Wal*Mart: The End of Western Civilization (And Bane of Vegetarians)

In the late Nineties my small Texas university town was ‘blessed’ with a brand new Super Wal*Mart. I don’t really like Wal*Mart, but the grand opening was kinda a…

“Big Hairy Deal”

(not a lot of opportunity for excitement in my little town)

GRAND OPENING! ALL WELCOME!

(Except Vegetarians)

Anyway, I just had to go.

Back then I was a vegetarian and was interested to see if Wal*Mart had decent produce and perhaps at a bit cheaper than the only other grocery store in town, a Brookshire’s.

(I was loyal to Brookshire’s and even had one of those ‘Cards’ to prove it, but I was a paycheck-to-paycheck’ kind of dude you see. So there was that.)

Besides, I was always a bit of a slut anyhow.

Turns out they did have decent produce and cheaper too, so I filled my buggy with quite a few fresh fruits and vegetables.

I was very excited.

Got to the checkout and the surly cashier:

I knew instantly she was ‘surly’ when she took a look at my cart and grimaced. She picked up a zucchini and pointed it at me just as I imagine she would a .45 cal. pistol.

 “What is This?” she demanded.

“Zucchini,” I said, trying to be polite about it.

There were no little stickers on the veggies in those days. The cashiers had a rolodex type thing with photos to help them identify ‘foreign fruits and vegetables’.

She picked up a… wait for it… turnip. “And what’s this?”

“Turnip.”

Turnip-Truck: Just Fell Off

I grew nervous when she grabbed a bunch of kale.

“Lettuce?”

“Nope. Sorry. ‘Kale’,” I replied almost apologetically.

At this point I could literally see the frustration (and anger) building.

 “Well look Sir, you know I ain’t from around here. I’m from Oklah-homa and I don’t know Yawl’s local vegetables,” she informed me rather pointedly.

She hefted a cantaloupe, “And this?”

“Oh, that’s an egg.” I said.

She almost yelled, “This ain’t no egg! It’s too big.”

“It’s a dinosaur egg.”

I don’t think she was amused.

She dropped ‘the egg’ back into my cart with a loud ‘thunk’, picked up the receiver on her phone, pushed a button and blasted throughout the store,

“Manager to Checkout Six! Manager to Checkout Six!”

It was all I could do to keep from falling down on the floor laughing my ass off. I thought about running away, but then I would miss all the fun, so I just waited for ‘Management’ to appear.

***

Didn’t take long.

Mister Manager-Man arrived, took one look at MS Cashier and quickly assessed the situation.

“Uh, Mendy, why don’t you go ahead and take your break now. I’ll take over here until you get back.”

Mendy snorted and huffed as she exited stage left.

For the sake of the remaining Walmart Patrons, I hoped Mendy would manage to Mend her attitude a bit while sucking down Dr. Pepper and Hot-Boxing Marlboros during her break.

“Sorry Sir. She’s still in training.”

I’m guessing this weren’t Manager-Man’s first rodeo, vis-à-vis MS Mendy.

He quickly and efficiently rang up the rest of my purchases, took my money and said,

“Thank you for shopping at Your Walmart Super Center.”

“No offense Sir, but not sure if I’m ready to claim ownership just yet. Let me get back to you on that.”

He laughed.

I laughed.

We shared a laugh.

And I pronounced my ‘Walmart Experience’ a pleasantly entertaining one.

And left with all my ‘exotic foreign’ produce items.

Mission Accomplished.

***

True Story.

Gotta love Wal*Mart. (and Oklahoma)

Just Kidding All My Okie Neighbors!

(But Y’all know how it is between Texas an’ Oklahoma!)

***

It has come to my attention that there may be some among you who doubt the veracity of my prose.

In the spirit of full-disclosure I am introducing a New Feature to Texan Tales & Hieroglyphics:

Ladies and Gentlemen

I proudly present to you

“The TT&H Veracity Breakdown Report O’ Meter”

In the form of an Easy-as-Pie-To-Understand…

Pie Chart

TT&H All Rights Reserved

***  

Just when Y’all thought there was hope for my sanity…

Sorry.

The Devil Went Down To Walmart…

 (*Explicit)

Street Cred for Vid:  Nomadic Fanatic

***

Comments from original post below.

Some are pricelessly funny.

23 THOUGHTS ON “WAL*MART: THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION (AND VEGETARIANS)”

LAMarcom June 28, 2014 at 17:32 Edit

‘pomegranate’ Hahahah

Didn’t some Greek chick get in trouble waaaay back in the day for eating pomegranate seeds?

I wasn’t actually there, but I didn’t miss it by much. (Yeah, I am THAT old!)

Hahahah

Thanks again for your visits and your great comments here at TT&H

😉

LVital7019 June 28, 2014 at 12:11 Edit

Like it’s YOUR fault she can’t recognize UNIVERSALLY COMMON produce like a zucchini or a friggin turnip! God forbid you handed her a pomegranate… Her eyes might have rolled back into her skull.

lauramacky June 27, 2014 at 00:50 Edit

Lol

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:45 Edit

😉

rachelcarrera June 26, 2014 at 23:39 Edit

LOL! Exactly! 😀

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:26 Edit

If you catch me in a Wal*Mart, just know that the Cold War is back on.

All I’m sayin’

Hahahaha

rachelcarrera June 26, 2014 at 23:25 Edit

LOL! Don’t you just love when you smile out loud? 🙂 Yeah, Walmart definitely attracts a certain caliber of clientele. At least here in Florida. I try to stick to the grocery store and Target and only use Walmart for emergencies after the regular stores are closed. 🙂

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:25 Edit

Yeah, I went from Walmart to Iraq.

Iraq was bettah…

😉

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 23:17 Edit

I wanna write a book about some of my Wal*Mart experiences.

Laughin’ out loud!

Thanks for your visit and your comments.

Made me laugh and smile too. (out loud)

Cheers,

Lance

rachelcarrera June 26, 2014 at 23:14 Edit

LOL! That’s funny! I don’t know a lot of veggies either because I’m allergic to so many, so I don’t eat a lot of variety…However, I DO know enough to know to apologize and explain that and not just make the excuse that it’s local to your state! That’s really sad! LOL! (AND no I won’t ever eat ANY produce from Walmart either!)

lauramacky June 26, 2014 at 18:08 Edit

You’re welcome Lance. Glad you’ve moved on from Wally World, lol.

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 17:03 Edit

Don’t you just hate it when the best comeback lines come to you too late? I know I do. Yeah, your response would have been priceless.

Hahahah

Thanks Sandra!

Sandra June 26, 2014 at 17:01 Edit

Awesome! My 1st job was at McDonalds where a customer actually asked me what was in a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit. Wish I had said, “lobster, of course.” Some people. I tell ya!

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:53 Edit

Looking for white carrots. Too fuckin’ funny!

Thanks for the laugh My Friend.

Cheers,

-Lance

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:52 Edit

The whole ‘Wal-Mart Experience’ always cracks me up.

Thanks Sharon for your comments and for the read.

🙂

-Lance

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:51 Edit

It really was a bizarre (and true) experience. I had to laugh (to myself).

Thanks Sadie!

🙂

LAMarcom June 26, 2014 at 16:49 Edit

I actually had a part-time job at that very same Wal-Mart a few years after it had opened. I HATED it. I was just helping out during the run up to Christmas assembling bicycles. Wal-Mart’s are weird places to work, let me tell ya.

Thanks for the read and the comments Laura.

Cheers,

Lance

lauramacky June 26, 2014 at 11:02 Edit

I cannot STAND Wally World! That’s what I call it. Forutnately there is not one for MILES from where I live lol. I refuse to step inside. My husband occasionally goes there….I let him have his fun. I’ll go to Whole Foods instead. haha

~ Sadie ~ June 26, 2014 at 09:49 Edit

CTFU here!!!! 😉 Seriously, didn’t know what a cantaloupe was . . . especially from that part of the country . . . great post, Lance!!!

sharoncummings June 26, 2014 at 07:25 Edit

That is hilarious! I was a vegetarian for 5 years myself….vegan for 2 and even a raw foodist! I only made it 6 months on the raw…LOL I have been eating meat again for the past 12 years, but I still eat a ton of veggies and I totally get this…it still happens. Who doesn’t know what a zucchini is? ha ha

happierheathen June 26, 2014 at 02:29 Edit

We get something like that here when the local grocer has things the checkers don’t know. The first time around it was a parsnip and the checker got frustrated because there were no “white carrots” in her handy dandy list. The woman was just about 60 years old and a native in these here agricultural parts, too.

Just so it’s said: Fuck Wal-Mart! 😀

LAMarcom June 25, 2014 at 23:09 Edit

Annie,

If I had thrown a Big Mac, Large Fries, a Whopper, and some Jim Jims out there, she would have done just fine. My bad.

Hahahah

Thanks for reading.

Lancer

Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann June 25, 2014 at 23:04 Edit

I HAVE been known to laugh at teen trainees when they didn’t know common fruits or veg. Told them they needed to start eating healthier.

She SUCKS! But She Doesn’t Suck In The Way She’s Supposed To Suck

Dateline: 16 June 2021

After eight long months and numerous failed attempts,

I FINALLY DID IT!

I Liberated ‘That-VAC’ from Her Prison!

Actually, She was trying to Bust Out On-Her-Own This Time.

The Not-So-Great-Escape’

And Struggling, Failing… Screaming for Help!

BUT I, Me!

Me ‘Lance-Rocky Marcona‘! Jumped in and SAVED Her DAY!

Rescued Her!

And if I had not Bravely, Blithely, Selflessly, Stoutly Stepped in to Rescue Her, This Would have probably been her Fate to face and endure:

Cred for Shared Vid: T.J. Lovelady

You May Address me as “Lance-The-Liberator” From Now On.

Always Felt I Deserved a MORE APPROPRIATE Title. You Know, Other Than “Asshole,” As Descriptively Honest and Accurately Appropriate that one may be.

(If all this so far isn’t beginning read like “Complete and Utter Bullshit,” then I humbly suggest you purchase a top-end, high quality and fully functional ‘Bullshit Detector’)

(Amazon Dot Com is your Friend.)

***

Update 19 June 2021:

Here is my ‘Marco’s Consumer Report’ On The New Vacuum-Cleaner:

SHE SUCKS!

But She doesn’t Suck in the way She is supposed to Suck.

The bottom part, you know, the MAIN Functionality Part… Don’t Suck!

Her ‘La raison d’être’ part with the spinning brushes:

Her brushes spin frantically, maniacally, just Jim-Dand-illy, but there is no Proper Sucking action happening.

Call me ‘Crazy’, but isn’t that an important part of the ‘two-part’ process?

The ‘Sucking’ Part?

Was I mistaken? Did I purchase a ‘Dirt-Rake’ and not a ‘Suck-It-Up’ Machine??

The detritus and dirt and spilt Copenhagen and gnat corpses and potato chip crumbs and Et al., just get nicely organized into neat little windrows,

But Not Sucked Up!

Lotta Fucking Good That Does Me!

The attachments suck just groovy, but I don’t enjoy having to get on my hands and knees to suck.

In ANY sucking situation, if you catch-my-drift.

I just REFUSE to Go There.

This door don’t swing that way.

That is precisely WHY I Purchased an ‘UPRIGHT Suck Machine’ as opposed to an ‘Operate-on-your-knees’ Suck Machine.

Gonna purchase a Better, New, DIFFERENT BRAND Suck Machine.

I DID pay A LOT for this one though!

Thirty-Five Dollars!

Guess from Where

****

Upon Further Investigation, I think I may have swerved into the genesis of the problem:

She was born in Vietnam and obviously out of her element here in ‘Estados Texidos Unidos’.

Poor Little Darlin’, fresh off the boat and most likely understands not even one single word of ‘Texican.’

But then, Most Yankees don’t either and yet they do just fine,

Provided they remain where they belong.

And that goes triple for any of you Californians out there.

***

She Done Me Wrong.

Poor Lil ‘Phuong Wong’

(Vietnamese name meaning “Phoenix.”)

Gonna have to ‘Put Her Down.’

Perhaps she shall rise again as her ‘namesake’, and preferably in Hanoi, or Da Nang, or Huế. I’m certain she will be much happier there.

Huế ?! No Way!” She Said.

*Heavy Sigh*

I have The Worst Luck with Women these daze.

Facing Reality and Making The Difficult, But Right Decisions

Wait for it…

SUCKS!

Sometimes Life Sucks and That is Bad,

Sometimes Life Doesn’t Suck and That is Good

However…

Sometimes That Is Just Ass-Backwards!

I Need some Suction in my Life.

Right Now!

Wal*Mart: The End of Western Civilization (And Vegetarians)

Back in the late Nineties my small Texan college town was ‘blessed’ with a new Super Wal*Mart. I don’t really like Wal*Mart, but the grand opening was a “Big Hairy Deal” (not a lot of excitement in my little town). Anyway, I just had to go. Back then I was a vegetarian and was interested to see if Wal*Mart had decent produce and perhaps a bit cheaper than the only other grocery store in town, a Brookshire’s. (I was loyal to Brookhire’s and even had one of those ‘Loyalty Cards’ to prove it, but I was a paycheck-to-paycheck’ kind of dude, you see. So there was that.) Turns out they did have decent produce and cheaper too; so I filled my cart with quite a few fresh fruits and vegetables.

walmart

Got to the checkout and the surly cashier. I knew instantly she was surly when she took a look at my cart and then grimaced. She picked up a zucchini and pointed it at me just as I imagine she would a pistol. “What is This?” she demanded.

“Zucchini,” I said, trying to be polite about it.

(There were no little tags on the veggies back then. The cashiers had a rolodex type thing with photos to help them identify ‘foreign fruits and vegetables’.

She then picked up a… wait for it… turnip. “And what’s this?”

“Turnip.”

She then hefted a cantaloupe and snarled, “And this?”

“Can-ta-lope” I said slowly.

At this point I could literally see the frustration (and anger) building. “Well look Sir, you know I ain’t from around here. I’m from Oklah-homa and I don’t know y’all’s local vegetables,” she announced rather pointedly.

All I could do to keep from falling down on the floor laughing my ass.

True Story.

Gotta love Wal*Mart. (and Oklahoma)

Just Kidding All My Okie Neighbors! (But Y’all know how it is between Texas an’ Oklahoma!)

turnip

Turnip Truck: Just Fell Off.

Sometimes There Just Aren’t Enuff Crud Eaters (A Rewite)

After having accumulated a little money during my three years’ working in the Sinai Desert (Sinai Field Mission), I decided to come home to Texas. My wife (the first one) and I settled in Nacogdoches resolved to open a tropical fish store. A dream I’d had since I was a kid. I had never been to Nacogdoches, but according to U.S. News & World Report, it was one of “The Ten Best Places to Live in the United States” and the city fathers had even erected a billboard on the main road into town proclaiming this quote from the magazine, just in case some folks missed reading that issue.

Nacogdoches, for any non-Texans who may be reading this, is Ass-Deep in the heart of the Deep East Texas Piney Woods—gorgeous country, simply breathtaking. ‘Paradise On Texas’.

We leased a small building on South Street, which was the southern part of the main drag through town, just off the square. Wanting everything to be perfect, I spent the entire summer of 1980 fitting out the inside of my shop. I built all the fixtures, assembled all the equipment, and even built the office desk my wife would be using to cook the books. I built floor-to-ceiling rustic cabinets to display the sixty aquariums which would hold our retail stock. All that could be seen were the fronts of the tanks; no filters, hoses, wires or anything to wreck the ambiance.

The overhead lights were dimmed, keeping the atmosphere what one would expect in a fine Public Aquarium, most of the light coming only from the aquariums themselves.

At the very back of the store, I built a nine-foot by three-foot display tank, roughly 600 gallons—it was built into the wall, again so as not to ruin the effect. This was my dream aquarium, showcasing all the skills I had honed over a lifetime of fish-keeping. It was decorated with huge driftwood, rocky multi-leveled terraces, and no less than two dozen different varieties of live plants.

The effect was that of looking into a cross section of the Amazon River. Beautiful Blue Discus, shoals of Cardinal Tetras, various South American catfish, and many other exotic South American species were all stocked in this display. It was the perfect closed ecosystem.

display

Not MY Original Display Tank
Just A Reasonable Facsimile

The retail stock tanks were also painstakingly decorated to provide examples of how fish should be kept in a home aquarium. No burping clams, no rotating ship’s wheels, no deep sea divers with bubbles coming out of their butt, no ‘Creatures from the Black Lagoon’, no ‘No Fishin’ signs—none of this dime-store shit in MY Shoppe. Oh Hell No. Every display reflected my fundamental conviction that tropical fish deserved to be represented in natural surroundings. Period.

Our store was beautiful. I set up five large display tanks in the entrance area, so that the first thing our customers would see were aquariums as they should be: All Natural: Live plants, Real Driftwood, wonderfully terraced natural gravel substrate, and of course exotic tropical fish. No goldfish, no guppies, no ‘trash fish’—for those they could go to Wal*Mart or Ben Franklin’s.

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