Wal-Mart. Depending on your shopping needs and political slant it can be a savior to some consumers or a thorn in the side of small business owners. Yes you can save money by consuming at the big box outlet, but do you really live better?
In Seattle most people I know frown upon even setting foot in Sam Walton's brain child. They believed that doing so is a sin of the highest consumer order and you were promoting a corporation that worshiped the dark lord Satan. It was as if they believed the board of directors were a bunch of neo-Nazis hell bent on keeping the populace poor by paying a slaves wage and keeping their employees on food stamps. Wal-Mart is a fascist cult that's after your children.
While I agreed with a lot of this sentiment I found it hilarious that every single one of them would shop at places like Target, Costco, and Fred Meyer without feeling an ounce of guilt.
In Texas Wal-Mart is viewed somewhat differently. So popular is the store you could drive 20 minutes in any direction and run smack into one. Ma and pa culture is not the norm in suburban Dallas. Big box is where it's at.
So one day my car battery started to die and I asked Kelly for recommendation on where I could get a new one. In Seattle I always brought my business to Les Schwab, but sadly they don't have any located here. She told me Wal-Mart had good prices and offered a great three year warranty on batteries.
In an almost self deprecating manner I decided to head down to the nearest Wal-Mart and purchase a car battery. They offered free installation so I gave them my keys and did some grocery shopping. See I've never been in one of their stores that even had produce, so this was a new experience for me.
I go down the aisles and check off items off the grocery list given to me by Kelly. Nothing of consequence ensued until I was done and went to check on my car. They were very busy in automotive and asked me to have a seat and wait.
The door greeter didn't have a lot going on and decided to engage me in conversation about the weather on that humid day. I smiled and kept talking to the friendly chap, but then the discussion suddenly went sideways.
He asked me if I knew a lot about 9-11. I told him I was familiar with the events that took place.
Now lets review. I'm at a Wal-Mart sitting with a cart full of groceries talking to a door greeter who obviously was starved for human engagement. When he asked about my knowledge of world events that happened almost ten years ago you'd think I'd immediately know that this guy was a bit of a nut job and claim I was from Guam and fake an epileptic seizure so I could at least get him to shut up. Next time I'll start slapping myself screaming "SNAKES" over and over again.
He went on about how 9-11 was an inside job and tried to convince me by giving me all sorts of 'evidence' about how the twin tower collapse was a result of a controlled demolition. I listened for a while, until he started on the subject of United 93 and how it didn't crash in the field. I stopped him right there and told him his theory personally disgusted me. Many people died on that plane by engaging in heroic acts and to think anything otherwise was extremely low. I went on about how his evidence was crap and anyone with a hint of knowledge of steel, chemistry, or aviation would find all this laughable. He asked me to prove his theory otherwise, but I reminded him that anyone with a middle school education in civics would understand that the burden of proof is in the hands of the accuser and pointed him to some resources that debunk this nonsense.
It actually turned into an engaging debate that I think both of us enjoyed. I'd like to think both of us learned something, but in the land of Alex Jones you never know. Like the JFK assassination many cannot accept simple people somehow circumvented the greatest intelligence network in the world.
So that was my adventure at Wal-Mart. I didn't see any strange folk dressed in manners that may get them arrested, but I did have to shower afterwards.
"There are going to be some people who never want Wal-Mart. That's OK." - Lee Scott