell comedy routine. The store was basically a ghost town. About 30 cars in the lot. Nonetheless, I was still pleasantly greeted by a hearty-bearded man. I rarely respond - the most they'll get back is a "Yo" or a brief head-nodding acknowledgment.

Anyway, I made an immediate left and headed toward the aspirin/toothpaste aisles. I then sweep around the store in a full circle. I call this classic Walmart envelopment strategy. It's my theory that you should NEVER start in the food aisle because if you get any frozen stuff, it just has extra time to melt or congeal. So I'm wrapping up my last bit of shopping and I walk into the bread/coffee aisle to obtain my Dunkin Donuts medium roast coffee original blend. As I enter the aisle, there is a disheveled man in his mid 40's with a young girl. The man looked a little bit like what I think would resemble country music legend Boxcar Willie. At about 5'8" and 220 lbs, he appeared unkempt. His wardrobe consisted of sweats and a mangy t-shirt. I suppose you could affix the dreaded white-trash label upon him. The young girl he was with looked a bit on the ratty side as well, kind of like a Dallas Pike truck stop Punky Brewster. Anyway, the girl is throwing a mild temper tantrum. He's yelling at her and shaking her shoulders as she continues to cry (not ear-piercingly loud, but definitely causing a commotion).
I'm trying to avoid making eye contact as I grab my coffee. We are the only three in the aisle. As I leave the twosome behind to settle their problems, a woman comes running past me charging at the dirtbag. At first, I thought it was the mom, but then realized it was a non-related third party. She starts yelling very loudly, "I saw you hit that girl! I'm calling the cops! You don't have the right to hit her!" She was very defiant. Well, dirtbag yells back, "Fuck you! I raised 4 kids. Don't tell me how to treat my kids. I didn't hit nobody!"
Well, now the commotion has spilled out front and center into the main area, right in between the produce section and the self-checkout machines. These two are yelling back and forth and a crowd of about a dozen has gathered around the two. And of course, the young girl is still bawling. An young, oafish employee says, "Alright, everyone can we please just calm down." The woman, "I saw what I saw. I'm calling the cops." She picks up her cellphone and dials 911. The man gathered up the daughter and said, "Well, I've had enough of this bullshit. I'm leaving." They leave the store and the woman is still in a huff.
I was checking out, making small talk with the cashier, while the rest of this incident transpired. As I was leaving the store, a cop pulled up and an employee outside directed him in the direction dirtbag went. The cop then sped off. As I got on the interstate, I noticed two more cruisers heading up 2-mile hill.
So here's my dilemma. What should I have done? Normally, I'm an acute observer of human behavior, but at this moment I just felt uncomfortable. I wanted to get my last item (the coffee) and get the hell out of there. Truth be told, I never saw dirtbag "hit" the girl. I did see him kneel down and shake her by the shoulders. I saw this out of the corner of my eye; whereas, the other woman had a full-frontal view of the incident. I was a lot closer to the action and never saw any striking motions or any overtly hostile behavior.
It's my belief that the woman over-stepped her bounds. When she started yelling the word "hit" instead of "shook," all the Walmartonians immediately reacted. And this woman was not going to let the matter dissipate. She was LOUD.
Maybe I should have said something. To be honest, I just didn't want to get involved. I do fear that if dirtbag was apprehended, he might not get a fair shake based on his slovenly appearance and crud-like hygiene.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, what an odd/scary position to be put in. If you would have said something, his answer to you would have been the same he said to the Good Samaritan. Then what? I probably would have been passive aggressive and tried to find a worker ASAP and inform them of the domestic issue. Then again, you are a guy and are expected to be vigilant so...Hmmm. Quite a quandary.

On a side note, I have been waiting for another update for quite some time now! I really need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

You've got realize, when the woman started screaming, a bunch of workers/shoppers immediately congregated on the scene. I NEVER saw him strike his daughter and I'm about 85% sure he did not. I think it was the woman who jumped the gun and used VERY provocative words, thus inflaming the whole situation.
Regardless of his dirtbag status, I find it doubtful that he would hit his daughter in a retail store. If he were prone to violent outbreaks, I imagine he'd act out in a more private setting.
Maybe in that woman's mind, she saw something more than what actually transpired.
Trust me, if I had seen him hit the girl, I would have done something - not sure exactly what though. The exact specs of the whole situation seemed kind of overblown. But then again, I was purposefully trying not to get involved. SAF

D.B.V. - The vicarious life you seek can be achieved through following the status updates of Wheeling, WV on facebook. "Go to a Nailers game. Take a walk through Oglebay Park. Start a snowball fight! Live damnit! LIVE!"

Larry said...

Yep. Classic West Virginia Walmart drama. I still believe that around here we're getting closer to what we've always thought the deep south was like.

Anonymous said...

Idiots-you do the right thing ass and make sure the girl is ok-maybe you ask her-----------

Stop being cool guy and get involved in life instead of just making fun of it, or no one will remember you were ever here.