Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Breaking News

Late night Wal*mart shopper narrowly misses crossfire as two opposing gangs shoot it out in Rochester NH....

Ok that isn't exactly how it went down.

As I told the story to Katie:

I was shopping in Wal*mart, you know, just picking up a few groceries. I NEVER shop in Wal*mart for groceries, but thought I might save a little money on the basics I needed - mustard, brown sugar, chocolate chips (see previous post regarding oatmeal choc chip cookies), oh yes and olive oil. I had seen a sign when entering the store announcing a baby sale so I made my way to the infant department to scout a few bargains for the grandkids.

Did I mention that as I entered the store there were several Wal*mart associates searching fruitlessly for the source of a burning smell near the entrance? Having learned a thing or two from my friend Mma Precious Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, I immediately identified the odor as burned bagels from Dunkin Donuts and referred the associates to the in-store Dunkin Donuts. They assured me it was not that, but later sought me out to let me know that I was indeed correct, it was BURNED BAGELS in Dunkin Donuts. Chalk one up to Precious.

After selecting my groceries and making my way to the baby sale (I didn't see any babies for sale) I heard an argument and shouting ensued at the front of the store. It was quite loud as I was way in the back, but I heard shouting, angry shouting, and lots of cursing - then I heard the distinctive sound of POP, and I knew, that was a gunshot. I could see the front of the store from where I stood and could see what looked to be young men running back and forth and it was craziness up front. Now when I heard the gunshot, I thought to myself, What would Precious do? Then I thought to heck with Precious, I am hiding. I apparently was the only one in the store that thought hiding was necessary, as associates were leisurely putting away stock and joking with each other as they pushed merchandise around on their annoying stock carts. Ever notice how those things are always blocking the aisle? Anyway...

I realized that if the running maniac with the gun (maybe he hated Wal*mart shoppers and was out to get us all?) had chosen to run into the store as opposed to out of the store, he was probably headed straight for the baby section where I would be cornered. (Everyone who knows the baby section in Wal*mart USA knows it always has a corner, where you can easily be cornered and unable to get out. Must be to contain the runaway toddler while mom shops) But I digress.

As I skulk my way out of the corner and to the electronics section, I see REALLY STUPID SHOPPERS heading to the front to figure out what the commotion was. Or to buy a candy bar, who knows. I also hear a frantic announcement over the loudspeaker from the front: Security! We have an emergency! Call 911! (Duh!) Then suddenly some IMPORTANT LOOKING Wal*mart associates go running for the front, and from my hideout I can see there are several other associates running to the registers with concerned looks. I decide electronics is the perfect place to hide and chat it up with the electronics clerk, who is clueless. He tells me he has no walkie talkie, but if we can find someone important enough have one...

A couple of stock clerks walk by and say they think it was just a couple of kids with pop guns. That shows what ASSUME gets you.

I continue to skulk in the back of the store, and finally decide that since everyone else is so nonchalant about the whole thing, then maybe the coast is clear and I can go pay for my olive oil. I make my way cautiously to the front, and scan the checkout section for bodies and blood. None of either. I know my source of information will be the mousy clerk quivering in her shoes, manning her post obediently checking out the ever important Wal*mart CUSTOMER.

When it is my turn, I ask the clerk what happened. She says she doesn't really know, because when the GUN WAS FIRED she ran and hid. My kind of girl. the poor thing, she left Massachusetts to get away from this kind of thing, came up here to quiet NH where this doesn't happen, and all she wants to do is go home and hug her hubby and hold her baby. I really felt sorry for her. She was so relieved when they announced "Attention Wal*mart Customers. Please bring your final selections to the register as Wal*mart will be closing immediately" Yeah, like half an hour after the shooting! Brilliant. Now, putting my detective skills to good use I notice the "front end manager" acting all important and loudly announcing to any and all that are in earshot, that "IF THE PRESS CALLS, TELL THEM WE HAVE HAD A MINOR INCIDENT AND ARE CLOSING THE STORE IMMEDIATELY". I take note of the nerved up front end clerks, and the poor people looking dazed over at the customer service counter. And remember those poor clerks looking for the source of the burned smell? Hey, my guess is they almost got run over by the runaway shooter as he exited the store. I wanted to hug the one lady she looked so shook, but she assured me she was OK, shook but ok. Can you say exit greeter, loving her retirement? I bet she filled her drawers.

By this point, the police are putting up police tape and Wal*mart is offering escorts to customers when walking out to the car. I was more than happy to be escorted by my very young high school stock boy who couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag, but he was very sweet and did put my groceries in the car for me. I was safe because my car was parked right beside the four police cruisers with light on. And everyone thought they were there for the Dunkin
Donuts. Ha, I knew differently.

(See my car was parked right behind this cruiser)

I got on the phone to let my family know I was safe, and headed for home. At home, I tuned in to WMUR where they reported a shooting in the Wal*mart Area, and I knew it was the duty of Precious to notify them it was IN Wal*mart. I contacted WMUR, and lo and behold, next thing I know...

Jean Mackin, TV News Anchor, is sitting in my family room! She is really young, and really pretty, and it is true what they say that the camera puts on 10 pounds, cause she is tiny. Now it is true I am putting this all out there on the blogosphere for the shooter to come find me, but I wouldn't let Jean Mackin interview me on camera cause what if the shooter comes looking for me? (OK and maybe cause of that whole the camera puts on 10 lbs thing)

Now before she came, they called and said they wanted to interview me, and I protested LOUDLY, informing them I was in my PJ's, but they wanted to come. I asked if I had to get dressed and they said...well...we are coming over... yeah, I got dressed. Oh yeah and I made Larry get up and clean out the cat box. HA HA.

So, Jean asked me a bunch of questions, and seemed genuinely concerned for my safety, and introduced my audio interview as "an anonymous Wal*mart Shopper". So there you have it. My 5 minutes of fame, all on Daybreak, news at 5 am. Tune in to WMUR and you might hear my voice!

By the way, Jean (I call her Jean, you know) told me that there were two groups of young men arguing, and TWO GUNS were pulled. One was fired. The victim ran from the store and jumped in a waiting car with someone else and sped off. The police caught them a couple of miles down the road and took the victim to the hospital to be treated.

Here is the story tonight on WMUR:

17-Year-Old Shot In Rochester; Wal-Mart Closed

2 Guns Brandished, 1 Shot Fired, Police Say

And Precious concurs.

It has been one crazy week, and it is only Tuesday.


Mike and Ariane said...

Holy cow! What a trip! I've got to tune into the WMUR bit! And all right here in Rochester!

Anonymous said...

Way to keep your head Mama Kane.

Hez said...

Oh man, mom! You're on one!! These posts are killin' me! HAHA!!!

A is for Ashlee said...

Shoot... you weren't kidding about the Wal*mart thing. Thanks for the warning! :) Glad your safe. And you tell a hilarious story by the way! :)