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The Fear Of Dying In Walmart

January 12, 2018

Everyone has a phobia or two. Mine is dying in a Walmart. I always imagine cashing out in the presence of all those Walmartians – yikes, it makes my hair stand up!

Over the years, when I must, I enter a Walmart very cautiously for this reason. First I check at the entrance to be sure the greeter isn’t wearing a hooded robe and carrying a sickle. If it’s just another challenged person, I feel I’m good to go. But once I am fully immersed in the Walmart experience, my anxieties begin to come in waves.

First there is the questionable clientele. Actually, that’s an awfully nice way of describing the average Walmart shopper. Usually, the clientele is comprised of overly aggressive, self-absorbed psychopaths who range from demented seniors to the criminally stupid teenagers. What they all seem to have in common is scale smashing obesity and the desire to shop in their pajamas. It is a ghastly sight and the thought of croaking among this rabble makes me shiver. More than likely I would apt to be trampled by this herd before the coroner even arrived on scene.

I once was purposefully rammed at full speed by an angry old lady who was driving her handicapped cart at me as if to win a destruction derby. As I limped to the side of the aisle, I asked dumbfounded as to why she hit me on purpose. Her answer? “I’m a senior and I can do what I want!” I could only reply honestly, “Fine, I’m a senior too but I don’t come here set on doing bodily harm!” Then I thought I saw that guy with the sickle peaking around the next aisle so I quickly added, “Have a nice day.”

Then there are those wonderful people who Walmart employs. I once encountered a young employee in the hardware section of our local North Carolina store only to find that he spoke no English at all. Thankfully I speak Spanish but what would have happened if I fell stricken to the floor in front of this person. Would he have screamed, “Ayuda, creo que está muerto!” or would he have just walked over my corpse? Scary stuff to ponder while roaming the aisles looking for a box of screws.

I’m all for hiring the handicapped but I have found in Walmart too many employees who seem awkwardly mentally handicapped to the point where they are of little help to the shopper. Again, I get this horrible cerebral image of me on the floor as a guy in a blue vest rolls up in his wheel chair accompanied by the manager with his toupee on backwards and a strangely familiar looking fellow who blurts, “Me think he no alive no more!” All of this is too heavy to comprehend so I grab my stuff, pay and head for the sanctuary of the in store McDonalds. Ah, safe from the grim reaper at last!

Well, actually not. Now I learn why Walmart shoppers are so fat. There are free refills of all those 44 ounce sugar drinks. As I order my mini-burger with a senior drink, I watch a slow parade of fatties file by in their pajamas, a 44-ouncer in each hand. I gasp in the knowledge that these folks do indeed walk among us. Once I am seated, I continue to watch, trying not to stare at the circus of irregulars who dine here. There’s the fat mother with three fat kids who is upset that McDonalds doesn’t accept unlimited food stamps. There’s the lonely senior pretending he’s presiding over the last supper by himself as he nervously looks side to side for his imaginary disciples. There’s the soccer mom with a cart full of useless crap to be later dispensed upon a lethargic family. She’s counting the items bagged in her cart as she stuffs a double something into her jaws while fiddling with her smart phone. I look, I gasp and reach for my inhaler as I imagine dusting out in the midst of this crew and an overwhelming stench of stale french fries. Jesus, it’s plumb scary!

I bolt down my mini burger, declining the free refill on my senior Coke, and head for the car. After clearing the obstacle course of unschooled drivers and loose carts, I am on the road again and heading for home. I check all of my appendages to make sure I am still intact. It’s another day with the fear of dying in Walmart but I’ve made it back to the safety of my house. Now, all I have to worry about is the evening news and the prospect of North Korea nuking us. Ah, the simple pleasures of life!

Actually, a few people have died in Walmart throughout the years. Most recently Rhubarb Jones, a popular Atlanta based radio host, died in a Walmart in Tallapoosa, Georgia on April 2, 2017.

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  1. This is your best post to date! (And, so very accurate.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Joe. I may have to go there this week so I’m looking for an armed guard.


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