On Saturday I gathered some courage, and voluntarily walked into a Wal-Mart. During the middle of the day. On a weekend.
I only go there to buy contact lens solution, and usually do so on my way home from work — at 2 a.m. But I’d procrastinated myself into a desperate situation, and was forced to visit during daylight hours.
Super-fat or super-skinny seemed to be a requirement for entry. If nothing else, that place makes me feel healthy and vibrant. I’m like Jack LaLanne, circa 1975, inside a Wal-Mart store. Wow!
I bought toothpaste, as well, and what the hell?? Why so many different kinds? I stood before the Great Wall of Crest, my brain struggling to make sense of it all. How many varieties of that shit are in production? Seriously. It must be more than a hundred.
Finally I just grabbed something at random, and moved on. Too much to process… Hopefully it’s not seafood/mint, or something. I have no idea. Choice is a great thing. But when it makes your brain explode, it might have been taken too far.
And it was a beehive of questionable activity in that place. People taking the caps off deodorant and sniffing it… fatasses on beeping carts… big mamas yelling at their gorgeling children (“Colt!”)… a man with a bandana around his head, eating a rotisserie chicken in the shampoo aisle…
If the contact lens solution wasn’t so much cheaper there, I could live Wal-Mart free. I have no blowhardy political objections to the place, it’s just demoralizing and sad. But not sad enough to make me pass up that three dollar savings. Hey, I never claimed to be the king of integrity…
I like Sam’s, though. The $40 per year membership fee does a pretty good job of discouraging the Jerry Springer set. “Forty dollars?! Sheeeeeit, for the privilege of shopping there? I don’t think so. That would buy three 30-packs of Natty Light!”
What’s your relationship with Wal-Mart? Toney shops there, but without my involvement. And I do an every-other-month guerrilla strike on the toiletry section, usually in the dark of night. What about you?
I know it’s almost impossible for some people, but please try to keep the lectures to a minimum. Sheesh. This ain’t the Huffington Post.
Have a great day, my friends.
See ya again tomorrow.
Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!
Our local Wall of Mart is disgusting.
The aisles are too narrow, there are huge carts of shit waiting to be stocked on the shelves, other shoppers are blocking my progress, and the floors are dirty.
Additionally, the employees look like they just rolled out of bed with a hangover and went straight to work without even combing their hair.
Overall, just nasty.
go to http://www.peopleofwalmart.com you will find some of your kin walking around.
Billy Joel says
I just disovered a MalMart in my city that no one seems to know about yet. The store used to be a K-Mart until recently, but the last time I drove past the property, it had become a Wal Mart. There were only a few cars in the parking lot, however. On a weekend day no less. Is it possible that no one knows that this store even exists?
JR in sammamish says
Bellevue? that is only a food store…
I once counted over 20 varieties of Oreo cookies on one WalMart wall.
Phantom Railfan says
Wal-Mart blows. The ones I’ve been to have been filthy, poorly organized, staffed by surly individuals, and only infrequently do they offer decent prices on items I might actually need. I’ll bet I haven’t been in one in a couple years, now that I think about it. Don’t see the attraction at all, yet I know people who treat a visit to one as a major outing…
Our local Walmart is always a disaster. Most shelves are empty and everything else is scattered all over the place. There is not one isle that is in order. Garbage thrown around the store. There is McDonald’s in the store so you will find half eaten hamburgers in between shampoo bottles. Milkshake cups sitting on the floor. Staff is scarce and no one is helpful. There is always a line of cars parked in the fire lane because everyone is too lazy to walk to a parking spot and when you find parking, there is usually a stray shopping cart blocking the spot. I avoid Walmart at all costs.
I’ve been in Wal-Marts, but mostly in rural areas. The shoppers there are the same people you see around town, tourists and locals. Easy to pick out who’s who.
There isn’t a Wal-Mart near my home and the town is a bit too snooty to allow one. Draws the riff-raff. We’re a Target kind of town.
And a Costco town as well.
My chaufer takes the Mercedes there (it’s the winter beater) to buy my caviar in bulk.
As far as toothpaste goes, I have a dental hygenist on my household staff and she brushes my teeth morning and evening. She’s in charge of purchasing her own supplies on the household account.
We make the pilgrimage to Sam’s because they have the best prices on salt for the water softener. But I get Beloved to do that during the week because its friggin bedlam on a weekend. The Walmarts in the northeast are scary. The ones in Florida seem much better.
I haven’t physically graced a Wal-Mart 10 years or more. I will, however, order two pairs of stretchy jeans for my dad for Christmas online from them every year. For some reason, it’s the only place I can find short inseam, big waist, stretchy old man jeans. Fancy that.
We rotate between Target, Wal Mart and Meijer for our weekly shopping trips. The Wal Mart carries a few things we need the other two don’t, and it’s closest to our house. Thus we have to take the plunge every couple weeks.
However this is kind of a college town, so there are always lots of student types in the store. Not too many peopleofwalmart.com candidates here.
Billy Joel says
I am a Wal-Martyr
Billy Joel says
Ich bin ein Berliner.
Oh no: you’re a jelly doughnut???
Help, I’m a cop!
WB in OH says
I hit the Wal-Mart about every two months. Stock up on toiletries, jumbo rolls of TP and paper towels. I’m not even sure if I’m saving money, it’s just how I’ve been doing it for so long.
The store I shop in, sounds a lot nicer than some mentioned here. As for hollering hicks, I usually go on a Sunday morning, so I imagine the worst of them are still curled up in the double wide.
I don’t care one way or the other, I go there sometimes. I do enjoy people watching there sometimes. One time a few years ago I noticed a lady walking up the meat isle with a soaking wet arm, in her basket was two live lobsters, flopping around. Guess she just reached in and grabbed them out of the aquarium. As I walked by she was bitching at her husband for dropping a package of “burger meat” atop one of them. I love that sort of thing.
I am equal distance between two Walmarts that we refer to as the redneck Walmart and the ghetto Walmart. I frequent them both depending on the day and time. The redneck one is smaller and the town of Ashland Virginia will not let them advertise so only locals seem to venture in. It is walking distance from a trailer park thus the redneck reference. I prefer the other one as it is much better in terms of merchandise. My wife refuses since she witnessed a theft of a big screen tv and then a fight in the parking lot during the arrest. But a cop friend of mine says there are times when security out numbers the shoppers at that location; in 13 years I have had mostly good shopping experiences.
John Smith says
Back in the day, we’d drive to the WalMart in Waco, TX when we had a good buzz and a rainy Saturday to kill. Definitely not enough chlorine in that gene pool.
The other place to go was the WalMart at I35 and 183 in Austin about 2am Saturday morning. Dat b a whole nutter kind o crazy-ass shee-ite goin’ on up in deh.
I’ll trip in there 2 or 3 times a year, tops. (My wife goes there far more frequently – mostly for groceries.) They have cheap bird seed; and I’ve got 4 birds that go through a LOT of seed. I’ll hit the deoderant aisle too – and maybe one thing or two that’s cheap in the pharmacy.
Last – at Easter time they have those marshmallow eggs that come in the styrofoam cartons – just like real eggs. F**k, it’s Easter-time now; guess I’ll be headin’ out.
Stephanie C says
I refuse to shop at Brawl Mart for many reasons. The majority of reasons have already been listed above, so I will digress…
All the stuff that sends people to Wal-Mart is delivered to me in bulk every 2 months via Amazon Subscribe & Save. For some reason I’m really self conscious about buying toilet paper… so it started there. Now I have TP, Dog Food, Tooth Paste, Deodorant, Razor Blades, Cleaning Supplies, etc all subscribed to by Amazon. You should check it out.
WB in OH says
Amazon is going to run the mom and pop Wal Marts right out of business.
Jersey Girl in PA says
Stopped going to the closest Wal-Mart since I don’t pack heat and thought it wasn’t worth it for 99 cent tuna. Happen to have breakfast early Sunday near Wal-Mart and husband mentioned they had charcoal real cheap. As others mentioned, thought our chances were improved on a Sunday morning before 9:00. Happy to say we made it out safe and sound.. First time in over a year.
I do not, nor will not, enter a Wal Mart due to the fact that they have the worst stocking procedures I’ve ever seen in an actual store. Items that are in one section for 3 years suddenly are in another. Floors that are as black as Satan’s heart, bathrooms that reek of body leavings, etc. At least the one that’s close by doesn’t have a food “court” anymore–now there’s the return center and a host of surly customers and workers.
When this this happen? I seem to recall the early 90s-era Wal Mart being pretty decent–of course there was more competition–Phar-Mor, Drug Emporium, etc., so maybe that was it. Now that they’ve run most everyone out of business, why bother to improve?
I go to WalMart, mostly for stuff I’ve gotten too annoyed at buying at the grocery. Philadelphia cream cheese can run over $4 at my local Safeway. Two packs for 3.78 at Wally World. Kosher salt, sugar for jam/canning season, etc. I avoid weekends, like others, but I generally find it fine for this sort of stuff. There is one near me even getting into organic grocery items. Locally grown, grass fed beef, etc.
I can’t stand The Wally; let’s just leave it at that. Two or three years ago they opened one very near my house, but somehow I have no problem driving past it to get to Target, or Costco, or K Mart.
The Kuban says
Our local Walmart is fantastic. It’s always clean, the people are always friendly and I can usually get in and out very quickly. I’ve even dared to brave the crowds on Black Friday (gasp)! Every other Walmart in the surrounding area is a dive. We have nicknames for most of them – Mexi-mart, Hick-mart. etc. I used to shop at Walmart weekly but it’s just too much trouble to drive there. It takes a full 12-13 minutes. Shoot, I can be at Kroger in 2 mins, tops. My time is very valuable.
This nightmare inducing ear worm was filmed during business hours at the WalMart closest to my house. http://youtu.be/WF0tkdhtIDA
My ex once watched a woman shake a fully formed turd out of her pant leg in the check out line and roll forward as if nothing happened. Nuff said?
Pardon my French.
The only way I survive that Walmart when I am desperate for something I can’t get at Walgreens (wine, liquor, god bless Louisiana’s lax liquor laws) is if I wear in-ear headphones to block out everything.
So THAT’S where Miley learned to twerk….
Otis Day says
To get out without getting pissed off, I play the walmart game, which was posted right here on this website a long time ago. Walmartians can be funny if you view them in the right light – laugh AT them not with them!
not politically correct at all, but if you people cared about that – you wouldn’t be on Jeff’s website!
watch for the guy with the herman munster shoe!
I, like adam, above, also buy everything I need from Amazon. I am almost a complete shut in when it comes to toiletries and household necessities. However, about once every other month or so I get an urge to spend some cash and will go to a large Target in San Mateo, CA that I found. The place is huge, with tons of space and even when it is busy it seems laid back. Since I moved to the Bay Area I haven’t seen a WalMart. And that is absolutely fine with me. 🙂
Saturday or Sunday morning before 9am is the time to hit the Walmart, before the masses start waking up, and before the churchies invade.
Weekdays during the day its just too crowded, mostly with retired folk wandering around. I avoid daytimes at all costs.
Phil Jett says
Haven’t been in years and don’t see myself going. I have a Kroger Marketplace within 3 miles of the house, Walmart and Target are right near each other about 7 miles away. If I’m that far out I will go to Target.
I too buy about 90% of my non-food purchases from Amazon. I just have to try and remember to use the link here more often.
The Divine Miss E says
My sister correctly described our local Wal-Mart as “one big trailer park”. I go maybe once a year, usually not on purpose. I already made my trip for the year, when I was with someone else who needed to make a stop. I went in with her since there was one thing I did need to buy that day, garlic bread, and they… didn’t have any. WTF? How could they not carry garlic bread? I have completely given up on them.
Friends, I’ll have you know I live in the heart of Wal country North West Arkansas. I DO NOT work for them. Wal isnt the only big company here, we have Tyson and JB Hunt trucking. Lots of money floating around here. I promise you that there is a super Wal every 3 miles and throw in the Neighborhood Market (Wals foray into grocery stand alones) and you cant avoid them. The one I frequent is a model that gets changed, shuffled up quite often so I cant relate to a shitty Wal. I do think is shitty when I cant find something because they have tried a new floor plan!!!AGAIN!!!!!
I forgot: the people of Wal Mart exist here too. Ive seen some weird shit. Full body shudder.
Billy Joel says
Did I mention that I am too good for Wal-Mart?
Practical Parsimony says
So, I am one of “the fatasses on a beeping cart.” Thanks a lot. That is how the employees treat me. Well, most are really nice, but that 2% makes me want to cry.
I go to Walmart because the prices are cheap. I have two BAs and an MA and many courses beyond that. Walking is a problem. Walmart has carts; Aldi doesn’t. But, WM will price match any store in a 60 mile radius. We are in a small town, but I can get prices from Publix, WinnDixie, Kroger, Shop a Lot, ShopRite, Piggly Wiggly, Target, and several local stores. I don’t like doing this, but going to many stores is a problem–walking and no carts. Some of these stores are too far away.
Walmart has an immaculate store. The produce dept is huge and carries many organic fruits and vegetables. It is a Superstore with grocery and car repair dept.
I use coupons with the price-matching and stretch my food dollar. For years when my granddaughter was in children’s clothing, I bought garments for $1 and mailed a boxful to NY from AL and still saved money. Even now, cute clothes for a teen are cheap on sale.
Thankfully, most employees and customers don’t look down on me for my condition. But, I can tell the ones who are disgusted with me. After surgery, I will remember those employees who make me miserable when I shop. I was a woman in fairly good shape who had injuries and got fat! No, I am not one who is wider than the cart, just overweight.
I’m a bi-weekly, 2 a.m. shopper too, for those few items no one else has or are just too expensive elsewhere, and here’s what gets me everytime. Back in the day (15, 20 years ago) if you went at 2 in the morning, there were maybe 3 or 4 other shoppers in the store. Now I go at 2 and there are whole FAMILIES in there, dragging their crying young kids around, yelling at them to shut up. What the #@$* do these assholes expect? Of course their kids are crying – it’s the middle of the damn night.
And here’s why: The EBT (Extended Benefits Transfer) (Welfare) occurs at midnight, and that’s when their debit cards get pumped up with money. They hit it at midnight, so they can get all the groceries they can get. Who’s gonna babysit? So they have to drag their kids along.
It says here – http://www.marketplace.org/topics/wealth-poverty/secret-life-food-stamp/secret-life-food-stamp – that 18% of the food stamp dollars issued in the US are spent at Wal-Mart. I’m no expert, but it looks legit.
lew in bama says
There are 4 Walmarts in our city: 3 supers and one not-so-super. 1 Super in a very nice neighborhood, 1 in what used to be a nice neighborhood, 1 in a sktechy area, and the smallest one, near me, is across the highway from a nice area and is lovingly referred to as the “ghetto” Walmart. I won’t go there at night at all, and during the day don’t like going without my husband. It’s dirty, old, small, and the avergae clientele is less than desirable. I’m not sure what neighborhood they all come from, because it’s certainly not the upper-mid-class area we live in across the highway.
It is on track to be replaced by a new super walmart on our side of the road, much to the dismay of all of us property owners who live over there.
What I find interesting is the marked difference in stocked items between the stores. The one in the really nice area of town has higher quality goods than the others.
Near one place I lived there was a sorry-ass Safeway like that. Sketchy neighborhood, shady clientele; produce or meat was third rate if the shelf wasn’t bare in the first place. We called it the Soviet Safeway.
Went to one recently. It was ok. Hit the subway inside. It was not okay. I got a pastrami sub. It was just reddish fat. Oh well.
We shop at Aldi’s and Giant Eagle for almost everything.
Average Jane says
Target’s store-brand contact lens solution is crazy cheap, comes in a two-pack and includes a new contact lens case. I highly recommend it – along with the more pleasant variety of shopper you’ll encounter there.