Enter the World of Wal-Mart but tread softly

By Amanda Eakin

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I do not like children.

There, I said it. Particularly the tiny tots who have recently learned that yelling is quite an effective tool in annoying the general public. The last time I went to Wal-Mart, all I could remember was the howling child in a nearby stroller, being occasionally shushed by a disinterested and hassled-looking mother. I was sure my face was twisted in disgust at the child who had been screaming away for five minutes straight without a break in his resolve.

I also remember how my temples began to throb in an uncompromising headache; it was the inevitable side-effect to being subjected to the whiney, high-pitched squeal of a child. It took three Excedrins later to get rid of that headache.

But looking back on this, I’m beginning to think that maybe it wasn’t the child that caused my pain. Maybe it was Wal-Mart. I mean, kids are always screaming in Wal-Mart, but the fact remains that I always fall victim to headaches whenever I step foot in there. What is it about Wal-Mart that triggers such misery?

It is important to assess what exactly is so harrowing about the store. After all, I think we can all agree that Wal-Mart is inherently evil. Any place that convinces me to come back, even though I always leave feeling worse off than before, seems mighty fishy.

First off, consider the lights. The florescent beams which seemingly descend from the sky (notice that Wal-Mart is very, very spacious) remind me of the glare of light a UFO might shower over someone prior to an abduction. Er, not that I would know. But at the very least it seems like an interrogation light. Or a helicopter searchlight. I could go on.

In addition, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that the overall smell of Wal-Mart is unpleasant. The Subway within Ashland’s Wal-Mart has no effect, nor does the blast of grandiose fragrance from the Christmas aisle when that time of year rolls around. The overall stench of Wal-Mart is impenetrable and unyielding. It smells of tar and burnt plastic, pain and despair. And dirty diapers.

Now, it might be unwise to pursue my line of thought and target the population who frequents the store. After all, I go to Wal-Mart, and so do the majority of AU students. Though I can’t help but notice that in general, the worst of the worst stereotypical townies are often perusing the aisles of Wal-Mart. They are the ones who make their utter loathing well known, too.

Blame it on my paranoia, or maybe even take my word for it, but whenever I have gone in, I have contended with glares and an appalling lack of manners, such as a person shoving her way past with a cart without so much as an “excuse me.”

Once I actually heard one person snidely say to another, “Looks like the college kids are back.” She then sighed deeply, as if this troubled her to no end. Well, it troubles me how much the townies hate us, but that’s another story.

Taking everything into account, why is it I keep coming back like a moth senselessly banging into a porch light?

Well, I have a theory.

Wal-Mart garners its success from brainwashing its customers. Don’t you see? It emits low-frequency, almost imperceptible, electromagnetic waves that alter our own brainwaves to achieve mind control. People who go frequently enough will inexplicably feel an urge to venture to Wal-Mart, despite the fact they had just gone or what time of day it is.

You are most likely to see the effects of this mind control at absurd hours when even bars are closing. The people who wander the store, the Night-Walkers, have been reduced to Wal-Mart addicts who are unable to fight off the desire to fill their carts with meaningless items, such as tea cozies.

In a nutshell, Wal-Mart doesn’t want your money. It wants your soul.

I suppose if I were still a child, I’d bawl my eyes out too.

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