Saturday, June 23, 2007

No, I'm not a Communist, a Socialist or a Fascist...
...but I DID shop at WAL*MART today...

Sooner or later, Wal*Mart is gonna get ya. They have their ways, you know. They probably realize they don't have the best business reputation ever, and they probably also know that there are people who won't shop there unless they absolutely have to. So it happens that people like me find themselves contained within the vast auspices of the big-box store despite themselves. And, for better or for worse, this is my story. A true tale from the Naked City. I bought $30 in gasoline today (yaay, prices are finally below $3 a gallon), and I asked the attendant (after all, in Oregon, you can't fill yer own tank) where the nearest Qwik-Lube was, because even though I've spent half a year down here, I still don't know my way around town, because I don't really go to town a lot. And he said, "Wal*Mart, just down the road". Well, it being a sunny day and me not wanting to drive all over the place looking for another oil-changing facility...I 'caved' and went to Wal*Mart.

Actually, Wal*Mart had quite a reasonable price for oil-change and lube, reasonable enough that I also sprung for a cleaning of my fuel injection system. That assumes, of course, I can afford fuel, and so far, well, just barely. The fresh-faced Wal*Mart automotive attendant said it would take about an hour. And, the deal went down and Wal*Mart serviced my car. Now, this is where they get ya...where do you wait? Well, Wal*Mart has a waiting room, and as you walk down the hallway to the waiting room, why, you see the entire interior of the store stretching out in front of you, yea, verily hypnotizing you to come on in to Wally-World and look at all the cool, low-priced stuff that you can't absolutely live without! Remember the mind-numbing effects of the poppy field in "The Wizard Of Oz"? That's sorta how Wal*Mart got me. I must have been delusionally out of my mind, for I found myself stepping effortlessly into the Wal*Mart store, thinking, "Well, I'll only be waiting an hour; I might as well look around."

And I found myself in the music & movies section of the store. I suppose I could go into all sorts of mindless detail about the cardboard display of cheap DVD's in the middle of an aisle; it basically consists of a big cardboard box about 4 feet high, filled to the gills with DVD's in absolutely no order at all, so customers just stand around the big cardboard DVD container, rummaging through them, and tunneling their way down as far as they can reach, in hope of scoring their favorite movie for only $5.99. I bought one DVD from that world's-ever-most-disorganized-merchandise-display. And, looking up, the full-priced DVD's were nearby, as well as the CD's, and to make a long story short, I spent $50 on home entertainment stuff...and I still had yet to pay for my remember, the car I'd brought in to get serviced? So that's how Wal*Mart gets unsuspecting customers. Like me.

Ah, but I'm proud of myself because I did get my car serviced. My Dad woulda been proud of me, although he, being a real "man's man", probably would have chided me (or yelled at me), for not actually changing the oil myself. And yeah, even though I bought a whole bunch of stuff inside Wal*Mart whilst waiting for my car, at least I didn't commit the cardinal sin of going to the McDonald's, which is located in the Wal*Mart store I was at...


My definition of a Big Mac? Mystery Meat covered with Secret Sauce. But they do taste mighty good. Almost as good as the Sausage-Egg McMuffins. And that's how McDonald's gets ya!


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