“Hey Jen, if you’re up early enough, let’s go to Walmart tomorrow morning. I want to look for that new Coke,” I said stupidly, not thinking about what weekend it was.
“Sure,” she agreed, and that’s how it ended up that we left for Walmart at 9:45 on Easter Saturday morning.
The “new Coke” I was referring to is “Coca Cola with Coffee”, available in three different brews: Caramel, Dark, and Vanilla. I want to try all three. I was a big fan of Coca Cola Blaq about 15 years ago, their first attempt to mass market a coffee/Coke hybrid. Coke Blaq was delicious, like regular Coke but with the extra note of coffee bean. I’m eager to try these new ones. Coke Blaq came in a small black bottle in these come in cans, which makes me wonder if they are similar to those creamy coffee beverages, with a Coke taste? Or something more like Coca Cola Blaq? Inquiring minds wanted to do, and I had heard that these were showing up in Walmart stores.
Walmart was already pretty busy and then I smacked myself and realized, “Of it is.” Ah well.
I wore an N95 mask this time; my first time. Easy breathing but hard on the ears. If I’m wearing one long term I’ll have to do something about the ears. About 75% of Walmart shoppers were masked, and 100% of the staff. This is good since virtually everybody I know has Covid, or has had a recent close brush. I can’t believe this is my third Covid Easter.
First I made my way to the entertainment section where I picked up the newest Blue Rodeo album, Many A Mile. On slide guitar, The Sheepdogs’ own Jimmy Bowskill, once a child prodigy discovered by Jeff Healey at age 11. Blue Rodeo are one of those bands where I just want to own all the albums, and stay current, even if the last five or six albums have been good but not memorable. There’s never anything wrong with ’em. Many A Mile is as good as any. In some regards, it’s a throwback to the classic first three Blue Rodeo albums. Lots of awesome guitar work and hooks. Just gets hard to remember the songs, record after record after record.
Also found in the music department were the new albums by Slash and Greta Van Fleet, but I found myself staring indifferently at them. I didn’t even know Greta had a new album out. Have they already dropped off the radar that badly?
Come on, where are you Spiderman: No Way Home? Not in stock – sold out! They had a three-fer with all three MCU Spidey films in one, but I wanted something with the bonus features that I crave. Ah well, next time, I’ll get you Spiderman!
Finally a trip to the toy section. No Marvel Legends figures at all, and only a couple Star Wars Black Series. They were well stocked in Transformers and I noticed they had some reissue Beast Wars toys. Hard to believe Beast Wars was 25 years ago. I never bought an original Beast Wars toy, and wanted to give one of these reissues a shot. They only had Optimus Primal and Megatron, so obviously I chose the dinosaur. Beast Wars has always been an enigma to me. When it was new, the toys seemed to barely transform. The cartoon was very primitive in terms of computer animation. But Beast Wars appealed to kids worldwide and it saved the Transformers franchise. Curiosity got the better of me and now I am the happy owner of a reissue purple dino Megatron.
Finally, the Coke. I scoured the racks but they did not have the coffee beverages that I require. I shall have to try convenience stores and gas stations next. I love Coke. I try every variety that I can get my hands on. I have no problem with Pepsi, but it’s Coke that I want to catch ’em all.
Walmart did have two sweet looking consolation Cokes: Quebec Maple, and British Columbia Raspberry. Only having enough hands for one case, I chose Quebec Maple. Upon paying, I realized that someone swapped out one bottle of Maple and replaced it with a Raspberry. Win! I get to try both.
I only had one panic attack while waiting to pay, and I managed to breathe my way out of it.
Walmart had run out of plastic bags and only had the more expensive cloth ones. I could feel the tension as word spread among the customers. I hate standing in line at grocery stores and Walmarts. Everybody does, but I get tense. It passed; my glasses fell off because of the way the N95 pulls on my ears, but I paid for my stuff and got out. Didn’t need a bag. Didn’t have the energy to look at Sunrise Records or Toys R Us. Just came home.
Put the Coke in the fridge, pulled up a chair and started listening to the Blue Rodeo. They’re usually pretty good for reducing the anxiety. I feel a lot better already! Happy Easter everyone, and stay away from places like Walmart if you can!