Student Voice


June 12, 2024


Embarrassing moments at Wal-Mart, restaurant

February 14, 2013

Technically, I am classified as a junior at UW-River Falls and, being such, a certain level of maturity and competence is expected going into your third year of college.
I find this is not the case with myself.

Oftentimes I go out of the way to have fun, or to embarrass myself and the people that, on any given day, may or may not be my friends or family (depending on their tolerance toward my level of shenanigans).

Wheeling through the salt-dusted floors of a bleak looking Wal-Mart this past month with my grandmother, I did everything I could to try and embarrass her.

First I began by asking a sales associate where I might find the baby food, and the blue-clad associate pointed me in the right direction, and then asked how old my supposed little baby was.

I replied, “Oh it’s not for a baby, it’s for me. I just love those little sweet potatoes, you don’t even have to peel them. Good stuff.”

The associate, in true Wal-Mart fashion, gave me an awkward smile and turned to run from the scene, the electric wheelchair beeping loudly as they sputtered in reverse.

After that incident my grandmother evaded me the rest of our shopping journey.

Who could blame her?

Gathering the few items that I needed from the store (rubber-bands, fly swatter, air horn, etc.) I went to self check-out.

Self check-out is a fantastic option for the skeptical shopper because you can avoid the cashier who has neglected to wash their hands before exiting the restroom facilities.
While sitting in line waiting to be next, I saw my grandmother going through the express lane with her items.

Going over to her, I took the orange fly swatter and swung at her derrière with it.
Turns out, it wasn’t my grandma. It just looked like her.

How does one explain swatting another person in the buttocks with a fly swatter in Wal-Mart?

Thankfully no charges were filed from the woman. In fact, I did not even get a dirty look, just a strange twisted little smile like the Cookie-Monster gets when he sees a cookie.
Other than demoralizing myself in Wal-Mart, I also like to upset people when I travel to four-star restaurants.

I have this friend Julie who is apprehensive about entering four-star establishments because she feels bewildered by which fork to use for a particular course or entrée.
Personally, whichever fork looks the lightest is the one that I will use because I do not want to overexert my muscles. I do not possess much endurance or stamina as it is.
Julie and I are sitting down with our group at the table, and the bread comes to us in elaborate dishes. She gingerly removes a piece while maintaining perfect posture, not even slouching.

She begins biting into the bread when I determine to strike like a ferocious mongoose that is hopped up on excessive levels of caffeine, I throw my own bread at her from 7 feet away.

I get the look from Julie.

The look that says, “We are no longer officially friends. If you died, I would not attend your service.”

That type of look.

All I can do is raise my glass and wink.

Regardless if you’re a wee-lad or lass, or a growing adult, throw away the false bravado and let yourself be free in the way you approach your life.

Above all, do not ever, ever, take yourself too seriously. Ever.

Tyler Smith is a student at UW-River Falls.