I spent 22 years of my life living in Texas, so Walmart was something I always had around me–thus, I took it for granted. You can imagine my surprise when I moved to a city that has very few. It wasn’t until I had lost Walmart that I truly realized how great it is. It infuriates me to no end that I don’t have one near my residence. If I did, IT WOULD SELL LIQUOR. Imagine that: a Walmart just like you would find in the Midwest, but with whiskey that you can buy on any day of the week as late as 2 a.m. But I digress. Here are the things I miss most about this mecca of consumerism.
1. Self-Esteem Boost
There is always the simple pleasure you get from realizing that as much of a fuck up as you are, everyone else in Walmart makes you look like a supermodel, Ph.D. candidate. There are more felons in Walmart at any given time than most medium-sized penitentiaries. Sure, you might be there to pick up some munchies after smoking out with your jackass roommates, but the guy in line behind you stabbed a guy yesterday. The other personal boost you get is from the prices, because you truly feel like you’re rich. It would be impossible for you to afford a steak dinner at a restaurant, but thanks to Walmart, you can cook one yourself for the price of a McDonald’s Value Meal.
2. The Selection
When I lived in a city with a Walmart, I never walked out with just the stuff on my list. That’s not a bad thing. Sure, I might have gone in for eggs and Solo cups, but that boring errand turned into leaving with a .22 rifle, three cases of beer, an inflatable pool, and a sweet fucking wolf shirt with lightning in the background. Plus, who can say no to the $5 movie bin? Do I need to buy “Beverly Hills Cop III”? No. Do I want to? You better believe it, buster.
3. Getting Distracted
Another side effect that comes with the incredible selection is that you can spend hours and hours in the store. Maybe that sounds nightmarish to some of you, but for me, it’s all kinds of fun. Sure, if I need to get in and out, I’ll go grab my groceries, pick up some booze, and scoot my way through self-checkout. But I’m a single man with no responsibilities, so why not spend an afternoon derpin’ around, trying on awful clothes, relaxing in the shitty furniture section, and debating whether I should buy a Harry Potter Lego set?
4. Automotive Services
Of the many skills I have, the ability to change my own oil is the one I enjoy not using the most. I have a go-to mechanic named Gabe who I trust with the major stuff, but if I need an oil change, a new battery, or my tires rotated, taking my car to Walmart is way better. If I take my car to Gabe for the simple stuff, I have to walk around a shitty neighborhood in North Hollywood and try to entertain myself for almost an hour sometimes. Walmart’s auto services operate like an oil change shop that happens to have an adult playground attached. I can drop off my car, get the check up stuff taken care of, and go dick around in the sporting section. Hell, when they call my name over the intercom to let me know my car is ready, I’m usually not even ready to leave.
5. The People
Why is it such a bad thing that the obese and the criminally inclined go to Walmart? I’m not at a point in my life where I feel like everything I do needs to be in a protected, whitewashed enclave, where only people who look and act like me exist. I enjoy people watching, not just because these other people are ridiculous and often hilarious, but also because it reminds me that there are millions of humans who share this country with me that are weird, angry, poor, and illiterate. I’m not saying I’ve learned any life lessons from this or that it makes me a better person, but a little perspective never hurts.