Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall Tales and Ripping Yarns from Texas

Archive for the month “November, 2019”

The Black Plague of Friday


It’s raining and cold here in North Texas today. Perfect weather for Black Friday, my most reverently hated day of the year. While driving home with my wife from Thanksgiving supper in Fort Worth last evening, we passed the Walmart in Granbury. The first impression would be the zombie apocalypse was attacking the store, but then we both knew it was ” that day” pushed back by twelve hours so the Walton family could make an extra billion while their employees have to eat and run to work instead of spending the day with their families. I don’t think this is what old Sam had in mind when he started the store decades ago. But alas, here we are, and the greedy children are running the show.

The weather was wet, cold and miserable, so who in their right mind would put themselves through that to save a few bucks. That single 65 inch HDTV for $39.99 will be gone within thirty seconds. Then, because of that retail trickery on other featured items, there will be numerous brawls, knifings, shootings, and thefts. Black Friday at any Walmart brings out the worst in humanity.

My last outing on a Black Friday was more than a decade ago with my son and grandson. We were in Frys Electronics, and my son Wes had managed to grab the last Epson HD Projection TV for the incredibly low price of $200.00. He turned his back to look at cables, and a full-grown idiot man grabs the box from his basket and takes off down the aisle sprinting like OJ Simpson through the airport. Wes was and is a big old boy, and my grandson, a young teen at that time, is also a large boy, so what does this guy think that he could get away with this? They tackled him within 30 feet, and after a gentle roughing up, they returned the goods to their basket while the thief and his young son were removed from the store. All of this for a TV.

To put the final nail in the holiday coffin, the Dallas Cowboys went tits up, at home, in front of a sold-out crowd and a pissed off owner, but yet today, the Howdy Doody hand-clapping coach still has a job. Its going to be a rough holiday season here in DFW.

The Great Pumpkin Came Through


I’m sad to say, that my wife did not believe me when I announced this would be my last “trick-or-treat” before my coming demise. There are three things left on my bucket list, and this will reduce it by one.

Walking out of the front door in my black jacket, black shirt, black jeans and Texas Rangers baseball cap, the look on her face says that she didn’t believe I would really do it. I reminded her to “hide and watch” as I departed down the sidewalk carrying my Trader Joes paper bag.

A few blocks down, I joined a group of children in search of sweets. It was cold, so most had on heavy jackets that hid their fancy costumes. The kids assumed I was someone’s grandfather and welcomed my presence as a chaperone and comrade. A few of the mothers gave me the stink eye, but being a kindly older fellow went a long way in easing their fears.

A few dozen houses behind us, the group was thinning down to a dedicated few. The hour was late and the school bell rings early, so the younger ones retreated for home to sort their spoils. I noticed that my bag was getting heavy, so I told the group I would do one last stop, then split for home.

Our last stop was a retirement apartment complex. One kid said ” it’s the best because old people miss their grandchildren and really pile on the goodies.” I can identify with that, and I would do the same if I was wielding the candy bowl.

As predicted, the octogenarians loaded our bags to the bursting point. They didn’t mess around with the bite size candy bars, everyone received full size bars, like the ones you see in grocery stores. My bag, one handle ripped, was maxed out.

Unable to carry my booty, I summoned my wife to drive me home. She was excited over the amount of candy I collected because she loves chocolate as much as any six-year-old, and I had enough to last for months.

At home, we turned on “The Bride of Frankenstein” and dumped my bag of goodies onto the den rug. We were, for a moment, children again. A treasure trove of candy lay piled before us. It was the largest haul of my life. I gave my spouse a smug “told you so” smile, as she clapped with glee and sorted out the best chocolate bars for her consumption. It was then things took a weird turn.

From the pile of sweet treasure I pulled a plastic bag of No. 2 Male Catheters. I’m thinking someone at that retirement home must be missing these by now. Digging further, I exhumed a new tube of hemorrhoid cream, two tubes of denture paste, a bottle of stool softener, handwipes, a pair of reading glasses, an adult diaper rolled up and tied with a blue ribbon and three 50% off coupons from Luby’s Cafeteria. I was mortified. My wife laughed so hard she barely made it to the bathroom. Well, at least I gave it a shot.

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