At 5am this morning, I found myself standing on line to check out at Walmart along side the streetwalkers who were grabbing a Snapple before going home to sleep off their crack high and the construction workers that already had a lingering odor about them which I can only assume was from yesterday's still unwashed clothing.
I had often wondered who shopped at Walmart at odd hours making it worth while for the establishment to remain open 24 hours.
Now I knew.
I hate Walmart on principal. Although I do believe in free enterprise, I do not approve of their business practices and the way their astronomic market share impacts how other companies are forced to do business.
Stepping down from soap box........
So, what the fuck was I doing shopping at the evil monster at that ungodly hour?
I needed a birthday gift for a kid's party tonight and had a breakfast meeting at 7am.
Isn't it amazing how all my principals go out the window when a Barbie Convertible is on the line?
I noticed several employees with blue smocks wandering around bearing a striking resemblance to the cast of the Night of the Living Dead. They were pushing around carts full of misplaced merchandise with glazed eyes and no expression on their pale faces.
It was rather disconcerting.
I wondered if I went up and snapped in one of their faces whether they would respond or try to eat me.
Having seen one too many horror movies in my time and noticing it was still dark outside, I decided to leave well enough alone.
I located the toy department and picked up a few things from Ms. Robert's line of plastic crap that subconsciously succeeds in causing all little girls to feel bad about themselves and looked around for the greeting cards.
There was a section of cards priced at forty eight cents.
FORTY EIGHT CENTS.
That's .48, less than 1/2 of one dollar.
For a greeting card.
That wasn't yellowed or had the old salutation erased.
After being accustomed to paying three or four bucks for some shitty greeting with puppy pictures or sometimes more for very sad attempt at a humorous wish, I was shocked.
How do they sell these cards so cheaply?
Suddenly I had a flash of little Chinese children cutting down trees to make the paper as their little sisters set up the type set as their 90 year old grandmother hunches over a big vat of ink stirring, her little bony fingers scorched from the heat.
All for nine cents a day.
I may have been desperate for a gift but I can go to Hallmark at lunch for a card.