I will never understand how people shop at Walmart. The shopping carts overflowing with merchandise. The people pawing through the trough of discounted DVDs. The sudden stopping in mid-aisle while hunched over the cart with PEOPLE BEHIND YOU.
But the part I don't understand the most falls under the heading of "knowing your surroundings."
"Knowing your surroundings" usually comes up while driving around town. I cannot believe how many people will drive down a street and turn left onto a busy street -- waiting sometimes as long as 10 minutes to be able to turn left -- when they can just drive one street over and let a traffic light speed things along for them.
I don't know, maybe they don't care. Or maybe it's an excuse so they can talk longer on their phone. I know I'm preaching to the choir here. If I ever wanted to get back on Twitter, it'd be just for one minute so I could tweet -- GET OFF YOUR CELL PHONE WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING, YOU'RE GOING TO KILL US ALL!!!!! -- and then I'd terminate my Twitter account again.
But I'm not someone who is always in a hurry. In fact I am endlessly fascinated by how quickly people walk. Have you ever taken a moment just to watch people walk lately? I do not live in New York City. But everyone here between the age of, say, 25 and 50 and in relatively good shape walks like there's a perpetual emergency every time they're outside. Well, maybe not an emergency, or else they'd be running, I guess. But they walk like they think there might be emergency.
This happens until the point they enter a Walmart, and then I don't know what happens -- the store releases shopping gas or something -- because no one seems to be in a hurry to leave the store or even move. It's like they're turning left in their vehicle again. They're steering their cart in all kinds of odd directions. The check-out lines pile up and they stand there for two days without even noticing that the line hasn't moved.
Here is what I do:
I park near the side entrance. These days it's where all the Christmas decorations are stocked. During the summer, you find all your gardening stuff. I walk through that entrance with barely a customer in sight. The checkout person is just hanging out with two other employees. No line.
Then I go into the store, dodge all the customers loopy on shopping gas, find what I need, stare gawk-eyed at the jam-packed checkout lines at the front of the store, dodge all the loopy customers on the way back, check out by the side entrance where I'm the ONLY CUSTOMER, and drive off.
I did this today, as everyone was getting out of work. There was also an annual fundraiser going on at the front of the store -- as well as the usual Salvation Army kettle drive -- but I made it through unscathed (don't worry, I donate stuff). Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure there are customers in that store RIGHT NOW that were there when I was there.
Know your surroundings.
It's so much better than spending THREE HOURS in Walmart.
Now, I know what you're thinking: this blog is about CARDS, man. Wasn't that a Bowman Chrome pack up at the top? Show me some cards! I'm getting queasy!
I did buy a rack pack of Bowman Chrome. It's my first pack of Bowman Chrome this year. It's a card purchase that's very unlike me. But it's been so long since I've shown something current other than Lineage, Update or A&G on this blog, and I thought a pack break of something I habitually detest would be fun.
So let's have fun at the expense of BoChro.
First the pack wrapper again. This is the saddest card wrapper in the industry. Three cards in a baseball pack is the definition of disappointment. You know when you order a drink from a drive-thru and you get home and it's half-filled with ice? Doesn't that piss you off? Well, this should piss you off more. Three cards is an insult. Which is why I'll never buy any more of this stuff and why I am stunned that there were only 2 rack packs left. I know it says "value pack" on the top of the rack pack, but this is only a marginally better value than this 75-dollar pack.
OK, here are the cards. I'm featuring each pack in one scan. Because the cards don't deserve individual scans.
The cards from this pack are as warped as anything out of 2010 Topps Chrome. That's why I can't line them up straight.
Anyway, here is some Mets prospect I don't know even though he played last year in my old hometown. And two cards I probably won't be able to trade.
Pack 2 (yes, we're already at pack 2)
The first two cards will be going in packages to be mailed next week. Byrd will come in handy eventually. So this is the highlight of the rack pack, which tells you all you need to know.
Another White Sox, a catcher I've never heard of who is probably already better than Russell Martin, and my 491st Todd Helton card. And, goody, he's not wearing a cap.
Exclusive green parallels
(Brace for blank looks)
Jake Thompson, Anthony Ranaudo, Tyler Skaggs.
I THINK I've heard of Skaggs. But I could be confusing him with Dave or Ricky.
Now, that rack pack was a flat-out dud, as I knew it would be. The cards don't even stack nicely.
But this is what you do when you're buying cards in Walmart:
Know your surroundings.
If you take a gamble with something like Bowman Chrome, get something that you're going to like, too.
I bought one pack of Allen & Ginter, also, and while I didn't get any base cards I need, I did get this:
Do you know how difficult it is to get mini A&G cards of my team? I can't even arrange trades for them. Plus, this card is a short-print.
Commence happy dance:
That is worth everything I witnessed in Walmart.
But I also nabbed a rack pack of Topps Update, you know, just in case the A&G pack was Bowman Chrome-esque.
I ended up with a bunch of middling dudes, including two new Dodgers:
Isn't this like basically the same player? Why did Colletti get both of them?
But the highlight of the pack was this:
Another legend shorty short-print.
The card is very odd. Roger Maris looks like his arm and leg have been swallowed in sparkly quicksand.
At any rate, I'm beginning to swim in sparkly Yankees cards. Drop me a line Yankee fan! I can hook you up!!!
So, to sum up, this what you do at Walmart:
1. Park near the side entrance
2. Grab what you need without losing your soul
3. If you must buy something Bowman-related, buy something else that you know won't disappoint you.
4. Sneak a glance at the poor people growing moss in the main entrance check-out lines.
5. Check out via the side entrance and get the hell out.
Now, if you can get your cards elsewhere without hitting Walmart, that's good, too.
But I needed wiper blades.
I noticed that when I was sitting for 10 minutes behind someone trying to turn left.