What’s In Your Wal (Mart)

Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm
By: Doug Lund
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I  brought my camera along to Wal-Mart today just in case I should spot somebody whose bizarre appearance in the shopping aisles would qualify them for  the People of Wal-Mart” website; candid photos of shoppers who, shall we say,  stand out from the crowd. Actually, I’d never do that no matter how strange others may appear. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if my picture would pop up on there showing me in my black stretch pants with the stripe down the side and a black hooded sweatshirt that had been a little too big until Linda ran it through the dryer. Anyway, I looked as if I could be the subject for a Johnny Cash song.

“In Wal-Mart, eh?”

Yes, I confess that’s where I bought my new glasses, a few groceries and a couple Christmas gifts today. It’s also where I got a new flat screen TV a few months ago. I’d rather shop someplace else that carried more American-Made stuff but that’s not what our grandkids had on their lists and I also simply can’t afford to ignore cheaper prices.

I spotted many of you in there too..so don’t judge me too harshly.

I’m back at Dunn Brother’s Coffee Shop having a brew of the day from Guatemala and dealing with a headache; a dizzy feeling, actually, from the new glasses I suspect. I hope it’s just a matter of getting used to the minor corrections that were diagnosed and not something else like a Chinese optmetrist with an axe to grind.

I came close to colliding with two fellow cart pushing Wal-Mart shoppers today at an aisle intersection; both were staring at their cell phones which brings me to the latest attempt by the National Transportation Board to ban cell phone use by drivers of motor vehicles in an effort to force them into paying attention to the road. My first thought when I read about it this morning was..okay do whatever you have to do to ban people from texting or surfing the web or playing games while driving but you can’t stop them from talking on the phone..especially if it’s a hands-free phone. What’s next.., banning radios from vehicles so driver’s aren’t distracted when they want to change stations? Or how about GPS systems?  No way they should be visible to the driver. In fact, PASSENGERS should not be allowed; especially kids in the back seat; too distracting. Make no mistake, texting while driving is just plain dumb and extremely dangerous and I’d be in favor of anyway to legislate its elimination..but to outlaw drivers from all cell phone use just isn’t realistic. This is one of those proposed laws aimed at making proponents feel good about themselves but it’s not necessary and totally unenforceable. I’m afraid, though, they may speak out with such force as to pressure the feds into withholding highway money (legalized extortion)from states that don’t comply.

At the risk of sounding like the old guy yelling at kids to get off my lawn, l just don’t understand this constant need to be texting in the first place… or tweeting for that matter. Why isn’t calling and speaking directly to people good enough?  On our recent trip to New England we toured a couple college campuses, including Harvard.and MIT.  I was a bit surprised to see all these brilliant students walking around from building to building without ever looking up from their I-Phones; great peripheral vision too because none of them were run down crossing the streets even though it’s likely most of the drivers were texting or surfing too.

Hey, maybe everybody should be required to get around on motorcycles or snowmobiles..earch requires the use of both hands; problem solved.


Into my third cup of joe now and my headache’s gone. It could be due in part to the wonderful Christmas tunes playing in the background. I don’t mind some of the jazzy versions of Christmas standards but If I never hear another rendition of Deck The Halls by Trans-Siberian Orchestra or an electronic rendering of Mr. Grinch by Manheim Steamroller, it’ll be too soon. Oh, and does anybody else wish they could leave the room whenever someone breaks into a rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas..the song that never ends? I also don’t find songs written in minor keys to be very uplifting or mood enhancing; songs like We Three Kings (which I was forced into singing with my cousin Lawrence and classmate, John Bjerke during the Christmas Church program every year in our youth) What Child is This..or Little Drummer Boy. (pa rum pa pa pum)

Geeze Lund, you sound like Scrooge before his conversion.

Shopping at a busy Chinese outlet store like Wally World will do that to ya.


  1. Travis says:

    Trans-Siberian Orchestra is the only way christmas music is bearable!!!!

    ………coming from a metal head.

  2. Cam Lind says:

    Doug, I agree on the texting thing and also the dumb Christmas songs. I guess we are old hard cases. The room at the hospital that you go to if you have a reaction to your Chinese eye glass prescriptions is called the EYE CCEEE RRROOOO unit. CL

  3. Joe says:

    You bought a new flat screen? Does that mean you parted with the big projection thingy that cost you a small country’s GDP for a bulb? I had one in Denver that buzzed 24/7. Drove me nuts.

  4. grouse says:

    You forgot to include the gratuitous over playing of Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. They play it every other song. To make matters worse, Taco Johns uses it in their commercials every Christmas, year after year. I boycott Taco Johns every year at this time. Of course, eliminating burritos from my diet is my Christmas gift to mankind. Greenhouses gasses mysteriously decline from Thanksgiving to New Years. At any rate, they don’t play Yogi Yorgesons’s “I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas” anymore. Look it up on you tube. Then, it’s Christmas!
    Gold I bring to crown him again…

  5. Rick Quincey says:

    Of Course I hate texting as a couple years ago I was hit head-on by a drunk lady…texting!
    I guess it’s a fad???but people are missing a lot by texting 3 word answers back and forth. I was at the high school and in the entryway was about 15 teenagers, and it was quiet as a funeral parlor as every single one was on their phones texting, will these people have any conversation skills in the real world??? and the really sad thing is seeing a family in a eatery, dad on his Iphone, mom and her Iphone and 2 kids, who are small for such a short time, with no one to talk to…not a word is spoken??? Hmmm, guess i’m old too.

  6. ClaudeM. says:

    Cell phones and driving are a dangerous mix.
    They claim on the AutoBan in Germany most cars don’t have radios
    playing or any other distractions. There all driving at 120 mph
    with less accidents than our countries Intersate system because
    they are taught driving requires 100% of there concentration &
    zero distractions.
    I did see a girl on a scooter rear end a car on Kiwanis Ave.
    this fall. Yep, she was texting while riding a scooter. ( small
    motor bike ) She was’nt hurt, but the scooters tire was rubbing
    when the light turned green. Some people never learn.

  7. avid MacNally says:

    Little Drummer Boy performed for many years by the Washington High School Choir was the song that was most cherished by every choir member’s mom, thanks to the Director Boyd Bohlke.

  8. James says:

    I just want to point out that before we had texting, we mostly had “non-smart” cell phones. Before that, you couldn’t make a call while driving unless you had one of those cool corded phones in the car, like on Hawaii 5-O.

    I guess it’s a sore spot for me, because even though they outlawed non-handsfree cell phone calls by drivers in CA (and it worked…. for awhile), it has descended back into getting stuck behind drivers who are more concentrated on their phone conversation rather than whether their exit is coming up. We need to have more “Tech-free times” I think, including no texting while in the company of family/friends. Or thinking you just HAVE to have that device in the On postition while the plane is taking off or landing. Okay, I’m getting off my soapbox now.

  9. Donn says:

    Like ClaudeM, I saw a motorcycle rider texting last summer on Marion Rd. Then I was driving distracted, because I was busy watching him.

  10. GMAX09 says:

    Maybe if more of us made and followed our own rules about phone use while driving it would reduce some of the issues created by that dangerous practice. My family all know that if I’m driving I will NOT pull off to the side of the road and dig out my reading glasses just to read “when R U coming home” or anything else, for that matter. I will, however, answer my flip phone while driving so if something is important they can still reach me. I won’t place a call, tho, unless I pull over to dial. I’m trying to set a good example for my grandkids, don’t cha know! Wish their parents would do the same.

    Your comments about the way some WalMart customers dress brought a smile. If your sweats are the worst thing you wear shopping I think you’re safe – unless they are all neon tie-dye!

  11. Suzan says:

    So, I’ve got an entirely different soap box to step onto. What the heck were the marketing folks at Best Buy thinking with their new ad campaign, Game On, Santa?!? I’m so totally offended by the mean-spirited, nasty nature of the ads, I don’t intend on buying another thing from Best Buy. Have we become such a competitive, angry, it’s-all-about-me society that being cruel to Santa at Christmas is the latest hot sales idea? It’s no surprise people are trampling others on “black Friday.” How sad a representation of Christmas is this greedy, self-centered, bullying attitude! Stepping off the soap box now and looking forward to a little real Christmas fun with our immediate family over this weekend. Then on to the rest of our crazy clan next weekend. Can’t wait!!

  12. Michael says:

    Santa’s tough. He can take it.

  13. Connie says:

    I felt the same way Suzan when the Best Buy ads first aired. How desperate they must be to make that buck that they had to stoop so low. Try explaining that ad to a 5 year old. I will not be shopping at Best Buy in the future. I too shall step off the soap box and enjoy the holiday season with my family. Merry Christmas everyone!!

  14. Scott says:

    Doug — you miss the point of “minor” Christmas songs. I like to listen to them to remind me how hopeless life would be WITHOUT Christ. Besides, Little Drummer Boy is just cool! LOL Actually you managed to malign several of my favorite Christmas tunes! Lighten up, it’s Christmas!

  15. James says:

    Amy Poehler was on “Ellen” the other day, and speaking of technology she said “20 years from now they will have an app. It will be called iContact.”

  16. Michael says:

    I’m with you on Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Manheim Steamroller. Christmas cannot be improved by a disco beat. YUK! I’ll stick with Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, and the Boston Pops. THAT’S Christmas music.

  17. blueeyes says:

    Haven’t been in WM for 3 years and I function just fine. Just my choice.

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