Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pack Square

Pack Square
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
Yesterday was one of those days of retail hell. Ah America how do I love thy decaying, fluorescent lit, suburban K-Marts and the shiny hell that is Sam's Club? So much. I went to the Patton Avenue K-Mart (it strikes me that I should probably just settle down in their killer parking lot and blog only from the Patton Avenue K-Mart, because it is impossible to escape that doomed place without a story) early in the morning to buy a long phone cord for work. Years ago, by the way, everybody had long phone cords all over the place, cluttering up their junk drawers and those boxes of miscellaneous stuff in the garage, but nowadays all those long phone cords have returned to their home planet and if you suddenly need one for your Pleistocene epoch office, well, you will have to actually go and buy one. And you'll have to go and buy one somewhere equally prehistoric, like the Patton Avenue K-Mart. Actually, though, I went there for my phone cord because my friend Jen had told me she'd been there a few days before and the store was empty and everything was on clearance, so, all aquiver with the possibility of acquiring a few of what Nanci Griffith calls Unnecessary Plastic Objects for a low, low, one time price - and also to watch the Patton Avenue K-Mart, which I fervently believe is the worst K-Mart in the galaxy, go down hard - I headed over before work. Turns out they're not really going out of business, they're just getting the floors waxed. The floors need more than waxing, in my humble opinion, because with all the pesky merchandise out of the way you can really spot all the failed pentagrams, demon summoning circles and grotty square mismatched chunks of linoleum that have always been lurking underneath the collapsing $99.99 futon couches and plastic 4th of July Blue Light Special Margarita Pitchers.

I got my phone cord and watched a whole lot of teenagers in red K-Mart vests move things off the floor and then I picked up a couple of other essential things, such as a plastic bin to hold dog food and a green printed shirt that is either great or terrible or ironically cool or possibly just nondescript but that anyway was $7, so, whatever. I went through the checkout and went on to the office where I went to get reimbursed for my outlay on the phone cord and discovered that K-Mart had charged me twice for that shirt. AUGH. I couldn't leave work and go back and raise hell immediately so I did the next best thing: I filled out the online customer satisfaction survey in terms of blood and fire.

I would have let it all rest there but then when I got home last night I discovered that the dog food bin would not fit in my cupboard no matter how much my son or I squeezed and bent and tried to wedge it. Therefore, it is going back to K-Mart and so am I and, while I'm returning that thing, I'm going to ask for my money back for the shirt I did not buy and we will see how that goes. I am not holding out much hope.

As if K-Mart was not enough excitement for one day, I also ventured even unto Sam's Club, where I bought a whole bunch of bottled water for my fast approaching New Orleans adventure (I'd say there's about a 98% chance of hangovers in New Orleans this weekend, accompanied by dehydration and OH GOD DID I REALLY SAY THAT moments), a whole bunch of frozen packaged processed nonfood type stuff for Miles, who otherwise might well starve to death in the four days of my absence and giant amounts of dog and cat food so that they won't starve to death either. Hell, since I can't get the giant thing of dog food into the cupboard and the plastic bin, as above, wouldn't fit, the dog food is just sitting out in the kitchen anyway and the dogs starving is the least of my worries. Sam's Club is really one of the weirdest places in the world. It's completely impossible to explain it to Europeans, for one thing, and for another, I mean, it's just so - so - so whatever the hell it is. You've got the strange furniture and the huge TV screens and the tire window and the guy loudly selling knives in the back and the old, old ladies grudgingly handing out samples of different and bizarre foods in random places and the pallets full of peculiar soft drinks and bags of limes and, well, it's just completely strange. And I haven't even begun to describe the meat section. Yet, for some reason, I kind of like Sam's Club, particularly the Asheville one, which hires - or used to, anyway - out of work punk rockers and bluegrass musicians in full regalia, and there's nothing like a girl with a hot pink mohawk and facial tattoos in a blue Sam's Club vest, ringing up 10 pound boxes of Frosted Flakes for a harried obese grandmother with 4 fat grandkids to make your day. If you're as weird as I am, that is.

At any rate, when I leave work I will be heading to K-Mart again, although not to Sam's Club, because even though I bought camisoles there (don't ask. Sam's Club sends me into a weird buying fugue of sorts; I think it's the drugs they pump into the store; I go in for frozen chiKn hot sauce tasties and a case of Pellegrino and come out with brobdingnagian containers of Chex Mix and underwear.) and I'm not sure they actually fit, I can't face it all again. But I am going to K-Mart, goddamnit. And then maybe I'll need to go to the Admiral.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Yikes. Patton Ave. K-Mart and Sam's Club in one day? You need New Orleans if for no other reason than to drink away the shock.

And when/why did K-Mart devolve into a low-rent version of Wal-Mart? Tragic.