There was something about her water balloon breasts straining at the oft-washed white cotton of her three-sizes-too-small halter top that sent my bodily beverages bubbling. I often experience such cognitive dissonance when walking through my Wal-Mart Supercenter. To my left, I want that Pentecostal girl to do something about those split ends, burn the denim skirts, and remember that covenant marriage doesn’t mean sexless marriage. I want her to speak in tongues all over me. To my right, what the hell is wrong with that guy? Is that smallpox? Jesus Christ!
It’s easy to blame Wal-Mart for the ills of our increasingly suburban lifestyle. We’re too lazy to shop anywhere but in one giant warehouse. But think of the gas money we save! Wal-Mart destroys the lives of the moms and pops of our great nation. But can Carl’s A/V Shack sell me a Blu-ray player for seventy-eight bucks? Suck it, Carl!
It’s easy to place yourself above the slime-trailing, slack-faced lobotomites dragging their carcasses through Wal-Mart, but that’s only because you’re better than they are. Just because you’re elite, it doesn’t mean you have to be some kind of elitist. Still, I’d be lying if I claimed to put my superiority aside and embrace these massive masses. After all, there’s the smallpox.
Does smallpox include pus? Maybe it wasn’t smallpox.
It’s not my fault, you know, and chances are it’s not yours either. Maybe it’s not a good idea to judge these people’s lives. You don’t know what circumstances led to their purchase of an “America: Put Up or Shut Up” t-shirt. Maybe they just couldn’t find a condom that thirteenth or forty-second time. Shit happens, and in case you forget, several of them remind you with their novelty trucker hats.
I’m a forgiving person. Kirk Cameron raped and murdered my Uncle Pete, but bygones are bygones. Have you seen that guy on TV lately? He’s charming! And he knows so much about bananas!
But here’s what I can’t forgive. No, it isn’t the monolithic cardboard display for National treasure: Book of Secrets on DVD. No, it isn’t the fact that that same monolithic display was barren of anything save a Big League Chew wrapper.
Here’s what I can’t forgive. I wrote it as a play.
MRS. HALITOSIS, a middle-aged woman with the weight of the world on her chins, stand forlorn in front of an empty cardboard display for National Treasure: Book of Secrets on DVD. She sighs.
SAMUEL, a Wal-Mart employee working a double shift after that asshole STEVE didn’t show the fuck up today, passes.
MRS. HALITOSIS: National Treasure!
SAMUEL (after a pause): I’m sorry?
MRS. HALITOSIS: National Treasure! Where is it?
SAMUEL: I guess we ran out? I don’t—
MRS. HALITOSIS (cursing as if she’s winding up for a pitch): Well, fuuuck you!