In another nail in the coffin of hipster cred I used to possess, I buy things at Walmart. I’m still not happy that they take advantage of our government’s programs to maximize profits while exploiting employees, but there is a Wally World super close to my house, so convenience plus prices equals win.
(In today’s sign of growth, I spelled “convenience” correctly on the first try.)
Years ago, when I was 100% anti-Walmart, a dear friend, who happens to be a person of color, always shopped at Walmart. “The only color they see is green,” was his logic, which made sense since individual persons of color and members of marginalized groups often have stories of being discriminated against or followed in the smaller, mom and pop type shops. Yes, I’m generalizing, but ask your friends if they have a story if you doubt me.
I don’t know if I can say that I “like” Walmart, but it delivers. Where else can you run into the same white trash caricature mom and daughter combo on every swing through the grocery aisles who alternate “Living the dream” jokes on each pass? Where else will a dude tell you to, “High five your man” after he managed to tell you you look fit in a completely not creepy, not #metoo way? Grown-ups in pajamas? Check. Tweakers? Check. Grandma cashiers who call you “Baby”? Check. Young LDS missionaries, complete with ties and name tags, trying to decide whether or not to buy dessert this week? Check.
For the record, Jesus always wants you to have dessert.
On my last Wally World adventure, several food items were left un-purchased with the cashier, and when the manager came over to retrieve said items, his comment was, “You’ve got cold items on top of the hot,” as he pulled a bag of frozen vegetables off a rotisserie chicken.
As if she had the space to pile the items in any other way. It was already about Jenga in up in that 1’x1’.
“Guess someone will enjoy their botulism.”
I thought I said it in the voice in my mind, but when the manager fired back, “WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!” dramatically, I realized I used my inside muttering voice.
Also for the record, who selects a rotisserie chicken and doesn’t follow through at check-out? I’d be tossing other items to hit budget, but that’s just me. Tasty. Portable. Versatile.
“I was kidding,” I said slowly, wondering if making food poisoning jokes at Walmart is the new shoe bomb in the TSA line.
He gave me the evil eye as he skulked away to some secret room behind the bank or the optometrist or the nail salon or the adoption center or whatever else they’re selling at the Walmart now days.
Was he throwing the contaminated bird out or was he saving it to reclaim later?
I formed my opinion when, as I hit the PIN code for my purchase, Mr. Food Safety walked past, slowly pulling his 99 cent comb through what was left of his hair.