I have a love-hate relationship with Walmart. Most days I think of it as the seventh circle of hell, but it's hard to avoid a place where you can buy peanut butter and fishing supplies on sale. You can even get your car worked on in most Walmarts now.
And of course, how can I completely dislike a place that gives us gems like this?
World's greatest mullet courtesy of peopleofwalmart.com
The worst thing about Walmart is that it's ALWAYS busy. Doesn't matter if I go at midnight or eight a.m., there's a slew of people and every single one of them has a mission to slow me down as much as possible.
But every time I tell myself I'm not shopping there any more, I get sucked back in. It's hard to avoid the place when it's got the cheapest decent-quality groceries in town, not to mention school supplies that won't cost both arms and a leg.
And it's always entertaining. I made a sojourn to the House of Misery yesterday, and Grace and I were treated to a mother telling her kids (I'm guessing they were between the ages of six and ten) to shut the f*ck up. Then we got Subway. Lovely, isn't it?
Seventh circle of hell.
But it's got everything I need! Groceries, drugs (legal, of course), household stuff. And that's not where they get you. They get you with the clothes. And the bedding. And the linen. And the bathroom decor. The toy section. The kitchen goodies that no one needs but we all want. Walmart stuffs its pockets by having all the necessities and then heaping temptation after temptation on us. What's a materialistic society to do?
Spend money, of course.
Yet another goodie from peopleofwalmart.com. Poor kid.
Remember South Park's hilarious episode Something Walmart This Way Comes? Where the big chain came in and knocked out the small businesses, and everyone, especially Randy Marsh, became obsessed with the place? The parents went out and shopped at all hours of the night spending a ton of money just because they could. As hysterical as the episode was, the theme was spot on. We all do it. Walmart and its cheap prices allow us to gorge on material items we probably wouldn't purchase otherwise.
Walmart shows no signs of slowing down in this economy. With American's wallets tighter than ever, their stores on just getting busier. Steak? Check. Light bulbs? Check. Corkboard? Check. New tires? Check. Diapers? Check.
And don't get me started on the clearance aisle. Just like Randy Marsh and the other parents of South Park, we get sucked into buying junk we don't need from there all the time. Last week my hubby and were strolling through, and I picked up a set of greeting cards I'll never use. He got some electronic do-dad that'll probably work twice and then crap out. And we wonder where our money goes!
Walmart has its advantages. I've been grateful for their cheap prices many times. Yet they're squashing small-town America. Mom and Pop stores are dying. Locals feel bad deserting the stores they grew up with but can't resist the opportunity to save money.
Big business at its finest.
This picture's for you, Catie Rhodes.
If you've got the time, here's Matt Stone and Trey Parker's three minute plus commentary on the episode Something Walmart This Way Comes. Hilarious (cursing warning) and great social commentary.
What's your local Walmart like? Any horror stories to share? What things do you get suckered into buying that you don't need?