Tylertown Tidbits Today
By Ms Donna Glotz
Spring is in the air readers, and I am back, writing for the Town Tooter online newspaper! After a short absence, when I was temporarily replaced by Doris Henkel’s Snacks for the Delicate Digestive System and Celebrity Word Find, my editor has agreed to bring back my eye opening column. I think that readers were not too impressed with Doris’ cooking (how much can you really cook, anyway, with a hotpot and microwave in her room on the sixth floor of the Duck County Retirement Home). I am glad to be back in print, because it has been my job for over thirty five years to keep you all informed and entertained, but also the culinary odors from Doris’s room across the hall were beginning to make me a little ill.
Well, shortly after being told of my return to the exciting world of reporting, there was a knock at my door. It was none other Doris Henkel herself, purse in one hand and an envelope containing a Wal-Mart Gift card (a little token of appreciation from her daughter in Cleveland) in the other! In a few minutes, we were scampering through the lobby of the retirement home, like two athletic young schoolgirls (Doris has a bit of a limp, because her left leg is a good half inch longer that her right, so she would not have played much sports as a girl). In another few minutes, we were safely across Route 250, catching our breath at the entrance of the Wal mart Super Center. (Thanks to the town planners for that traffic light in front of the retirement home)
For readers not in the know, this Wal-Mart at the Hilltop Mall has been here for about ten years now. Prior to that, the building housed “The Largest Flea Market in Duck County”, which was really a place for people to sell all the junk they collected in their garages and basements. The one story brick structure was originally constructed as Montgomery Ward’s back in the late sixties, and brought class and sophistication to the once depressed twin cities of Piney Fork and Tylertown. Back in the day, I enjoyed many an afternoon strolling its wide aisles, admiring the latest designer fashions, quality appliances (I still have the blender I purchased back in 1975. It doesn’t work, but is quite sturdy) and bean bag chairs.
Fast forward thirty plus years; Doris and I grabbed our shopping buggies, nodded to our retirement home co-resident Old Pilot Wheedle (He is the official greeter and security guard on Thursday afternoons) and headed into the store. Wal-Mart is cleverly laid out, with the best deals right by the door, so you can take advantage of them as soon as you come in. There was a special on Garlic Wheat Thins, and Doris picked up a few boxes. I am allergic to wheat, so I passed, and headed right to that days big special, Vanilla Pepsi Cola – a two liter bottle for just 89 cents! I don’t like soda pop, but it is always good to have a chilled bottle in my mini fridge in case my ex husband pops by for a little visit (and to borrow some money).
In front of me, but out of sight of customers and employees, Doris carefully slit open her box of Garlic Wheat Thins, scooped out a handful and stuffed them into her mouth! Horrified, I was sure that the alarms would go off and store security (Pilot Wheedle) would appear, so I ducked behind a rack of flowery house dresses. If Doris was caught eating merchandise, I wanted nothing to do with it. And, knowing how garlic affects her digestive system, I was not about to spent the night is a cramped jail cell with her! It would not look good for a professional journalist like myself to be arrested (I am not a member of the Newspapers Guild, but am a former member of the Columbia House Record and Tape Club!)
I soon forgot about Doris, as I pushed my buggy down aisle after aisle of fashions, house wares, dog food and bicycle tires. I browsed bottled water, medicated shampoo and callus remover. Here you could get your eyeglasses tightened, cash your social security check and pour your own Slurpee! The store has something for everyone! All I really needed was a new bottle of Norrell perfume, but Wal-Mart does not carry such elegant items.
A good half hour later, as I headed towards the checkout area with my Vanilla Pepsi Cola, I was approached by none other than Doris Henkel. In her buggy was a gallon of non returnable custom mixed paint – “Florida Sunrise”- and an empty box of garlic Wheat Thins! I don’t know why she wanted the paint, as we are not permitted to paint the walls of our rooms at the retirement home.
Doris had a rather pained look on her face, so I understood completely when she asked me to watch her buggy, while she limped to the ladies room over by the customer service desk.
As the cashier tapped her fingers on the counter, I waited patiently for what seemed hours for her to return. Then, suddenly out of the corner of my eyes, I glanced, thru the front window of the store, a very nimble Doris Henkel darting through the traffic on Route 250, back to the retirement home!
Now, hours later, I sit at my typewriter by my window that overlooks the Wal-Mart parking lot Not only did I have to pay for my Vanilla Pepsi Cola (which isn’t so badover ice), but I also had to pay for the empty box of Garlic Wheat Thins ($2.20) AND the gallon of non-returnable Florida Sunrise paint ($25.40), which sits on the window sill, open, before me, as I thought the paint fumes would overpower the stench of Doris’ cooking.
As soon as Doris Henkel returns from wherever she mooched a ride to this afternoon, I will get her to repay me and apology - what? Readers, as I glance out my window, I am seeing none other than Doris herself, getting out of her daughters car (a Honda) heading towards the lobby directly below my window and her daughter is carrying at least a half dozen overstuffed shopping bags from Wal-Mart!
Doris is now pointing at my window and laughing. Her daughter is laughing, as well! I have never been so angry in my life. I am so angry, I am going to slam my window shut and…oops. The can of Florida Sunrise paint has fallen from my window sill. I can’t look.
I am sure that Doris Henkel and I will look back on this moment and laugh, I hope.
That’s all for now, readers. I am sure you will be reading Celebrity Word Find in this space next week.