Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Wherefore art thou, Walmart?

Here on Long Island, the arrival of Walmart was greeted with almost as much excitement as the opening of Krispy Kreme. And in my neck of the scrubby woods, they actually share a parking lot. I can fulfill my cleaning product and cotton ball needs, pick up a pack of panties, and inhale Original Glazed, all in the same stop.

But I'm not going back. Even my maids aren't going back. They've turned me on to the upgraded Walmart, which has a secret garden center entrance and a Pergo-like floor in the undies section. It also has narrow aisles and a semi-agitated woman sitting at the garden entrance who told me to "look out there" when I asked where they keep the carts. And I still haven't found their stash of fat-free pudding, or any green trash cans with wheels. Bugger.

Last night, to save time, I went to the Krispy Walmart, where they had 6000 people in line and 2 cashiers open at 5:30 pm. I had the misfortune of waiting behind a family who clearly had just arrived in the US with nothing. First Mama and Papa with one cart, and as we inched forward, the children and granny and endless relatives kept coming up with full carts to add to their bundle of discounted home joy. I couldn't do a damn thing about it, either. There were 800 people in line behind me. The customer service rep kept begging everyone to go to jewelry to check out, but refused to hold my spot in line if I got there and found an even longer line of panty-craving consumers.

Finally it was my turn, and the cashier did not say a word to me, just slammed my things into the bags and pointed at the total. She even managed to rupture my bottle of RoundUp weed killer, not that I discovered it until it leaked all over my hands and trunk. And what was Walmart's solution? Go back in and wait, in the same line.

I left. Krispy Kremes stink on a hot day anyway.

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