Saturday, March 24, 2007

Big Box Mart

Welcome To The Greatest Show On Earth
The above is a truly hilarious blog post about the various interesting stereotypes one may encounter, at any time, in any Wal-Mart in the world. Since I was in said evil giant corporation just today, I thought I would add my own two cents about the negative/positive aspects of an average trip to ye olde Wally World.
First off, as mentioned in the post I refer to, you have your truly obese people filling their carts with family-size bags of fried grease fried in fried frying oil (as Dave Barry would say.) An example of this would be the other day, when the woman behind me, about as wide as she was tall, began piling the belt with generic soda, cheez-puffs, potato chips, bags of candy, and marshmallows. Seriously. That was it, that was the purchase. Nary an apple or a stick of celery in sight. No cleaning products, no personal products. Just crap. Behind the woman stood her three children, all of whom were well on their way to juvenile-onset diabetes, and were clawing at the candy bar display as though they were on the brink of starvation.
Now before everyone starts scolding me to get off my judgemental high horse, let me say that I too purchase unhealthy snacks on a fairly regular basis. And maybe this woman's cupboards were stocked to the brim with brown rice and broccoli and whole grain cereals, I don't know. It's very possible the family was just on a quick fun-food run. It happens. I'm just saying... It was hard not to jump to judgemental conclusions, what with the giant bags of powdered cheese puffs and the children, huffing and puffing with exhaustion from their long walk around the store.
My next favorite sight on your average trip to the Mart is the truly evil mothers (who I notice are usually shopping in pairs, with their mom or sister or fellow whore or something) who are perpetually slapping their toddlers in the face and screaming "Shut the f--- up!" every other time the kid speaks or moves, then resuming their loud, yakky conversations about their most recent STD or cheating boyfriend. The kids are usually shoeless, pale, and just generally very Oliver Twist.
And I HATE their moms. They make my jaw clench and my heart race, and while I have never yet gone up to someone and asked them to pick on someone their own size, for fear the mom would simply take it out on the kid later, I have sent many a (hopefully) disgusted glare in their direction. I wish I were braver in this regard. I worked with a woman once who was arrested for punching a mom in Toys'R'Us after she saw the mom slap her son in the face. I think the mom was arrested, too, though. Good, heartwarming story any way you look at it!
Now for a compliment to Wal-Mart. Best place to fill Easter baskets, hands down. When your town doesn't have a Target, anyways. Cheapest place to buy face, hair, and makeup products. Cheapest place to buy diapers that I know of. Decent selection of inexpensive yet cute lamps, picture frames, candles, etc.
But still. Do these pros outweigh the cons? Not usually, which is why I have recently decided to drop Wal-Mart as a regular shopping destination, using the slightly more expensive local grocery instead, and Wal-Mart simply as a once-a-month or so stop to pick up diapers and wipes and foundation.
Anyone else have a fun and/or horrifying Wal-Mart tale?
Oh yeah, and please do note with slightly condescending pride that I have at long last realized there is a freakin' button right there at the top of my screen with which to make proper links. Expect to have any mentions of your blog handle highlighted and linked from now on! Yay for me being slowly led into the light of computer literacy!


jen said...

I want to marry Target, but I am having a secret tawdry affair with Wal*Mart.

When our Wal*Mart first opened, you used to see some of the creepiest Deliverance-style people there, but I guess the novelty wore off because it hasn't been too bad. Or maybe I've subconsciously picked up on the best times to go!

Swistle said...

"Good, heartwarming story any way you look at it!"--Ha ha ha ha ha!

I realized, after encountering a number of those Scary Moms, that I don't mind the sound of other people's whining or crying children anywhere NEAR as much as I mind the sound of a mother repeatedly hissing or yelling at the child. I try to remember this when my own children are whining or crying.

What I hate about Walmart is that nearly every time I go, things ring up too high. Any store is going to have a few mis-rings, some too high and some too low, but Walmart's are ALWAYS in THEIR favor. They also do things like price the "30% more free!" bottle higher than the regular bottle.

I pay a little more (although not always--or sometimes it's a matter of 2 cents) and shop at Target and a local grocery store, but I go to Walmart like you do: about once a month to buy the things I can only buy there. There are a few grocery items we use that ONLY they have, and a few things they're so much lower on that I can't resist. But I resent it every time I go, and I get out of there as soon as possible.

coffee stained said...

I can't stand the Mart. The two stores near us are downright scary-- they are smaller stores without full grocery sections and both always seem to have pallets of product blocking the already narrow aisles. The other day I visited one of them to pick up a few items and the greeter actually hit me down with a shopping cart almost knocking me down and she didn't even apologize! They also never have enough people working the checkouts, so waiting in line is pretty much expected (and the biggest reason I don't shop there much).

The one thing I can say in their favor is that they seem to have stepped up the style and quality of their children's fashions, making it almost worthwhile to brave going there every once in a while.

Jess said...

I can't stand WalMart and Adam made me ake him there after we left your house last night so that we could get him a stupid bolt and lightbulb to finish his project in the garage. It is quite the circus freak-show.

I just can't stand the WalMart parking lots, they scare me. It's like you have to run for your life to keep from getting hit by someone. Plus, I'm lazy and hate parking two miles away from the entrance. This is why I tend to hit-up the local K-Mart if I need toiletries and the such. There is never anyone there, so the parking lot is empty, and although prices are slightly higher, I can shop without having to see all of the worst specimens of the human species.

Mommy Daisy said...

I have a love/hate relationship with that store. I just can't stay away. The prices are better on certain things. I don't (usually) get groceries at the bigger store, but there are smaller items that I pick up. I hate all the people in there, waiting in line, the sometimes incompetant employees, and parking a mile outside the store.

Why, oh why, can't they put a Target in this town?? I would love to have one! I probably wouldn't touch Walmart if we had Target.

T with Honey said...

One of the reasons I am so happy about my daughter potty training is no more trips to the Mart for White Cloud diapers!
The last two trips we encountered the 'cashiers more interested in talking than doing their job.' Both times they handed us all but one of our shopping bags. The first trip we didn't discover the missing bag until we got home and it was too late. The second trip the cashier glared at me out of the corner of her eye as I checked the contents of my grocery cart against the receipt. Boy did her face change when I said "Excuse me but I think you still have some of my bags." Amazingly I think the fact that I stayed calm and polite made her feel even worse about the situation... she apologized.

Devan said...

I don't love WM, but I still shop there. It's close, it's cheap and ours is actually pretty nice. I don't see many scary people there shopping.
HOWEVER, the cashiers suck. If it weren't for the self-check out lanes I would have stopped going there long ago.
Oh, and you need help with something? Don't bother. You might as well buy it somewhere else.
There's a reason their uniforms say "can I help you?" on the back. It's because you only see them runing in the opposite direction.