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I try to avoid shopping at Walmart whenever possible. It’s not that I have anything against quality goods at affordable prices, mind you. It’s just that I find the entire experience to be akin to a prostate exam performed by a doctor with abnormally large fingers who just arrived from a custody hearing that didn’t go his way. I’ll go through with it because my wife says I have to, but once it’s over, I’ll need to curl up in the fetal position and cry for a bit.

Perhaps you shop at Walmart too. Perhaps you love it. Or perhaps you wish the scientists in Wuhan had intentionally engineered a virus to take out the average Walmart shopper. Either way, I think we can all agree that the entire Walmart experience would be a much more pleasant affair if everyone made a diligent effort to abide by the following rules:

#1: If You Don’t Know What You’re Doing, Stay The Heck Out Of The Self-Checkout Lane

Okay, it’s not all your fault. Walmart never offered free classes to customers on how to properly operate these machines. I understand some of you are the type who are baffled by the complexities of opening a Ziplock bag, so allow me to offer some helpful instruction right now at no cost to you.

Step 1: Scan the barcode on the item you wish to purchase by dragging it across the glass with the pretty red light.

Step 2: Place the scanned item in a bag.

Step 3: Pay for your crap and get out of my way.

There. Now you know how to use the self-checkout lane.

Look, Walmart has done us all a great disservice. They led you to believe that the self-checkout lanes are for everyone. They’re not. They’re for people with a functional prefrontal cortex and less than 20 items in their cart.

And by the way, it’s not the elderly who are holding up the lines. Do you know who can’t figure these things out? Young people! How is that possible when you’ve grown up with this technology? A bunch of gaming geeks with Cheeto dust on their fingers figured out how to crush Wallstreet by purchasing massive shares of Gamestop via trading apps on their phones. You can’t figure out how to scan a jug of milk?

And why are you so slow? You’re 18! I’m 43, I’ve got arthritis in my neck, two bad shoulders, and a bad knee, but I can scan, bag, and pay for an entire cartload of stuff in under 2 minutes. I’m the Chick-Fil-A of self-checkout. You kids, on the other hand, are an understaffed McDonalds’ at lunchtime with a broken ice cream machine.

#2: Stop Saying “Yes” When The Walmart Greeters Ask If They Can See Your Receipt.

Okay, we all know stealing is morally reprehensible and against the law, right? It’s illegal. With the exception of California, it’s illegal. Don’t steal. Also, don’t say “yes” when the Walmart greeter asks to see your receipt.

I just spent 35 minutes watching you scan a bottle of soda and a pack of gum. Now I’m expected to stand in a line that’s 12 carts deep while customers search for receipts that they just put in their pocket or purse 20 seconds ago? Not happening.

I don’t get it. Every one of you knows you have “the Constitutional right to refuse the vaccine,” but none of you know that showing your receipt at Walmart is voluntary? It’s not Costco, people. You don’t sign a contract agreeing to give up your rights in exchange for the ‘privilege’ of shopping there.

Do you know what I do when they ask to see my receipt? I say “no” and I go about my day.

And by the way, Walmart, if you’re worried about theft, I’ve got a great solution for you: Take the receipt checkers off the doors and put them back on the checkout lanes where they belong. Then they can scan the items on the customer’s behalf and ensure everything is properly paid for. What a novel concept!

Moving on…

#3: Make Your Final Selections BEFORE You Get To The Checkout Lane.

Sometimes you miss an item on the list and are forced to send the kid over to aisle six for a jar of Smucker’s jelly. I get that. What I can’t understand is how you can put five items in your cart and then change your mind about three of them the very SECOND it’s your turn at the checkout lane. How do you suddenly have clarity about purchasing those items now?

Of course, not everyone has complete clarity just because it’s their turn to scan and pay. I’ve seen people spend three minutes debating whether or not they really need two jars of Chi-Chi’s salsa instead of one. It’s salsa – not a new car! Has anyone in the history of mankind ever woken up the day after purchasing a jar of salsa with buyer’s remorse? Buy it and get out of the way! I’ve got a kindergartener who needs to pee!

#4: Stay On Your Side Of The Aisle

This one is partially on Walmart. I accept that we have to endure the skinny-fit jeans craze, but when did we get skinny-fit shopping aisles? And what pinhead in management decided to reduce the width of the aisles when half of Walmart’s customers are built like sumo wrestlers? How sadistic can you get?

It’s not all of the aisles, by the way, just the ones that are most likely to attract shoppers who seek emotional comfort in food. I’m 165 pounds soaking wet, but even I get attacks of claustrophobia in the snack aisle. Meanwhile, I could drive a dump truck through produce.

I can’t be the only person who has noticed this. Why aren’t shoppers fighting back? Why isn’t the ACLU getting involved? And how am I supposed to socially distance when I can’t lean over for a bag of tortilla chips without grinding my butt against the guy standing next to me?

Look, Walmart executives will be forced to come to their senses eventually. Either that or the government will impose a mandate that shopping aisles be wide enough to allow two shoppers to pass in opposite directions while maintaining six feet of distance between them. Until that happens, however, rules of the road apply: keep to the right and allow faster shoppers to pass.

#5: Put Your Cart Back In The Cart Corral

You just tweeted about running fives miles on the treadmill during your morning workout. Heaven forbid you walk an extra 30 feet to the cart corral when you’re done loading your crap into your SUV. But no, the rules of common courtesy don’t apply to YOU. You’re special! You’re important! You’re a selfish ass who’s going to reduce the number of available parking spots by leaving your cart in the space next to you.

No worries, the cart will be removed from that spot eventually – usually by a blistering wind that will get it up to speeds comparable to that of a cheetah chasing a gazelle before slamming into the side of my car.

You wanna leave your cart in the spot beside you? Fine. Park next to the cart corral next time. Problem solved.

Honestly, there really is no excuse for this one. I don’t care if you’re experiencing chest pain after lifting a 24-pack of soda and need to get to the hospital right away. Put your cart back first.

Hmm… You know what? Forget I said anything. I’ll just do my shopping at Target instead.  Carry on!

**Please Note: Brian Baker is not an a-hole in real life, he just plays one on the internet.