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From The Great Beyond October 27, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Bus Songs, Crazy Magnet, Life, Lovin'.
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Hey everyone!  Remember me?  You know, that Mexican girl you talk to sometimes?  Yeah, I’m not dead…yet.  Just totally, completely swamped.  It’s been non-stop work for me lately, so much so that I haven’t been able to type up a single little blog post.  Intolerable, I know.

Anyway, in the interval, why don’t you check out my new favorite website: People of Walmart. I, of course, live in the Walmart (not Wal-Mart, they’ve changed their branding!) capital of the world, which means I pretty much swing by a Supercenter every other day.  I mean, the convenience!  The affordability!  The PEOPLE.

Of course, you’ve read about one of my encounters with a Walmart employee whether you realize it or not.  But really, I can vouch for the People of Walmart website single handedly.  I mean, seriously.  I cannot begin to tell you how many nutjobs I’ve seen trolling the aisles of the Middle Class Retail Mecca of the World.  For example, one night John and I went to Walmart around 2:00 am, I can’t remember why, probably for unmentionable naughty things Cheez-its.  We noticed a man walking around the store with a giant 42″ flat screen plasma television in a cart; we mainly noticed because the man was rocking the longest mullet I have ever in my life seen.  Throw in the dirty camo pants, and he definitely looks like he doesn’t have indoor plumbing, let alone the wall space for such a honker of a boob-tube.  Anyway, the guy happens to be lapping the store, and as we make our way to the front we watch him try to walk out the front door with the television, even though John and I both know he hasn’t paid for it.  He presents the greeter with a reciept, which is promptly denied.  He then gets angry and walks back to the electronic department like he’s going to put the television back, only to try to exit through ANOTHER Walmart entrance/exit, despite the fact that it’s closed.  John and I hang out to watch this guy, who tries to exit the store not once, but three different times.

I mean seriously.  Why try and steal such a huge television?  Why get greedy?  Steal some small expensive things, like cell phones, curtains, etc. and sell those in order to get the cash to buy the television.  Tisk tisk.

Anyway, enjoy the website.  I sure do.

Weekend Wrap-Up February 23, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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So soft!

So soft!

One of the international students in my conversation group is having a baby, so I’m making a baby blanket for the new bundle of joy.  It’s slow coming, but I think it’s looking good so far.  

For those of you who are interested, I’m working the whole thing in double-crochet, size E hook.  So far, so good–the ribbing effect it’s creating is quite neat.  This is just a typical sport-weight two-tone baby yarn that I picked up from Walmart.  Actually, I’d shopped around a bit, and it was the softest I could find.  Once it’s done, I plan on edging it in shell.

Righteous Indignation January 30, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Loathin'.
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So, as I’m sure everyone is aware, my part of the country was hit with a massive ice storm this week.  We’ve got it better than most right now–at least we have electricity–but John now has a vicious 24-hour stomach virus that’s making him wish he was dead.  Neither one of us slept a wink, and once he finally nodded off I headed to Walmart to buy out their cleaning products aisle.

I’m sure anyone who watches me shop seriously considers purchasing a shotgun in the Outdoor section and putting me out of my misery right then and there.  John and I don’t make a whole lot of money.  We’re blessed in that we make more than some, but we’re able to live comfortably because of our spending habits.  Each item I pick up I make sure we really need, and my trips take hours because I not only compare prices, but I compare quality as well.  Anyway, we’re able to save a lot of money by cutting out “unnecessary” foods, i.e. snacks that provide no nutritional value whatsoever.  Sure, they taste good, and we’d love to have them…but for us, they’re a luxury.  Again, not trying to seem like we’re the Mr. and Mrs. version of Oliver Twist, but we have to make sacrifices in order to remain financially secure, and some of those involve groceries. 

Anyway, I pull into the check out lane, and begin to patiently wait my turn.  This trip I’ve passed over a few things I know we could use at the house, electing to stretch what we have until the next paycheck.  After all, medicine and household products are expensive!  As I begin unloading my cart, I have to push the items of the patron in front of me a little further up the conveyor belt to make room for my Pine-Sol and bleach.  I can’t help but overhearing a conversation between the lady in front of me and the Walmart associate, so I look up.  

Associate:  Ma’am, I can’t accept this voucher. (He hands the woman back her “food stamp,” pointing to a specific area.)  See, this one expired a week ago.  

The woman shoves the paper back into her (nice) purse.  At this point I realize that she’s about 7 months pregnant, and I can’t help but look for a wedding ring.  I don’t see one–and whether it be my religious leanings or personal value system–I feel sorry for her.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be pregnant without someone chained to your side, obligated by vow and federal government tax information to at least sort of help you raise a kid.  I know, I know, sometimes it’s best to have the dad out of the picture, like if he’s abusive, an alcoholic, etc.  I can’t help it…my initial reaction is always pity.

It’s then that I notice that her handbag is more than just nice–it’s designer.  She’s wearing what look to be brand new Nike shoes, complete with a pink swoosh.  She’s wearing stylish glasses, and the highlights in her hair seem to be professionally done.  I begin to look at her groceries; perhaps, I reason, her clothes are a windfall trip to Goodwill, or a donation from a kind stranger.  

Despite her government provided WIC food stamps, she’s buying all sorts of pricey items.  She has special protein shakes, at least 4 boxes of ding dongs and Hostess cakes, bags of potato chips, Air Wick refills, and organic products.  There isn’t much in her stack that isn’t name brand.  I stare at her again; she’s noticed by now, and does her best to avoid eye contact.  I’m sure she thinks I’m crazy, maybe I am, but righteous indignation begins to boil up inside of me. 

Look, there’s no way for me to know this lady’s situation.  I get that.  She could have been laid off because of the economy.  Maybe she has kids at home and is recently divorced.  Who knows?  It just makes me mad to see such flagrant spending when it’s obvious she doesn’t–or at least, shouldn’t–have the means.  I’m not against government assistance.  I know that there are people out there that need it, and the welfare system has its place in society.  I just hate that it can be exploited.  I’m not accusing this woman one way or the other, but it’s beyond arguable that there are people exploiting the system.  They keep families who really do need the help from getting enough assistance.  

I don’t think anyone would argue that the welfare system needs to be reformed.  At least make fiscal education classes and family planning seminars mandatory.  Help those who are stuck in poverty to learn how to work their way out of it instead of handing them band-aids to stick over the festering wound.  It might make it look better and it’s a temporary solution, but eventually the leg’s going to rot off.  

I’m probably just upset about this because I’ve only had 4 hours of sleep.  Maybe I’ll look back at this post tomorrow and be embarrassed by what an ass I’ve been.  Maybe…but right now I’m just plain pissed.