I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I hate going to Wal-Mart. I feel like some sort of snobby spoiled brat saying it out loud, but I truly have contempt for that place. Have you ever visited the site, peopleofwalmart.com? If you haven’t, you should hop on over there and check it out. But my disgust for Wal-Mart isn’t connected to the freak-show parade I witness every time I waltz through those automatic doors. It’s something else. It’s deeper than that. I swear.
So the first thing about Wal-Mart that makes it a heinous hell-hole is the fact that the parking lot is ALWAYS completely packed. If, by some stroke of discount-store-god’s hand, I find an open space close to the entry, it is inevitably defective. That is, some other genius has parked on the line, over the line, or precariously close to the line making it virtually impossible to open my door more than a sliver the size of an Olsen twin, thus resulting in great difficulty for me to extract my most precious passenger, Mr. E. Don’t even get me started about the PERFECT space near the door that is so littered with stray carts that I can’t even get near it. Wal-Mart: Strike one.
The second phenomenon that is an ABSOLUTE pet peeve of mine is the mayhem that surrounds the entrance and exit doors. What mayhem, you may be wondering? Well, apparently reading skills escape a large percentage of shoppers, as it NEVER fails that when I attempt to stroll through the ENTRANCE doors, some genius with a cart loaded down with Natural Light and economy sized toilet paper is shoving out the entrance doors. There is a clearly designated spot for people to leave the store. It is called the exit, people! Why can’t people simply go in the entrance and out the exit? It’s not a complicated procedure. No rocket science is involved, and yet when I’m coming in the entrance laden with a precious package in a snowsuit, I am the one who gets the “get the hell out of my way” glance from said genius exiting through MY entrance. Come on. Seriously? Strike two.
Once I finally make it through the ingress/egress debacle, I settle the snuggler in a cart and consult my list. But like a cheap hooker, Wal-Mart is showing EVERYTHING she’s got in order to entice me to buy, buy, buy! It’s not just a grocery store. It’s not just a pharmacy. It’s not just a hardware. It’s a SUPERCENTER, and it has the kind of charm to swindle cash out of my wallet that cheap hookers can only dreaaaaam of having. I buy food. I buy housewares. I buy entertainment. I buy magazines. I buy. I buy. I buy. Those appealing and cleverly placed displays really lure me in. Wal-Mart is to me what the sirens were to Odysseus. If you don’t get the reference, please report to ninth-grade and read the painful, long, and epic tale of Odysseus. 😉 Moneypit: Strike three.
Wal-Mart has three strikes already, and I haven’t even made it to the check out yet. Sixty-four aisles should whiz me out the exit/entrance mess in no time, except there are TWO check-out aisles open and four self-check lanes, two of which have blinking lights which can only mean one thing: customer assistance is needed. Strike three-point-five.
Twenty-six minutes later, I’ve finally paid the piper and loaded my $74 worth of purchases into two small bags. This is usually the part, on the walk from the check-out to the door, where I ponder aloud, ‘What the hell did I buy? I didn’t think I bought that much? Did she ring this up right?’ And that, my friends, is strike four.
Clearly I don’t understand the three-strike rule.