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A Nutcracker Story

*Note: Real names have been changed to protect the innocent*

        “Nihil tam difficile est ut non possit studio in vestigar.” This ancient latin quote by Terrence means nothing is so difficult that it can’t be figured out with zeal. The word zeal is defined as “enthusiastic devotion to a cause, ideal, or goal and tireless diligence in its furtherance.” From a recent experience, I clearly see all too well that this phrase applies to me.

     Every Christmas, Joe Skillyman receives a Nutcracker. No one really knows why for sure. It’s just a tradition that his family has carried on through the seasons. This year, I decided I would humbly join the festivities.

    This year, things seemed to be calming down on the Nutcracker front. It seemed like the holiday tradition was becoming a bit weak; the Nutcracker collection next to the magnificent Christmas tree looked complete enough. There were Nutcrackers of many times and many races, such as a Native American Nutcracker, and a Medieval Knight Nutcracker. I currently discovered that this year, dear old Joe would be receiving a few little tiny Nutcrackers. After many, many hours of thought on the subject, I determined that I couldn’t let the tradition slow down. Oh no, that wasn’t going to happen. Not on my watch.

So, I head down to the local Wal-Mart. I don’t really know what time it is, but it’s around 9:30 PM. There aren’t many employees around, the lawn and garden center is shut down, and most of the cash registers are closed. I wouldn’t let that stop me though, for when I walked into those sliding double doors, I had a vision; a revelation; a picture in my head! Actually, I saw something. Something big. Something massive. Something amazing and colossal. It was a five-foot Nutcracker

I discovered that the Nutcracker was on sale! How could this be true? Well it was. I was gonna buy that Nutcracker. Not that exact one, per say. It was just the display unit. I decided to track down the ones in boxes. I mean, a gigantic five-foot Nutcracker that would rather bite through a crate of coconuts than look at your ugly mug has got to be pretty easy to find, right? Well, yeah. Yeah, it was kinda easy to find.

First, I went through the seasonal isle in which Wal-Mart puts everything…seasonally. Festive things are usually there for Thanksgiving, Halloween, and yes, Christmas. After searching a bit, our behemoth friend was nowhere to be found. No problem. I could still find it. I would not give up hope.

The next logical place for me to look was Lawn and Garden. It looked kinda dark in there, but the double doors slid open! A couple of people were looking around in there anyway, despite the general creepy darkness. I scrounged around for a bit, and lo and behold! There it was! I found what I was looking for…a GIANT FIVE-FOOT NUTCRACKER…WIOTH AXE!

There was no time to waste. At the time, I had no means to carry this thing, so I went to Layaway to ask some questions. After inquiring the Layaway manager, he just told me to get a buggy, and pick it up; it should be fine. I traveled all the way back to the Wal-Mart entrance, and got my buggy. I was all set. Did I care that I had the worst buggy in the entire store? No! Did I care that one of the wheels was gimpy, and every two seconds it made a screeching sound that only someone who loves screeching sounds would love? No! I was getting this Nutcracker.

After I got back to the Lawn and Garden, the king-sized mammoth was waiting. Fortunately, the one I wanted was on the top of the stack, so I didn’t have to do any digging. Even though the length of the box was too big for my arms to handle, I still managed to pick the thing up. The hard part was actually getting it in the buggy. There were a couple of options to consider, but my time was running out, so I just picked one. I tried to just stuff it in the buggy vertical-wise. The box didn’t want to go in! In the process of trying to put the box in the buggy, the buggy started to roll away and slide. After chasing it down, I finally cornered the little weasel against the wall, and told it who was boss. At last, the nutcracker was safely secured in the buggy.

    The next thing to do, of course, was to purchase the Nutcracker. As I began to push the buggy through the store, odd things started to happen. People stared in awe. Little children looked up at the Nutcracker, wishing they could have this Christmas surprise. I hope I didn’t run any of them over, because I honestly couldn’t see anything; the five-foot box kind of obstructed my view. I did discover a neat method, though. I casually pushed the buggy with one hand, and walked to the left or right of the buggy. Oh, and with the extra weight of the Nutcracker, the screeching sound the buggy made amplified about ten times. But that’s okay. Joe’s getting his Nutcracker.

Seeing as how the automotive area was steps away, I rolled the thing over there. The guys there kinda laughed at me, but I didn’t care. I asked them if I could buy it there, but they said the register was closed. I decided I would just have to travel to the regular checkouts. However, I realized that I was in a dilemma! The aisles in the automotive area were very narrow, so I had to back the buggy out a bit, and go down another narrow aisle. However, the certain aisle I happened to pick had these display tires hanging down from the ceiling, and I suspected that the box might knock them down. And if the box didn’t, I’m sure the Nutcracker wouldn’t mind using that axe of his to chop it down. I didn’t want that to happen though, because I’d then have to pay for the tires, and I didn’t have any money. I mean, if he had the money, I’d let him, but anyway. I eventually backed out again, and rolled the cart to the checkout.

Once I purchased my bulky friend, I wheeled him out of the store. My car was parked relatively close to the building, so I thought that wouldn’t be a problem. After reaching my car, I carefully took the box out of the buggy, and started to put the Nutcracker inside. A nice parking attendant came to put my buggy up for me while I was stuffing the box into the car. Needless to say, the box stuck out of the side of the car a good couple of feet, and the door wouldn’t even begin to close. I asked the parking attendant to see if he could come up with anything, and his guess was as good as mine. I opened the trunk, and made the back seats go as far down as I possibly could. We shoved that Nutcracker in as deep as humanly possible. However, it still stuck out of the car a good three feet. I situated the box a bit more, and securely shut the trunk lid over the box. I was all set. Joe was getting his Nutcracker!

After getting this far, I wasn’t going to mess this up. I was gonna take it slow, take my time. I didn’t want to be spending all night trying to find the Nutcracker’s head rolling around the 11-E Bypass. I got in the right lane, and drove a good, safe speed of 30 miles per hour. How lovely. Eventually, by the time I get to the turn-in for my house, the speed limit is 65, but I thought 35 did it just fine. I moved over into the left lane in plenty of time to turn in, and finally…I did it! I was home! My journey was complete! Because of me, Joe will have the merriest Christmas in all eternity!

After all that happened, it is very interesting to go back to these ancient latin quotes, and see how they can compare to your life. Just look at the definition for zeal, and you’ll know what I mean. Terrence would be proud.