The dark fortress known as Wal-Mart - its evil spreads

As an average American male, I absolutely hate shopping of any kind. Grocery shopping, shoe shopping (oh, how I hate shoes), exhaust manifold shopping, extension cord shopping … if you shop for it, I hate it. I hate being around people who are shopping. I hate hearing people talk about shopping. And I hate – hate, hate, hate – above all things in this world, shopping at Wal-Mart. This passionate, unbridled hatred of the infernal corporation known as Wal-Mart has grown to catastrophic proportions, to the point where I will refuse to even step foot within one.

“But Matt,” you might be saying. “You can’t deny the advantages of shopping at the fine establishment known as Wal-Mart. Their wide and varied selection of products, friendly service and built-in McDonalds provide me with everything I could ever possibly need at unbeatable prices! I don’t care if they make a habit of employing illegal immigrants, or that many of their products are manufactured in overseas child sweatshops – you can’t argue with these prices!”

To which I would respond with a hefty punch in the jaw, followed by a swift knee to the groin.

The experience of a trip to Wal-Mart is not unlike entering a heated war zone. You drive into the immense parking lot (which I believe was formally the state of Idaho), teeming with hundreds of SUVs, PT Cruisers and the pseudo-tanks known as Hummers. Thousands of abandoned shopping carts roll out-of-control in every direction. Children dart from car to car, running about like suicidal possums on meth. Finding a parking spot becomes a twisted game, a brutal driver’s test from hell.

When you find a parking spot, you hike the thirteen miles to the entrance of the store. People pour in and out of the store by the thousands. Your ears ring with the sound of screaming children, bickering parents and Miss I-am-so-much-busier-and-more-important-than-you, yelling into her cell phone directly behind you. The store itself smells strongly of week-old kettle corn, and faintly of urine. A zombie-like employee, well into her mid-to-late 100’s, pins a sadistic smiley-face sticker on your shirt with a claw-like hand, her face twisting into a sneer.

“Welcome to Wal-Mart,” she rasps. What she means, of course, is, “Welcome to Hades. Step over here to burn in the eternal fires of Hell.”

The remainder of your trip consists of squeezing your way through enormous crowds of smelly customers, sweating with the exertion of shopping in a store roughly five football fields in length. The aisles are just wide enough to allow a single shopping cart through, and a simple trip down the hygiene aisle can turn into a deadly game of chicken, both carts rocketing towards each other at breakneck speeds.

Your fellow customers are rude, self-interested and impatient. The employees, portrayed in Wal-Mart commercials as kindly, blue-vested good Samaritans, are worse. And though I don’t blame them in the least for their attitudes (working at Wal-Mart would be enough for me to end it all), it’s still a tad disconcerting when Julie from house wares heaves a profound, unrestrained sigh when you ask her where you can find economy-sized jars of Miracle Whip.

As you leave (after waiting in line for three hours, kept company only by magazines proclaiming “Lohan’s Rehab – Day Seventeen!”), you thank God you’re alive. You trek the thirteen miles back to your car and spend another twenty minutes developing a back-out strategy.

Wal-Mart represents everything wrong with the American consumer: superficiality, corporate interest, apathy, convenience over quality, gluttony, over-consumption, etc. Essentially, Wal-Mart perpetuates the materialistic idiocy that grips the consumer with a vice-like grip.

Oh, and it smells bad. Really bad.

1 comment:

All comments are strictly moderated by this blog's administrator. Obscene, hateful, or otherwise offensive comments will not be tolerated. Racist, sexist, or homophobic remarks have no place on this blog. Spam will be promptly reported and deleted. For more information on R#09's moderation policies, please check the FAQs.