Did the big storm take you by surprise? No, I don't mean the snow storm we got. If you listen to WGNA, and I know you do, then you knew that was coming. I'm sure many of you got the snow blower out, or made your plowing arrangements.  But sometimes you know something is coming,  and yet, your just never really ready for it.

I am talking about the post Christmas shopping return rush.  Like I said, I know its coming , it does every year. Yet there I was yesterday trying to run a few simple errands and getting more and more frustrated by the second. You would think that after all the stress of holiday shopping and cooking, most people would just want to hibernate until New Year's.  I know I do. Yet the day or two after Christmas are the worst days to venture out into the retail world.  But we have to return those horrible un-wanted gifts, so we do.  To me, it's  like a feature on Animal Planet.

"Ladies and Gentleman what we are witnessing here is the raw emotion of gift returning.  Notice how calm our predator looks as she slowly makes her way to the customer service desk.  Don't be fooled by the expressionless face, the blank staring eyes.  Behind that mask , her mind is getting ready to pounce at any objections the clerk gives to her returning that sweater.  Helpless, even protected by the counter, the clerk meekly acknowledges our predators presence.  At first, you would hardly know these species are instinctually enemies, as they tentatively try to evaluate each other's motives.  Both knowing that if they are too quick to aggression the result could disrupt the entire balance of peace at this watering hole.  And there it is!  The clerk has shown rejection to the offered sweater.  The customer bares her teeth and growls in defiance.  We have seen this before, this could get very ugly, and hard to watch.  Wait, the clerk has backed off and is getting a signal from his pack leader to go ahead and give the customer what she wants.  The customer respectfully backs away, content that her dominance was recognized. More than likely off to find other prey at a nearby watering hole."

This time things went well, but we all have seen the sheer ugliness and brutality that nature can bring about inside us all.   If all went well your "pack" got you everything you wanted and nothing you didn't.  And someone remembered that you have to buy food for AFTER the holidays, even though you cooked a meal big enough for a pack twice the size of your own.  If that is the case, you got to enjoy your  warm safe cave and did not have to venture out into the wild.

But like me, I think most of you did have to hunt a little.  Perhaps next year we will remember better how ugly the jungle gets after Christmas and plan just a little bit better. Though I doubt it.  I'm just not that forward thinking. But if I'm lucky, one of you will remind me and save me the episode of "Wild Kingdom". Please.