32. Walmart: Save Money. Live Better?

29 Mar

Photo by "el neato"
Flickr Creative Commons

You know you’re Southern if the directions to two or more of your kinfolks’ houses include the phrase “turn right at the Walmart.” Extra points if you’ve ever used the word “kinfolks.”

For Southerners, Walmart (or “Wally World” as it’s known to fans of National Lampoon’s vacation) isn’t just a place to score “everyday low prices” on toilet paper, big screen tvs, or whatnot. Oh no. It’s where folks go to socialize. You never know who might turn up at the local Walmart on a Sunday evening. And if you’re not there to take part in the gossip, well, one guess who the gossiping’s going to be about.

The odd thing about the Walmart social scene (aside from the fact that it takes place in Walmart) is that even though folks know they will run into their friends/enemies/rivals/relations, there’s no pressure to dress up. At all. Curlers in hair? Why not? Mud-encrusted boots? Come on in! Pizza and beer-stained wife beater? Who cares? If you’ve ever been to Walmart, you know I speak the truth. And if you haven’t witnessed these crimes of fashion firsthand, consider this exhibit A through Z: People of Walmart.

Walmart has tried hard to cultivate this whole “Walmart Family” image, but, folks, the store is not actually your house. You might want to change out of your pajamas before running in to get the kids’ OJ and Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick.

Photo by Adam Kuban
Flickr Creative Commons

I think Walmart must pipe some kind of crack-like substance into their air filtration system and Southern folks simply cannot “Just Say No.” How else can you explain their need to visit Every Single Day? And not just once a day. I reckon twice a day is about average. Which I admit is pure speculation based on how frequently my dad goes. Hey, I never claimed to be scientific.

I imagine Walmart has become the hub of many a Southern town because…well, hell, because Walmart practically IS a Southern town. You’ve got your optician, your hardware store, your pharmacy, your photo center…groceries, clothes, furniture, housewares, firearms, fishing supplies…restaurants…video rentals…“jewelry.” If the Waltons could figure out how to incorporate a church into the mix, folks would NEVER have to leave. And as a bonus, customers might step it up in the wardrobe department. Nobody wears curlers in the house of the Lord.

How often do you frequent your local Walmart? What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever encountered there?

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9 Responses to “32. Walmart: Save Money. Live Better?”

  1. tammy tadlock March 29, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    LOve reading your post!

  2. femmesauvage January 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    don’t you say “the” wal-mart? preferably with a truncated e sound? “goin’ over to th’ walmart…”

    • girloutofdixie January 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

      Yep, Southerns tend to add “the” to the front of Walmart and an “S” to the back of Target.

  3. fitbit charge June 4, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    The time show is an enormous issue for me but ‘simply’ water
    resistance of the fitbit is an enormous let down – not a deal breaker but.

    • Lee Souleles July 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

      I was just in Jackson County, Tennessee and one of my young cousins left a party. He was taking his truck to Cookeville to hang out in the Walmart parking lot. Apparently that’s where kids from several Tennessee counties land on Friday nights.

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