The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Bob Huber 

Believe it, loitering is a skill


Today, in our continuing series “What Makes Guys Tick,” we explore the question: How can husbands kill time in stores while their wives shop?

This is a tough one, because in the first place, if a guy has the brains of zucchini, he will never accompany his wife on a shopping trip. But let’s say, just for the fun of it, that in a weak moment a man follows his wife to Wal-Mart, thinking he can kill time rifling through auto parts, fishing lures, humorous greeting cards and baseball caps while she meanders aimlessly, aisle after aisle, reading labels and trying on clothing she has no intention of buying.

But let’s get something straight first — we’re not picking on Wal-Mart.

They are wonderful stores. It’s just that men approach them with a different mind set than women. It’s called the “Speedy Male Shopping List Syndrome.”

You see, it’s hereditary that men always have a list of items they have to buy. Even before a guy gets out of his car in the parking lot, he has categorized these items by locations in the store. That way he can zip around aisles in two minutes flat, causing no small amount of mayhem, and get in the express lane where he can argue that five six-packs of beer are the same as one item, because they’re the same.

When a guy goes to Wal-Mart with his wife, he has to invent things to pass the time because it takes hours for her to shop. Being a guy, of course, he gets restless and inventive, and that can boggle your mind.

For instance, look at these bogglers I found on my Internet travels:

• He sets all alarm clocks in housewares to go off at five-minute intervals.

• He approaches an employee and in an official tone whispers, “Code 3.”

• At the service desk, he asks to put a bag of M&M’s on lay away.

• He moves a “caution—wet floor” sign into the bathroom fixtures section.

• He sets up a tent in the camping department, stocks it with all sorts of outdoor equipment, and then invites shoppers to join him if they bring their own pillows.

• He uses the security camera as a mirror and picks his nose.

• While handling guns in the outdoor department, he asks the clerk where the anti-depressant pills are located.

• He sneaks stealthily around the store in a suspicious manner while humming the “Mission Impossible” theme song.

• In the automotive department he poses as Madonna using different-sized funnels.

• He hides behind a clothing rack, and when shoppers come near, he whispers, pick me.”

• When an announcement comes over a loudspeaker, he drops to the floor in a fetal position and cries, “No! No! It’s those voices again!”

• He goes into a fitting room, waits a few minutes, then yells, very loud, “There’s no toilet paper in here.”

So you can see shopping with your wife is the last thing you want to do unless you like to make a fool of yourself. Of course you can always go ahead and act zany by putting X-rated CDs in other shoppers’ carts.

Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales. Some of his stories are mostly true. He can be contacted at 356-3674 or by e-mail:

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