HellMart Number 1

HELLMART: Living in the Land of Rollback Prices

Part 1: Cleanse, Fold, Manipulate

 

            It will come to pass, in the End Times, that Evil Robots will ascend to world domination and humanity will be crushed under the stainless steel-toed combat boots of the Army of the Apocalypse. And you can’t say you weren’t warned. Arnold Schwarzenegger—Republican Stormtrooper and Governor of Kali-fornia—has been telling us for years that he’d be back. And EVERYONE knows that, under his rugged Aryan Masterrace physique, Ahnold is a goddam machine. But somehow he was reprogrammed to take pity on us…and he’s been trying to sneak warnings into his movies for years.

            Despite the veiled hints about the Sky Falling, the enemy is amongst us, even now. That’s right, it’s WalMart. In case you haven’t put two and three together (the answer is 4), Sam Walton was once a red-blooded patriotic American from Arkansas, much like Bill Clinton. But whereas Clinton used his power to bang white trash Mary Kay saleswomen and sodomize chubby interns with illegally-obtained Cuban cigars, Sam Walton built a billion-dollar empire on cheap Chinese-made crap that no one really needs (but we all buy anyway). As if this wasn’t enough for one man’s lifetime, Walton was secretly aware of the conspiracy to build Evil Robots to take over the world. In fact, it has been theorized that WalMart existed to encourage the world wide consumption of cheap consumer products in an attempt to create shortages in certain components that would otherwise have gone into building Evil Robots. See how that all dovetails neatly together?

            But eventually, Sam Walton died…and his family—who found their hundred-kazillion dollar inheritances weren’t quite enough for the hardcore spending they were planning on—sold out to the Overlords of Evil, who run WalMart today.

            So this new series is all about unmasking WalMart for the evil, vacuous, Temple to Bloated American Consumerism that it is…kinda. Really, it’s just an excuse for me to make fun of people. Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it.

 

            Last night I went to WalMart (as usual) to buy some paper towels. And (as usual) I drove home numb and drooling, with three plastic bags stuffed with crap I don’t need, didn’t want, and can’t recall buying. It’s that damn WalMart radio they play late at night, to keep their human slaves—er, I meant “Associates”—working productively and quietly. I have no proof, but I’d be willing to bet the WalMart Radio version of Springsteen’s “Born To Run” is chock full ‘o backwards masking and subliminal messages: BUYBUYBUYBUYBUYBUYBUYBUYBUY.

            The only thing I DO recall is the 10-Items Or Less checkout line. Because I could boot some black tar heroin and chew up a mouthfull of Xanax and nothing will ever abate the rage I feel when I have to stand in line behind a couple of assholes who think “10-Items Or Less” means “However Fucking Many You Want”.

            Now, I’m not anally retentive about this rule. I don’t count the number of items in somebody’s buggy and whine if they’ve got 14 things instead of 10. But when your buggy (that’s southern for “shopping cart” by the way) is stuffed so full of Buy One Get One Free Massengill SpringMist douche, peanut butter cups, Great Value brand Jell-O, and Enteric-Coated Aspirin…well, expect a hard looking-at. And on the ride home I’m going to call you all sorts of colorful names, and probably talk about your mama as well.

            During this wonderful experience, the buggy-in-question was being pushed by two young teenaged mothers, one black and one white. Strangely, the black girl had a southern accent while the white girl was trying so hard to sound ghetto I could barely understand her. One of the babies was screaming at the top of his lungs: “Doo-doo! Doo-doo! Doo-doo!” The mother completely ignored the kid even though the couple behind me couldn’t even carry on a conversation because of the kid’s volume.

            Now, I’m not down with child abuse generally, but I will be honest. I wanted to stuff a dirty diaper in that yap and tell the kid to pipe down. I tried counting slowly backwards from 10 to calm myself, picturing a lovely, crystal-blue waterfall, and nothing but the distant sounds of ocean waves lapping softly on some sugary-sand beach…

            I get to 4 and the kids jacks his volume up even louder. Are they feeding him crystal meth in his bottle? But the mothers aren’t paying the kid any attention. I’m giving them hard stares and trying to work up the nerve to say something when the woman behind me gets the balls first:

            “Excuse me? Miss?” she says. The two teenage moms in front of me don’t seem to hear. Probably deaf from hearing the kid scream all day. I turn around, and notice the woman’s husband has the same murderous gleam in his eyes I no doubt have in mine.

            “Excuse me, Miss?” the woman says louder.

            The teens turn, glaring.

            “I think the child needs to go potty…” she smiles disarmingly. Just a suggestion, from one mom to another, hon.

            The white girl explodes:

            “You tryin to tell me how to raise my baby? You better step off, bitch!”

            The woman’s smile falters. She looks scared. Maybe these girls are in an All-Girl Street Gang like on Oprah, her look says. Are they going to jump me?

            Still the little loudmouth kid is yelling, even louder, now: “Doo-doo! Doo-doo! DOO-DOO!”

            I just want to buy my consumer items and go home. I don’t want to wind up on Oprah or the evening news.

            The guy in front of the teens finishes his business. The WalMart lady asks the girls if she can help them, totally nonplussed. Her eyes says she’s seen it all.

            “This bitch tellin me that!” one teen is teling the other, incredulous. “She best step off or…”

            The kid stops, suddenly, leaving a vacuum of quiet.

            Then the smell hits me.

            “Doo-doo?” the kid asks me, grinning through his grubby mouth.

            “No,” I tell him. “Shit.”

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