Saturday, January 08, 2005

Lucy in the Sky with Walmart

While venturing through the aisles at Walmart today, I was greeted by an employee offering me a single colored “Smartie” looking candy in a small paper sample cup. To execute this task, she was dressed in a pearl white lab coat, body apron, hair net, thin latex gloves, and a look of concentrated repulsion in her eye as if she were serving a colony of lepers.

How tempting do those candies sound, eh? Fuck, it was all I could do but fight past the oncoming surge of hungry mindless Walmart shoppers as they all maneuvered for their free paper cup sample! That woman could have been serving little samples of radioactive waste and these people would not only have scarfed it down unquestioningly like a starving dog, but come back for seconds as well.

But what is the Biological Scientist getup for? Are they concerned that I might be harboring some highly contagious disease that may possibly get transmitted to the other Walmart shoppers and trigger some serious infectious breakout where the military will have to initiate Martial Law, quarantine the entire store, and declare Aisle 7 as a dangerous ‘Hot Zone’ or something? Or, are the employees working here at Walmart so personally foul and unkempt that they are required to wear entire space suits while serving their samples in order to comply with the local Board of Health & Hygiene and prevent the mass spread of bacteria, germs, minimum wage, and the omnipresent Roll Back Sale?

Somebody should be insulted, shouldn't they? Somebody is definitely being patronized here!

I swear, each time go to Walmart it becomes that much closer to falling down Alice's rabbit hole. First, mad looking employees are offering me colored candy pills in Dixie cups, and then I'm smoking a Coleman brand hookah with a caterpillar in a pair of $7.99 flannel pajama pants in the Men’s Wear section of the store. Lewis Carol would no doubt be plagued with terrifying psychadelic product nightmares if ever he should step foot into any neighborhood Walmart.

Who needs to take drugs when you can just go to Walmart and achieve the same state of fantastical euphoric bliss? Just trying to make your way through the store to purchase socks is like taking two hits of strong bathtub LSD. I’ve had incredible mind-expanding experiences just shopping for shoelaces at Walmart. It's far trippier than anything I ever experimented with in University! Christ, I half expect to encounter enormous hammers scissoring their way down the store aisle ways in procession to a droning Pink Floyd soundtrack whenever I spend more than 15 minutes in the store.

Future generations of consumers will be checking themselves into Walmart Anonymous programs in order to curb their escalated Walmart addictions. Can you picture addressing that "Circle of Trust" at one of those 'WA' meetings?

"Hi, my name is Terry and I'm a Walmartaholic. It started out innocently at first as a recreational pleasure, something to do on a Saturday afternoon. But soon I started shopping three or four times a day at Walmart. Pretty soon, I had a full-blown Walmart addiction and I kept going back shopping for everything from crossbows to chewing gum. Sometimes, when I had maxed out all my cards, I would just come in for a quick fix to use the bathroom or even just the 25 cent novelty machine in the entranceway."

Walmart is an enormous cultural vacuum that sucks the very essence of smart consumerism and modest subsistent living right out of your soul the very second you walk through those mechanical sliding doors! With each additional accumalated minute that you spend within its red, white and blue walls, your intelligence level drops one whole IQ point. Your brain begins to slowly liquify.

You could have a Masters PhD in Nuclear Physics when you first enter into the belly of the beast, but by the time you’ve located and secured your precious purchase for whatever low-low price that was advertised on the cardboard sales sign in black magic marker, you’re sporting an oversized ‘Goonies’ lunchbox, talking to yourself in public, and racing for the coveted “Priority Seating” seat at the front of the bus behind the driver.

Walmart is killing the intelligent human race and our collective conscience. Turn on, tune in, and drop off your brains and credit cards at the counter before you exit the building. Go forth into the world; breed, multiply, and consume. Feed the machine. Take the candy sample.

Walmart will be waiting.


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