Friday, December 17, 2010

...that is, if they're not there already...

I don't have much of a problem with going to Wal-Mart when I need to. After all, local people work there, and Wal-Mart allows wages to trickle down to the lowest employee who's been laid-off or fired elsewhere or out-sourced altogether. So I find myself in "Wally-World" every now and then. I usually go in to check out their music section, then stop to look at the Watches in the jewelry department (some decent-looking watches for nine bucks). Don't look at me like that! I bought my Timex watch at a locally-owned store and paid forty bucks for it. Some time later, I went into Wacky Wally's, where they had the same model priced at twenty-nine bucks. But that doesn't have anything to do with anything, not really, although it does. (Proofreading that last sentence, makes me think I shoulda been a Political Speech-writer.)
Today I entered the Wide World Of Wal-Mart along with several customers who thought they'd save thousands of dollars...Maybe they do, but I never buy enough at Wal-mart to justify a shopping cart. If I saved thousands of dollars at Wal-Mart with the meager amount I buy there, Sam Walton himself would have to deficit-spend in order to give me all that money back. Anyway, I noticed that as lively, aware and budget-conscious human beings pulled out shopping carts, all of a sudden they assumed a sort-of-mind-numbing vacant stare as I could see their eyeballs expanding, and they were all marching in the same sort of hypnotic trance-step, s-l-o-w-l-y pushing shopping carts..."must have food"..."must have weed-whacker"..."must have D-Con to put in mother-in-law's Orange Pekoe Tea"..."must save more so I can buy more when I come back next week", and that's when it hit me: "Zombie cart-pushers at Wal-Mart! Film at Eleven!" Maybe it's something in the security device you pass upon entering Wal-Mart. "Check in your personality at the door; it'll be here when you leave."

So, whilst ambling around the Weird World of Wally, I saw several cart-pushers going in the opposite direction, and they all seemed to be staring at some distant aisle, as if they were penguins in the Antarctic trying to pick out a distant cousin who's out in the crowd somewhere. Many is the time I've seen a Wal-Mart Zombie Cart-Pusher coming towards me, and I'm the one who has to get out of the way at the last minute. Or a customer will stop right in front of me to pause at an island display featuring Apple Juice or Motor Oil or Real Artificial Hexagonal Swiss Cheese-balls and debate with themselves the psychological ramifications of being able to save a nickel over what their hometown supermarket 25 miles away sold it for. Now, I'm not tiny, plus I have Vertigo, so it's not easy for me to stop on a dime. It takes a while for my bulk to cease movement. I wouldn't want to bump into someone and send them reeling into a display of hemorrhoid cream or electric erasers or, heaven forbid, the aisle featuring the Big Ultra-Humongous warehouse-sized 300-pound years' supply of Kibbles and Bits. That could be tragic. CRASH!!!

Have you noticed those right-in-the-middle-of-the-aisle displays that are full of cheap CD's or DVD movies for five bucks a shot at the Wily, not Wimpy, Wal-Mart store nearest you? CD's or DVD's have been tossed higgledy-piggeldy into that display for you, the customer, to rummage through. Imagine someone dumping ten-thousand CD's on your Living Room floor; that's the picture that's popping into my mind, thinking about it. Oh, It's fun to sift your way through those bins, but at the same time, consider this: Wal-Mart forces you to grovel and grunt your way through a mess of cheap CD titles hundreds of previous customers passed up at regular price, surrendering all human dignity in the process...well, you're not forced if you've become a Zombie-Shopper, which I'm trying not to become.

Well, I stopped at one of those displays today and after sifting through a bunch of randomly-scattered CD's, I came to the conclusion that there were no more than 10 different CD titles in the bin, so some Wal-Mart go-fer must have dumped a hundred (or a thousand) copies of each into the Blowout Bin. What I worry about, is that while trying to reach over the display to get that One Cool Movie for Cheap, I'll fall in, wind up at the bottom, and be the first person on the planet to be crushed to death by a pile of CD's consisting of titles by Placido Domingo, Barbara Streisand, Milli Vanilli, New (Old by now) Kids On The Block, and The Freddy Fender songbook as performed by Neil Diamond. (I actually like Neil Diamond; sorry, Neil) The displays seem to convey a message which sounds something like, "Hey! Come Root Around our Big Tub of Movies and if you don't see anything you like, shop our Regularly-priced movies, which we wanted you to do in the first place."
As far as this somewhat prolonged blog posting is concerned, I've been at this for too long.


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