Went out to top off the gas tank and get a few groceries today; it’s a pretty crazy world out there…

Firstly, I paid $5.20 a gallon for gas today – a new personal record!

I stopped the pump at 1 gallon to display the price – I actually used about 1.75 gallons this week.

The reason that’s a new personal record is I used to buy 100LL AVGas for racing, which was about $5 a gallon for someone without an airplane.

So, after a healthy fleecing at the pump I drove up the street to Walmart – mostly because it’s close to the house…

Walmart is still the most miserable place on Earth to do any shopping.

Today is pretty warm, about 95, and I tend to buy a lot of fresh produce and frozen items – so my goal was to get in, get out, and get home (about a mile away) in as rapid fashion as possible before everything wilted and thawed…

The place was packed, and I wound up parking at the bank in the parking lot as it was as close as I could get. And the store itself was full of zombie-like people wandering aimlessly through the isles; basically shopping via Brownian motion.

And the place was seriously low on stock too… I had to buy name-brand stuff because all of the cheaper store-brand versions of what I was after were sold out.

Anyway, to walk the grocery side of the place took about 45 minutes because of the traffic… I mean, why does someone stop in the middle of an isle and carefully examine a box of Hamburger Helper for ten minutes? Fortunately I know this happens on occasion, so I employ strategery to make sure my refrigerated and frozen goods stay cold by picking them up last.

My local grocery stores don’t really do cashier checkout anymore, and Walmart is no different. They have replaced all but three of the isles with “self checkout”… This was probably an amazing idea on paper, but half of the self checkout lanes at any time are broken in some fashion and the other half have a 100% chance of befuddling the octogenarian trying to use them.

Today, for example, I spotted an open self-checkout lane, walked over there, and unloaded my cart onto the belt – then saw the post-it stuck to the screen stating it was cash only… So I reloaded my cart and got into another line behind a family of 12, only to discover that the machine there was broken and they were just kinda hanging out.

30 minutes later I managed to get my groceries paid for and headed out.

Getting out of the parking lot was a bit like departing a concert, and it took another 15 minutes just to get onto the main road – and 3 minutes later I was unloading the car and throwing everything into the fridge in the hopes I caught it in time.

There’s a reason I got my groceries delivered for the last few years… But now with all of the gas surcharges and whatnot, I can get almost twice as much food for my hundred bucks by braving the masses; four whole bags instead of two…

I miss the good old days of 2019…

Listening to "Lovin' Every Minute of It" by Loverboy