Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very Merry Meltdown

Despite my best efforts to avoid last-minute shopping, I had to stop at Walgreens on the way home. It was a madhouse and I was barely able to get Pearl onto the lot. Not to mention, it was pouring. Pouring.

I know, I know at least it’s not a blizzard. Believe me, I’m grateful for that. Really.

But it only got worse from there.

I was able to get through the store, grab my handful of items and find a spot in line that wasn’t at the back of the store. Three check-outs were going strong and then … meltdown.

“The phone link is down,” announced the cashier manning my line. Uh-oh. But what does that mean?

“We can’t redeem gift cards or sell gift cards.”

Well, that could be a problem considering that Walgreens now carries a variety of gift cards to restaurants and stores. And, it’s Christmas Eve. And, it seemed every third person in line had a gift card they wanted to buy. Groans, mumbles and a few assorted obscenities wafted down the lines.

Then came the nuclear meltdown announcement: “We can’t process credit or debit cards either.”

Merchandise was flung down in check-outs. The crowds began to disappear like water at the parting of the Red Sea. Suddenly, I was next in line. Thank God I had some cash on me! I felt really bad for those who didn't or for those who thought their last-minute gift problem -- in the form of a gift card -- was solved.

Getting off of the parking lot was another exercise in madness. But finally, I made it home.

We're eating some dinner and later we'll watch "It's A Wonderful Life." (This time, I'll actually get to sit down and watch it.) Then we'll likely catch one of the showings of "A Christmas Story."

A nice, quiet Christmas. Hope it's the same for you and yours and that Santa is super generous this year.

Merry Christmas and God bless us -- every one!