Do you know how sometimes you just know that you shouldn’t say what you want to say because there’s going to be a karmic retribution price tag that goes along with it? Well, this is one of those times. In a perfect world, I’d be kind and understanding and sensitive and accepting and non-judgmental of other people. As long as they’re not doing something strange with children or animals or anything widely regarded as criminal I usually grant them a wide berth. Live and let live and all that. Sorry, but I just have to say this and I’ll accept whatever karmic curveballs the Big Guy throws me.
This is about the denizens of Walmart. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favor of retail therapy, whether it’s Nordstroms, Macy’s, Home Depot or Walmart. I actually prefer Costco. I mean, check out the per-ounce price for soy sauce when you buy five gallons. Astonishing! Ah, but I digress.
A few weeks back I found myself in need of some late night provisions. Safeway, my usual source for such things was down a road that has been periodically closed for nighttime roadwork, so I elected to head to Walmart. I’d been to Walmart before, but only once or twice and always during daylight hours. During my previous forays to Walmart I had noted that I ran into no one I knew. I live in a relatively small town of 80,000 and I always run into someone I know at Costco or Safeway. Always.
I drove into the ample Walmart parking lot, secured my vehicle and walked in, scanning the aisles and absorbing the fluorescent ambiance. Nothing in the store was particularly odd, just the usual scattering of akimbo sales signs, crying babies and squawking speakers heralding specials and requests for assistance. What was odd were the people. Where did they come from? What were they doing here? Did they come in mass or singly? I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area on the fringes of Berkeley for over thirty years, so I was used to people marching to their own drummers; indeed marching to their own orchestras. This was different. And I can’t quite put my finger on what it was. I didn’t feel afraid or threatened. Trust me, I DID feel that way in Berkeley at times. No, it was something else. I felt that something had gone terribly wrong in the natural selection process. Maybe Darwin was wrong.
When I got home, with the provisions on my list and a large bag of bright orange marshmallow Circus Peanuts that was on sale, I remarked to my wife (as I was munching on a Circus Peanut). “I don’t mean to be elitist, but I don’t really think I need to make a late night run to Walmart again. Nothing we need can possibly be that important.”
Like I say, I’m sure some sort of karmic retribution is heading my way, but I just needed to get this off my chest. Oh, what brought this on? Someone sent me this link today http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/ That’s what brought this on. By the way, don’t be surprised if the link doesn’t work. The website seems to be a bit shaky/overloaded. Apparently I’m not the only one curious about these people.