The Evil Empire Strikes Again

The Evil Empire Strikes Again
The Evil Empire Strikes Again

I hate Walmart. I hate this mega corporation for the standard reasons (the new millennium version of the company store), but I also hate it because I can’t seem to go in there and NOT spend a boat load of money. I’ll go in for one or two items and walk out with a car load of stuff that was deemed necessary while under the influence of the Walmart atmosphere.

In a 2008 New Year’s resolution, I resolved to quit watching Law & Order. Like too much news, L&O provoked apathy and/or despair. Uncharacteristically, I actually kept the resolution. I haven’t watched the show since a surprise snowstorm stranded me in a motel in a Cumberland Gap motel in early January of 2008.

Due to the success of that resolution, 2009 found me resolving not to shop at Walmart unless absolutely necessary. I’ve been successful. I quit doing my food shopping there. And even though they have my favorite off-brand shampoo, I’ve resisted and have run around with less than stellar hair.

Between January and May, I have made purchases at the Walmart exactly twice. Once for an emergency dog food run at midnight and once for corn tortillas (nobody else seems to carry them). [Note: I frequently have a strong compulsion for fried corn tortillas stuffed with sharp cheddar and slathered in salsa.] 

I wish it was a K-Mart blue light special.
I wish it was a K-Mart blue light special.

I have felt virtuous.

Then the masthead rose died.

The masthead, a Glamis Castle, was originally purchased at Walmart in 2008. I searched everywhere for a replacement and finally gave in and went to the Walmart. No luck. But they did have a plethora of plants on clearance that were healthy and borderline necessary for the white garden. I indulged and assuaged my feelings of guilt by telling myself that since the plants were deeply discounted, Walmart’s profit margin on my purchase was minimal. [Note: Smith & Hawken’s is shipping me a Glamis Castle rose sometime this week – I’m very excited.]

feeders
Hummingbird feeders.

Then yesterday there was the hummingbird feeder emergency. I searched everywhere for the small glass globes that I prefer. No luck. So I toddled off to the Walmart. No luck there either, but they did have these kick ass solar lights. For $4.

Oh my.

I love solar lights. I think they’re one of the truly great inventions. I’m particularly fond of the copper ones with the blue-white light. I have 8 large ones in the retaining wall bed and they’ve stood the test of the time. At present, the batteries are weakening and the light doesn’t last as long, but they are still a favorite feature in the garden. I’ve been looking for some more to place in the new beds.

And damn it all – Walmart has a nearly perfect solution at the affordable price of $4 each. They’re far smaller which will work quite well for the effect I want. I gave in and bought one. To my credit, I resisted buying the entire display until I verified that it was indeed a perfect solution.

They’re perfect. Damn it all.

Damn it all, they're perfect
Damn it all, they’re perfect.

I’m going to check Target, Lowe’s and Home Depot first (all three only marginally less offensive than Walmart, but less is less), but I suspect Walmart has a lock on them.

I have so few principles and the ones I do have are falling like dominoes. I really, really hate that I’m probably going to purchase a plethora of little $4 solar lights at the Evil Empire. When it comes to the garden (and shoes), I have little self-control.

Damn it all.

8 Comments

Filed under June 2009

8 responses to “The Evil Empire Strikes Again

  1. So compromise: make yourself a “Unionize” t-shirt, and wear it each and every time you shop there.

  2. .
    You know plethora is not real leather, right?

    And that mysterious plant is a triffid. Best to leave it be.

    As to Walmart, look at it this way: Somewhere in the Third World, you’re feeding a hungry child. To an even hungrier child.
    .

    • GASP! Oh no…well, I can always claim I’m animal cruelty free even if the dachshund is trying to convince everyone I mistreat her.

      That’s what bothers me most about Walmart is the child labor problem. And then there’s their market share which is driving all the independents out of business which leads me to my present problem – where I am I am reduced to big box stores for most of my purchases. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Last I heard, 25% of every retail dollar is spent at Sam’s or Walmart.

      I’m not exaggerating when I refer to it as The Evil Empire. Like our dependence on oil, Walmart and all the big boxes are going to ruin us.

      BTW, if you haven’t seen The Story of Stuff (google it) – it’s powerful.

  3. I rarely go to Wal-Mart…

    But every time I go, I wonder if the Walton family is building a wall to keep us out or keep their workers in. (Yeah, I know there’s only one “l,” but I figure the other one died off because it didn’t have health insurance!)

    • It’s worse than that – they encourage their employees to forego the optional health insurance and encourage them to sign their kids up for CHIP and/or explain how finagling work hours will qualify them for public assistance. It’s corporate welfare at its worst. DAMN I hate Walmart.

  4. Pingback: Outdoor Solar Lights are Almost Installation and Maintenance Free - OutdoorLightsCenter.com |

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