Monday, January 12, 2009

The Weirdest Weekend

I don't know if you heard about it or not, but the full moon on Saturday was supposed to be the largest full moon of the year. We went with a few friends in their 4x4 trucks out to the middle of nowhere to watch the giant moon rise over the mountains.

Incidentally, the middle of nowhere is where everybody goes to shoot and set off dynamite. Seriously. We took an exciting dirt road way back into the desert. Only a couple hundred yards from the highway was the first group of guys shooting pumpkins and other assorted targets.

By my count, we passed at least ten groups of shooters at different locations. We finally found a good spot. It was littered with spent shotgun shells and rifle brass. We could clearly hear two different groups of shooters the whole time we were there. At one point there was a gigantic boom, and we realized someone had set off dynamite.

And here I thought M-80 firecrackers were nifty.

Anyway, the moon rose. It was big. We cheered, took some photos, packed up and left.

Which brings us to yesterday. For the most part, I hid in my house avoiding the world. Eventually I had to leave, however, to go to the tobacconist and the grocery store. At the tobacco shop, there was a movie playing on one of the TVs (seriously, can't a man escape television even at the tobacco shop?) and 6 or so guys watching it with totally blank looks on their faces. Disturbing. The clerks were not their usual chatty, helpful selves and I got out of there as quickly as I could.

The oddity at the grocery store topped the tobacco shop, however. I went inside and noticed the store was kind of quiet for how many people were in there. Then I noticed the people were a little... different. There was a lot of shuffling. Staggering. The odd groan. Sunken cheeks and meth addict teeth. Vacant stares. Incoherent muttering.

My immediate thought was, "Shit! Zombies!"

They were everywhere.

Once I recovered from my zombie-apocalypse-induced panic attack, I realized the store was not full of zombies, but it was full of people with a variety of people on their way to the bottom of the uncanny valley.

I got my Oreos and milk and made for the cash registers.

Ahead of me in line was a woman in ratty sweatpants and a t-shirt which had seen better days. Those better days must have been twenty years ago. She gave me a fearful look, then turned away. I stayed back and tried to look nonthreatening.

While I waited in line, I noticed this woman was only buying a bottle of Suave shampoo. It's hard to explain, but the entire scene seemed sad. The woman looked absolutely horrified through the entire transaction, and had her hands clasped together in front of her face with her arms tucked tightly into her sides. The cashier explained as kindly as possible how to count out the dollar and eight cents from her handful of change. I got the impression she needed an entire lifetime of hugs.

So, after all that weirdness, it's good to be back at work where the level of insanity is constant and predictable.