My love for Wal-Mart has been well-documented. I make no bones about it – I love the joint, and I’m not ashamed to sport the finest of WM gear. But today, I had a negative epiphany about ol’ Wally World (“negative epiphany”? Negpiphany? I should be working for Webster’s, for real). As I was walking through the Star Trek sliding door, I removed the clip-on shades I had attached to my glasses, thinking to myself “I better put these away, ’cause I bought ’em here, and I know they’ll think a brother stole ’em. As I put them into my pocket, I looked down at what I had on me, and did a quick mental inventory:

  • Shirt – purchased at Wal-Mart
  • Shorts – purchased at Wal-Mart
  • Socks – purchased at Wal-Mart
  • Shoes – purchased at Foot Locker (I was out in public. I left the Wal-Mart shoes at home)
  • Boxers – purchased at Wal-Mart
  • Clip-on shades – purchased at Wal-Mart
  • Glasses – not purchased at Wal-Mart. C’mon. I go to a REAL eye doctor, not someone who wears a blue smock and eats lunch in the employee break room with Darla and Benitra, the snaggle-toothed cashier with a bad weave and a matching attitude.
  • Belt – no belt. Draw tie. Wal-Mart shorts, remember?
  • Watch – Clemson University Swiss Army watch. No Wal-Mart here, baby.
  • Wallet – purchased at Wal-Mart
  • Keys – several purchased at Wal-Mart
  • Haircut – not purchased at Wal-Mart, but the clippers I use to cut my hair and trim my beard WERE purchased at Wal-Mart

This was a sad, sad inventory, and yet, I still feel no shame. If one-stop shopping is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

Apparently, today was Ex-Con Day, given the type of clientele I witnessed today. Not that the general Wal-Mart shopper is the epitome of high society – hell, I can use myself as an example of that – but today, every biker, greaser, prison tattooed, long-haired, denim vest-wearin’, bad pedicure-havin’, migrant worker-lookin’, wallet chain-totin’, circle of chewing tobacco in the back pocket havin’, busted grill wearin’, bottle blonde with black and grey roots sportin’ member of local high society decided to investigate the low prices today. Guess it was payday (otherwise known as “payroll day at the liquor store I just robbed”). I was perfectly Wal-Mart jonx in my red t-shirt and khaki shorts. so much so that 3 people asked me to help them with something. When I explained that I need cash up front to provide services, they shuffled off to Electronics. Punks. I hope their buggy tips over.

Someone please explain why I’ve seen so many young Latino kids, little kids around 3 or 4 years old, with large gold chains around their necks, containing pendants with (I presume) their names in script. What’s that all about? Please, someone hip me to this, ’cause in the checkout today, I swear I thought the 4 year old sitting in the buggy ahead of me was a pimp, and he thought I was shorting him on some cash I owed him. He was giving me that gangsta look:

Yeah. THAT look. I backed off, eyes in the Wal-Mart tile, ’cause…you never know. He coulda been like Marlon Wayans in that movie “Little Man” or whatever. He coulda been packing heat. I’m not fucking with that. I was just there to get some hot dogs, eggs, and Tang, not to get beat down by a gangsta 4 year old in Checkout Aisle #4.