Bags loaded into the trunk, I scooted through springtime raindrops to get home in time for Oprah. Well, really, I put the pedal to the metal because I had to pee. Unloaded the groceries, unburdened my bladder. So.
I forgot the TP.
Life was so much simpler when we lived in The City. Run out of margarine? The Little Market On The Corner had an ample supply. Need a dash of Tabasco? The Little Store On The Next Block always had the spicy condiment in stock.
The immigrant Korean merchants who run these establishments are thrifty. They know the demographic. They mark up their prices way beyond what the market should be able to bear. But they rake in the customers. They make money. They've carved out their niche. The name of the game is convenience.
In DC, my Quest for TP would have been NBD. I would have been out & back in my comfy living room faster than one could say, "Who squeezed the Charmin?"
With my duties done & my groceries put away, I began what we have come to know out here in the 'Burbs as The Suburban Shuffle. A little like the Hokey-Pokie, only not half as fun.
Car Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Grocery Discount Card? Check. Cash? No problema. The bank is near the store, & they have a drive-up window.
After a 5-car backup & a jammed ATM, The Toilet Paper Patrol was ready to roll.
After a fuel-burning, engine-idling, global warming-causing, 22-minute parking space hunt, The TP Brigade prepared to launch.
After a mad dash through an every-increasing rainstorm, I grabbed my prey & headed to the checkout line. The cashier closed her register after the guy in front of me. 4 out of 5 of the self-serve lanes were "out of order."
A Good Samaritan let me sneak in front of her. After all, I had one item; she had six hundred and 43.
Sure, The City has crime. The City has poverty. Higher taxes, bad schools, a growing homeless population, rats as big as cats, irregular sanitation service.
But The City has Little Corner Stores. And they would never dream of thwarting a consumer's quest for TP.
Mr. Whipple would be proud.
Editor's Note: Mrs. Scribe penned this out of frustration & as part of her March contribution to the Random Complexity Writing Challenge. 385 words.