I mentioned in the previous blog how I dislike taking Annie shopping.   I’ve shopped with hungry, wet and frustrated infants that scream so loud you are looking over your back for the police and CPS, I’ve shopped with four year olds who are told, “don’t ask,” so they take instead and you discover a pack of starburst in their pocket on the way home,  I have shopped with a man who groans every single time the total flashes on the register, I have shopped with teenagers that you can walk 758 times around the store and never see them until they need money, I shopped with my blind grandmother who liked to wait until we were within hearing range of the cashier then yell, “Is that the cashier your father hates? If it is don’t go in this lane.   It sure sounds like her,” and you sheepishly move to another lane, absorbing the hateful glare your gram can’t see and none of this can even come close to shopping with Annie.

I do like it when she is quiet and sits in the cart or rides in the back pack, however these options are not without problems.    I dislike the back pack because  I can’t see her and she likes to do things when I am not looking, she’ll put on a mask or glasses and make faces at people, sometimes she will make rabbit ears on the back of my head, or she will lick my hair then bite me.    Other times, as people approach us she will scream at the top of her lungs, “Walkers, Slam!”  But she does that if she is riding in the cart too.   You see Annie has lots of favorite shows, “The Walking Dead,” is one of them.   She will watch it so many times that she acts it out.   Not just in the store either, it’s all the time.

Example, another of her favorite shows is Little House, she watches Bonanza too because she believes that the character Little Joe on Bonanza is Pa on Little House when he was younger, before Ma.    Same actor you know, and although I have tried to explain it she just can’t get it.   Anyways she will watch the entire series, and she will pick out a character, for example she will be Mrs. Olsen and whatever Mrs. Olsen did in the episodes she watched she will act out.   I kind of like when she picks a guest star role because then it is not every day, but someone like Mary for example, in the beginning she was in every episode.   Annie was in the cart at Walmart while she was being Mary, she was at the point where Mary went blind and I have a screaming cat flailing around in the cart screaming, “Pa I can’t see, Pa, Pa!”

But the worst times of all are when she wants to get a scooter.   My niece Paulie, legit has a disability and needs one sometimes.    This is why Annie uses a scooter.    She is old now so she could use that as an excuse but she has been using a scooter for years.    Anyway at Walmart, she uses their scooters and not her own.   I have to carry her to the store so she appears completely helpless.     She chooses her scooter carefully, no squeaky wheels.    After putting it in reverse and smashing anything behind her, several times we start off to the bike section.   Annie has to buy a bike horn and she beeps at people.    Until we actually get it though, she just yells at people, like, “BEEP BEEP GET OUTTA MY WAY DISABLED HERE!”  She also grabs stuff out of people’s carts and if they catch her she will say, “Shut up fatty, I am doing you a favor.”

So last year at Christmas time, I went to do some Christmas shopping.   Of course, Annie had to go and do some shopping for herself.    I begged her not to because it was late in  the season and I knew the store would be packed but no she had to go too.    So here is Annie on her scooter, being obnoxious.    She grabbed a shirt out of some man’s cart and put it in her basket.  When he said something, Annie replied, “You’d look like an asshole in that shirt and get beat up.” Then she dumps it several departments later saying, “Nah I don’t want this.”

I had to buy a Christmas tree so we head out to the garden area.   Annie knows I hate that place, because of birds.   I am terrified of birds, the main reason Annie’s favorite animals are birds and her favorite food is buckets of birds.   Anyway, I am trying to get the tree and get out fast and I hear all these birds cheeping and peeping in the rafters, then Annie says, “Don’t worry Slam, I will get them.”

She jumps out of the scooter and with precise skill she begins scaling boxes of trees, with the horn in her mouth.   She climbs and beeps, climbs and beeps causing the birds to start dive bombing me, they a swirling around my head and then the boxes start to fall.   I grab a tree and run.    I hear crashes and bangs behind me, people are screaming, you can hear feathers ruffling and feel a breeze as the birds fly by, I don’t look back.   Moments later, Annie is beside me on her scooter saying, “Thanks Annie?”   “Yeah thanks Annie.”   This is WHY I hate shopping with Annie.

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