May 12, 2007


I’ve often said that I felt that Wal*Mart was onto something with their “Always” slogan but it needed to be revised a bit for something a little more descriptive of their shopping experience. The slogan should be “Always White Trash, Always.”

I’m not a fan of Wal*mart. I never have been and I never will be. I have shopped there on occasion, but for the most part I will go out of my way to avoid shopping at one of their behemoths. We have four Supercenters within fifteen miles of our home and because of this, it is getting harder and harder to avoid their virus like takeover of the neighborhood. Gone are the smaller grocery stores, the regional discount department stores and the specialized locally owned shops; today it’s all about Wal*mart in these parts. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Earl and I were picking up some bolts and such to install one of our computers in the basement and found that the local Lowe’s (another unnecessarily sized monstrosity) did not have the particular stuff that we needed. Since Lowe’s is situated next to Wal*mart here, we decided to go to Wal*mart to see if they had what we needed.

Now this type of spontaneous Wal*mart visit is bad on several accounts. First of all, it’s a spring Saturday morning so there’s all sorts of dangers including unruly children and unruly adults buying mondo-sized triple decker fatburgers with six packs of 32 ounce Grand Milwaukee beer or some such nonsense. Secondly, I prefer to go to Wal*mart only after two or three bottles of wine. I’m not particular as to whether it’s red or white. I find the only way to deal with the double digit IQs, the bad cart drivers and the loud televisions mounted everywhere is to be intoxicated. It adds to the mood.

Since we had these two whammies in place, Earl and I decided to approach the experience as a game. Every time an announcement was made over the intercom, I’d mimic the sound of the announcement in every annoying detail and decibel. I’d scream into my hand and make my version of the announcement as loud and indecipherable as the original. Quick little sidenote: why is it that Wal*mart associates feel they must yell into the telephone when making an announcement calling for a price check in adult diapers or whatever? Many stores have converted over to walkie-talkies and/or the pleasant ding ding ding of a chime like Sears and Roebuck. With all the gobs of cash that Wal*mart rapes from the community on the profits of their substandard merchandise you’d think they could afford a few Motorolas. I’m just saying.

Another part of our game was to make the “beep beep” noise, again very loudly, often associated with dump trucks backing up whenever we saw one of those motorized carts that are very en vogue these days. Oddly enough, the riders of said carts never seemed to pick up on the “beep beep” noise we were making in their presence.

We did take a tangent for a moment and made woofy noises and growled a couple of times at a hottie in a tank top and sunglasses. He smirked in our direction a couple of times. We weren’t following him, honest.

Anyways, we found what we needed and used the self-serve register, again a device inexplicably set to yell every command as loudly as possible. “Do you have any coupons? Do you have a rebate check? Are you using WIC? Would you like to be submitted to the local institution?” To bring the experience to a proper ending, I signed the electronic PIN pad/credit card receipt “Betsy Ross”.

I guess if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Always.