Monday, January 17, 2011

Giant (lack of) Reference

I'm ashamed to say I was in The Mart of Darkness on a Sunday night for the soul purpose of buying a Scrabble dictionary.  My uncle is coming to town and he likes to play. I've recently gotten into the game myself and I would like to have a paper dictionary on hand for when I challenge him the obscure words I know he's going to throw out at me.   I figured this was a main-stream enough item to find there.  After all, if a store sells Scrabble surely they sell Scrabble dictionaries.  Right? 
Say you: let me guess.  Foreshadowing.
 Say me: Brilliant! 
I go to the book aisle and I start looking. And looking.  And looking.  And I round the corner and look some more. Then I got to the magazines aisle, which I knew was pointless, but they had to be there. I s-l-o-w-l-y walked up the aisle again, carefully checking both sides up and down.  Not only are there no Scrabble dictionaries, there are no plain-Jane, regular Webster's dictionaries in sight. 

Surely I'm missing them.  SURELY Wal Mart carries dictionaries.  How could they not?  I mean, every house has one.  Yes, yes.  I know all about  That's not the point.  A dictionary is just one of those must-have items for your home. 

Then I happen upon the religious section of the book aisle and start noticing the titles.  Oh, there's a bible.  And another.  And another.  And look....there's some down on this shelf too.  Oh, wow. A large print one. And an international one. This one is a gift version.  Wait a second!  They have them on this shelf too?  How many bibles are here? I'm going to count, because I'm really curious.  One, two, three, four, five...

I thought I reached a total and then found a backpack version.  Wait--one, two, THREE different children's versions?  Let me start over. 

I got all the way up to nineteen.  That's right.  Nineteen different kinds of bibles in Wal Mart*.     But not one standard reference book** (The bible reference book notwithstanding).  Oh, and three separate books by Glenn Beck. And two books by Sarah Palin.  And NO dictionary. Which, for the record I don't consider an obscure request.

Apparently it is in Wal Mart.  
Me, to the manager: do you have any dictionaries? 
The Manager (after he looked, and said surely they do, and looked again.  And asked the book employee about them): all my years of working here and no one has ever asked me for one of those. 
Me: Really? How long have you worked here?
The Manager: Ten years.  
At which point I stacked the Bibles and took a picture and posted it on Facebook because I was simply incredulous. How could a store like WAL MART not have a dictionary of any kind?  Not one?!

Naturally my pic got some chatter.  One friend commented that they were probably in the school supply section.  And because I have no life  am compulsive   was ripe with indignation  wanted my research to be thorough for my pending blog rant  got called out and had to drive right by there anyway, I went back to the store and looked in the school section. Plus the three separate office supply sections.  One more check in school supply section just to be sure....

I can state unequivocally that my local Darth Mart is a dictionary-free establishment.  

Which is funny for a place that sells Scrabble games.  

Oh, wait.  They don't sell those either.  -> 

*There's a that has the full text in several versions and languages for free.  So why do people need paper bibles? This is my response to all of you tempted to come at me with "why do you need a dictionary when you have online versions that are free"?  

**You can find them online, of course.  And perhaps your local Wal Mart has them.  My mid-western-town-of-100,000-plus-people-Wal-Fart doesn't feel the need to carry them is all I'm saying. 


Nectarine said...

I don't believe I would ever think to check Wal-mart for any type of book, let alone a dictionary. Mind you, I haven't darkened their doors in over a decade. I don't remember many books at all - perhaps the Canadian ones are different than yours?

My parents had a Scrabble dictionary. You've inspired me to dig it out when I'm at their place sometime! It's my favourite game.

tuesday@11 said...

A friend recently discovered Wal-Mart does not sell dictionaries. She found one at Office Depot. Don't know if Norman has Office Depot or not. You could drive to Florida and get one. Imagine the pictures you could snap.