Aug 14, 2006

On the Road to WalMart

My office is nestled between a municipal bus transfer station and an inner-city WalMart. Not a Super WalMart, just a plain old WalMart, really old. The patrons of this WalMart are largely lower middle-class folks or workers from the area. There are also quite a number of transients that frequent our WalMart. I go there because they have a Subway sandwich shop in the building and it is convenient for morning coffee and lunch. Plus occasionally the lovely Mrs. Sneed will ask me to get her some red cinnamon hard candy they sell there. Beyond that not much in WalMart interests me. We are situated on the north edge of one of the highest crime areas of our fair city, so there is often police action in the vicinity. Beyond the river, just to our north, begins the "Foothills", a much richer area. The residents of the Foothills probably have people to go to WalMart for them. Being in the footpath from the bus station to WalMart provides some unusual viewing. It is amazing how hard some people have to work to do stuff we take for granted. For most of us it is as simple as jumping into the car and heading off to shop when we please. A lot of folks have it much harder. I saw a one-armed guy today smoking a cigarette while pushing a shopping cart loaded with merchandise toward the bus station. The cart kept veering to the right and he kept fighting it with his one arm, periodically pausing to take the cigarette from his mouth. He was being accompanied by a short rotund woman who was moving at glacial speed. About every ten feet he turned and shouted at her to hurry it up or they would miss the bus. She seemed unperturbed by his shouts. When I came out of the WalMart with my lunch today there was a couple getting out of a cab. Who takes a cab to WalMart? Actually, I see this a lot and based on my observation, it is mostly the people who shouldn't. These two people looked as though they didn't have 2 nickels to rub together and here they were, taking a cab instead of the bus. I would bet you that they spent $30 to get to and from the WalMart. The bus is a buck each way. I swear I am not making this up. There is a Best Buy electronics store down the block and last Christmas I saw a couple loading a TV, still in the box, into the trunk of a cab. The next day I saw the same people in front of Best Buy taking the TV, now in an opened box, out of a cab. Apparently, they were returning the set. I swear. That reminds me of the time in Chicago when when the lovely Mrs. Sneed and I were taking the bus back from the Field Museum. It was a really hot Chicago summer day. At a stop a really heavy guy starts throwing boxes, maybe about ten or so, onto the bus. He finally heaved himself on the bus and began to push the boxes down the aisle. He collapsed into the seat across from us and said, "It is a bitch moving on the bus." That's a guy who uses the resources available. We also have a woman that passes by all the time in her motorized wheelchair. I've seen her in WalMart several times. She wears a headband, a tanktop and shorts. Her legs stick straight out in front of her. She looks like an inclusive Rambo action figure. I don't know how she souped-up this chair but I swear it goes about 25 miles per hour. She screams down the sidewalk and pedestrians had better beware because she isn't yielding. In the store she cuts down the speed some, but not much. Plus she is really mean. I sometimes see two old women who are covered in tattoos. Not just any tattoos. One has her upper arm covered with alien-related stuff. She has tiny flying saucers, an alien with a big head and giant eyes, and the words "Area 51". Maybe she is Art Bell's mom. The other arm has Disney characters, including Mickey as Merlin the Magician and all three of Donald Duck's nephews. Her sidekick has a bunch of leg tattoos of a similar type, in addition to some on the arms. Very odd. They always have on shorts and sleeveless tops, so I am forced to stare. I'm often impolite that way. The various dopeheads, drunks, petty criminals and assorted knuckleheads have figured out that they can grab merchandise and run out the garden department door with impunity. Hank, the world's oldest WalMart greeter, can only stand and thank them for shopping at WalMart as they whiz by. Having the bus station in close proximity makes for a convenient getaway. And of course we have the freakishly tall, old doofus in the ill-fitting clothing... Wait, that's me, never mind. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong and sometimes just full of it. Tag:

1 comment:

Kurt said...

We had parents at our school who brought their kids in a cab, and they were always the ones that shouldn't.