I suppose it began when I mentioned I was planning to head down to Wal-Mart to pick up some photo frames. I thought I would go late as the store is open 24 hours right now, allowing people to shop for the holidays at whatever time strikes their fancy. For me it was reminiscent of the years I lived in Toronto and their 24-hour grocery stores, years before kids and home ownership and "responsibility", and when we would often get our groceries at 3 am. What I didn't realize when I mentioned that I was planning some late night shopping was that the Intrepid Junior Bloggers would find the idea intriguing. They asked if they could come along - and since school is over and there is no pressing need for normal bedtimes I said yes. And that's when the true planning began.
First they suggested that we go to Superstore as well, not just Walmart, as Superstore is also currently open 24 hours. I agreed, as I wanted to make cabbage rolls today and needed to find some sour cabbage heads anyhow. Then they began to make other plans. Dressing in black plans. Ninja plans. Being the kind of person I am I suggested a few things, too. Things like shopping cart racing. Things like pressing all the buttons on those hideously annoying Christmas musical figurines (you know, the ones you can't imagine anyone buying but yet you still end up owning one or two - as I write I stare into the eyes of a musical dancing Santa and find beside me a Christmas-bedecked snoring Scooby-Do), and running away. The Intrepid Junior Bloggers looked at me in wonder. Not only was I okay with all this, I was suggesting it. I was promoting it. I was, in fact, endorsing the idea of a little midnight mayhem.
So, this is how I found myself in my car at 11:30 last night with two young women dressed as ninjas. They took this seriously and frankly the youngest Intrepid Junior Blogger was somewhere between cute and creepy. I plugged in my iPhone and we listened to "Down With Webster" at top volume all the way downtown, getting pumped for our adventure (DWW is making a return appearance in February in Fort Mac, incidentally, and will play at MacDonald Island - and they are well worth seeing!). There's nothing like a little "She's Dope" to get you in the mood for some ninja mayhem.
We arrived at Superstore and frankly I scored the sweetest parking spot I've ever gotten in my decade here, right in front of the main doors. In we went, and I released the girls with the admonition that they have fun. Oh, there were wrapping paper roll sword fights, and the purchase of sustenance in the form of Vitamin Water. There was some bemusement over the oddest "Santa bear", which announces "Hello, I am Santa bear" when activated (since when is Santa a bear?!?). There was even some sour cabbage, which made the trip totally worth it for that reason alone.
Then it was off to the second target for mayhem - Wal-Mart. The girls were ready, and so was I. I happen to like Wal-Mart most of the time, as you just never know what you will find. When we arrived we found a mostly empty parking lot, a lot of shelf stocking, and some serious mayhem.
We first hit up the fashion departments where we found some serious fashion faux-pas, and then it was on to the seasonal department. The youngest Intrepid Junior Blogger found fruit cake, a food item she wouldn't eat if she was starving and it was the last food on earth. They were both bemused by the giant chocolate bar - and I admit it, my resistance is weak at 1 am and I bought it for them.
In the seasonal department you find the best items for a little midnight mayhem, like wrapping paper rolls for sword fighting...
...and the wall of those musical figurines, just begging to have all their buttons pushed before you dash off, leaving behind you a wall of sound to annoy other late-night shoppers.
One of the next activities on the list was one I hadn't suggested, but the Junior Intrepid Bloggers/Ninjas had planned. The brought iPods, and they brought their dancing skills. And they used them, right in the aisles. In a LOT of the aisles.
Oh, there were minor disasters, like finding most of the aisles blocked by items waiting to be stocked, and like when my cart got stuck on a pair of high heel shoes. Fortunately this didn't happen during the shopping cart race in the furniture aisle, although the oldest Intrepid Junior Blogger still won that race easily.
All that racing and dancing made for thirstiness, so we stopped in at McDonald's. While the girls really wanted ice cream the machine was off, so we had to settle for cold drinks instead. Coke at 1 am? I think so!
We decided we were tired, and it was time to leave. There was one final thing to be accomplished, though. Everyone knows every a truly great show needs a great finale, and what better way than to dance out of the store while the iPhone plays "I'm Sexy and I Know It?"
Out into the cold, dark, late night, into the waiting car, laughing and talking, we went. We talked about the people we had seen smile, those who had stared, those who had shook their heads, and the employee that appeared to have been sent to check on us when we were in the seasonal department. We giggled about the stock boy who had seen them dancing around the store and simply looked deeply puzzled by it all. We drove home, had a snack, and crawled into bed. It was late. We were tired. And we'd made a little mayhem happen.
So, the next time someone says to me, or the Intrepid Junior Bloggers, that there is nothing to do in Fort Mac I suspect they will be quick to correct them. They will tell them about shopping cart racing, dancing in the aisles, and other harmless, silly madness that can be pursued late at night in department stores. They will tell them that sometimes you just have to make the mayhem - and the magic - happen. And you can do that even right here in good ol' Fort Mac.
My sincere thanks to Superstore and
Wal-Mart for not kicking us out, and
to Down With Webster for getting us
pumped up for the adventure and mayhem!