Twas the Day Before Christmas

… and real estate took a back seat to the realities of last minute shopping, in this case a handful of stocking stuffers for the wife and last-minute grocery items she left waiting for me when I awoke.

Fortunately salvation was waiting a mere mile away at the newly renovated Super Walmart assuming I could successfully navigate a ridiculously full parking lot and crowded aisles a mere 15 hours before Santa allegedly came flying through the sky to deliver gifts to those celebrating the holiday.

As soon as I stepped into the store it was apparent something was decidedly different than normal. Walmart was filled with men. And what a sight it was.

Have you ever watched ants marching back and forth from an anthill, marching deliberately and methodology along each scented path with nary a millimeter of digression as they seek out food and return it to the colony? That is Walmart on a normal day as the shoppers – almost invariably women – walk straight through the door and confidently march to the exact aisle where the first item on their list is located, then on to the second and the third without distraction until they’re finally in line and they complete their loop as seamlessly as a stock car navigating Phoenix International Raceway.

Conversely, have you ever dropped a twig on the ants’ path or poured a few drops of water and then watched the poor creatures wandering incoherently as they try in vain to find the scent, bumping into each other and anything else in their path? That was Walmart today.

I turned left down one aisle and was on the verge of an imminent collision with another hopeless shopper coming the opposite direction. Okay, so we were 15 feet apart. But both of us veered wildly from left to right and left again trying to avoid each other’s destined path, smiling all the way at the sheer stupidity of the moment.

He had no idea where he was going. Neither did I. Magellan didn’t chart a course as loopity (loopity?) as I did trying to get from a section I can’t mention as it will give away the gift to the groceries on the far side of the store. And in between were the distractions of new fishing gear, golf clubs and hi def television sets (next year, friends, next year.)

It’s funny. No matter how hard you try to throw them off, the ants always seem to find their way back to the path and order returns. And so it happened for me at the checkout counter, albeit after one final zig-zag from a one-person line to someone grabbing her receipt and leaving the register open. From there it was smooth sailing – run the debit card, toss a dollar in the Salvation Army can …

Oh, hell …

Does anyone see my car?

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at