I’m going to have some posts regarding the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas for a bit while I’m still a resident here. I’m expecting to leave my longtime home within a month’s time if all falls into place. So I’ll post whatever musing inspire me from time to time. I don’t expect it all to be thought-provoking, or life changing, but hopefully it’ll be amusing to some extend.
So, one of the adventures that residents of the “Magic Valley,” the southernmost four counties in Texas, experience is a trip to the grocery store. The trip to the store alone will greet you with motorists cutting you off, taking a right turn onto a lane right in front of you only to go about 10 miles per hour below the speed limit. If they’re not moving at a snail’s pace, they’re going at a break-neck pace by whizzing by you on a 30 MPH school zone by going 50.
Signs on the roads that indicate the shoulder is “Bike Lane Only,” only invites drivers here to drive on the shoulder as a turning lane.
See, Valleyites do things to the extreme, or they just don’t do them at all. It’s a blanket accusation, sure, but it’s true.
So let’s pretend you make it to the grocery store without shaking our fist at another driver or, God forbid, flip them the alternative “You’re No. 1” finger, you’re parking in a spot that faces away from the son (it was 102 degrees at 5 p.m. today, so you want to save your dashboard from cracking.) What you want to do next is one off two things: either pull the shopping card out of the empty spot because another shopper was too lazy to walk the 15 feet to return it to the card chute; or make sure you don’t step on any dirty diapers.
Yes, dirty diapers. See, Valley folk like to change their kids disposable drawers in the back seat off their vehicles, proceed to wrap up the soiled diaper (no matter what brand everyone calls them “pampers” here), drop it on the asphalt next to their car, then drive away. If that doesn’t gross you out, the scene gets worse when there a summer downpour and then the sun pokes out again. It gets steamy. Even more steamy than a fresh Gerber stool.
Ok, you dodge the landmines and make it through the cool grocery doors. You grab a cart and proceed to shop.
Well, after you manage to get the last six pack, deodorant, frozen meals, and whatnot, you go ahead to the checkout clerk. Think is, if there’s a line, chances are the person behind you will be looking at the items in your cart. This happened to me at the nearest Wal-Mart recently. The lady was scanning my items, I looked at what she was staring at and I said, “Socks. They’re socks. Did you want me to show you everything I’m buying?”
I don’t think she spoke English — and I speak Spanish, so I could have translated if she wanted me to — she just looked away.
Of course, some of us are guilty of doing that. I may have done it a time or two or a hundred, but I don’t stare. I glance and look away. Kinda like the cleavage episode on Seinfeld.
Naturally, the adventure doesn’t end there. When you walk back to your car you find that some other lazy dipshit (this is why the McAllen-Mission-Pharr-Edinburg area is the fattest in the nation) left their cart, not in the chute, but right behind your car. … OK, it’s not the only reason why this region is generally obese, but it doesn’t help
So remember when shopping in deep South Texas, drive defensively, watch out for kiddy poop, dodge golf carts, protect your shopping privacy, and do what I once did: I caught a guy placing the grocery cart behind my cart just in time to place it directly behind his just before he backed up. What an asshat.