Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Wal-Mart...

***WARNING – This blog may contain material deemed offensive and politically incorrect by overly sensitive individuals. Parental discretion is advised.***

Okay, so I’ll admit it. There are days when I simply must visit Wal-Mart. I generally try to avoid it like heavy construction on the interstate during rush hour, but there are times when I am left with no choice. You know, like when you need citronella, tampons, potting soil, crayons, and corn on the cob. If you don’t have all day to run around town, the Super Wal-Mart gets the job done.

Today was one of those unavoidable days. You know, I could get into the various political and social/moral reasons why I hate the place, but it’s really not that complicated. I decided to use my trip today as sort of a fact-finding mission to analyze why I hold such contempt for this behemoth of discount retailers.

The parking lot – Not only has everyone lost their basic driving skills and courtesies, I can NEVER get a good spot. Why the hell is this parking lot full at all hours of the day and night? When my mom was alive, I had the unfortunate duty of carting her to Wal-Mart at least weekly. She had a handicap sticker, but forget that dream. The handicap spots are the first to be occupied, and they stay that way all day. My theory is that a large percentage of the clientele is either over 80 or relying on MY income to support them due to some “unfortunate circumstance” that has left them unable to find adequate employment. Wow, that was a harsh and somewhat rude generalization, but I’m sticking to it. (I warned you this might not be pretty.)

There is a blood pressure machine at the entrance of the store – Probably because of the parking lot, I’m guessing. Today there was a line of people waiting to see if they were on the verge of a stroke….at Wal-Mart. I know for certain that I was.

Smelly people – Of course, there are smelly people everywhere, but there is an unusually high concentration there. Here is the irony for today. One of the items on my list was deodorant. As I was perusing the many choices for remaining fresh and dry, I noticed a strange and unpleasant odor nearby. I slowly looked beside me to find a smiling caballeros staring back at me. Oh yeah, he had donned the cowboy hat and shiny boots – the works. The smell was making my hair flat, but he was working on it – obviously.

What country is this anyway? – Another item on my list today was coffee. I’m sure that I’m not alone when I classify this item as a “staple” of the American diet. All grocery stores have directional signs on each aisle to give you a short list of what you will find there. I walked up and down that damn store over and over thinking, "I must SURELY be missing the 'coffee' sign". Coffee ranks right up there with milk and sugar, right? No, I wasn’t missing it. They didn’t have coffee on their list of “must haves”, but they did have an aisle sign that listed “Hispanic Foods”. (Insert wistful sigh here.) It was an entire aisle dedicated to all things labeled in a language I don’t speak. This may just be exclusive to York County, though…

The checkout – No “Hello”. Not even a “Go to hell because I hate my job” kind of greeting. All I got was a blank stare and then the total I owed for my loot. There are times when I feel like screaming, “IF YOU HATE YOUR JOB SO MUCH THEN GO TO WORK AT THE DMV. THIS ATTITUDE IS EXPECTED THERE!”, but I refrain. I smile politely and slink away, all the while swearing that I will never, ever patronize this hell on Earth again.

I will, though. And each time I will cuss under my breath, and look down on the muffin-topped teenaged mothers who are pacifying their toddlers with a bottle of Cherry Coke.

God Bless the USA.


  1. Your warning should have included "Do not snack while reading." I almost lost my milk and moonpie with the flat hair comment. My sinuses will never be the same.

  2. Prolific Lynda. Truly, all the things I have thought myself about Wally-World and exactly the way I feel put into perfect prose.

    Side-note about the Cherry Coke Mom...leaving the store after one of my very few trips there, I marveled at the sight of what looked to be a Grandmother with leathery skin holding a toddler while smoking a ciggy, talking on the cell and providing him with the nutritous nectar of the south...Mountain Dew, high octane.

  3. Your lines on the blood pressure monitor at the door of Wal-Mart is a good one.


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