Happy camp and the last of the Bad Times

I liked camping. The camping we did this past weekend wasn’t “real” camping, where you take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints; it was the sort of camping where you take nothing but the beer-can chicken your hosts offer you and leave nothing but dubious initials on the “high score rankings” screen on Atari Pole Position in the campground game room. A-S-S is #1! Other snickery activities of the weekend included playing that road trip game where you read signs aloud and add the phrase “under the sheets,” except we used the phrase “in your ass” instead. Our favorite sign in this game was Pack Hot Dogs, Not Firewood. I’m sorry.

Wow, if the number of comments is any indication, you all really love to talk about the Bad Times. I have only a couple points to add to the discussion: first, that after some painstaking research I’ve determined that any Dominick’s that’s a just plain old Dominick’s and not a Dominick’s “Fresh Store” (in other words, a Not So Fresh Store), has a remarkably high incidence of Bad Times. Second, I believe that the misery experienced in Wal-Marts and KMarts is simply par for the course for those stores and should not be characterized as Bad Times phenomena. THAT IS ALL.


  1. says

    Wow, how PG am I- I’ve only been doing the “in bed” and hadn’t made the leap to “in your ass” yet. I love it!

    That came out wrong. I love the hot dogs sign, not things in the ass.

  2. Satya says

    I just have to say, you bring me more joy and laughter than any one human has any right to. Thank you from the bottom of my twisted little heart!!

  3. says

    Have you discussed Bad Times subcategory: SMELL??? There are grocery stores (Winn Dixie) that I will walk into, ever-optimistic, and I am slapped in the face with the distinct aroma of roadkill/bad meat. The best part of Winn Dixie’s Bad Times status is, for the past year, all over the south, they ran commercials saying: “Getting Better All the Time,” complete with a sassy, young rock chick singing the jingle. That, to me, begs the comment…”Oh, so you noticed how bad the place smelled. It took you long enough!”
    I agree that you sign the agreement to put up with the Bad Times when you walk in the door of anything with the suffix: Mart. Loved your book, too!! The WW stuff is the best!

  4. says

    Portland’s downtown Safeway is known as sketchy Safeway. Despite tearing the old one down, turning up the wattage on the fluorescent lights and generally trying to class up the joint, it remains sketchy Safeway.

    A few days ago I stopped in to buy some bananas. A woman approached the checker, “A shelf is falling on aisle 3. There’s a woman holding it up but she can’t hold it much longer.” The shelf-falling informant spoke like she was reporting a bag of peanuts had fallen on the floor, no urgency in her voice whatsoever. Par for the course at sketchy Safeway.

  5. says

    I wish I’d have known about that game before I had to drive up to Northern Michigan last weekend.

    I can’t wait for my next trip!

  6. says

    There is a Walmart here in northern California that has a mysterious way of sucking any energy my brain may have in it. Not even the 25 cent Sam’s Cola can perk me up. I’d like to use it as a form of sleep aid, but the aftermath is worse than a hangover.

  7. Debi says

    There’s a WalMart in our area, that every time my best friend goes in there, no matter what she’s done that day, she ALWAYS has to, well, go #2. NOW. I’d say that definitely qualifies as a Bad Times WalMart.