Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In Search of Walmart

Yeah, I know a large percentage of Americans think Walmart is the Devil. They also think Anna Wintour is the Devil, but that didn't keep me from working at the empire that allows her to take her own elevators and skip in front of the food line to buy one piece of zucchini for lunch.

So last night, I went in search of Walmart.

When I get upset, I like to drive... anywhere... and come up with little shopping projects for myself.

I've decided I want to be the female version of Bobby Flay. After finding Uncle Brutha's on Capital Hill, I think that dream can become a reality... with all the great BBQ sauces from around the US on sale there... I went to buy a real deal large, charcoal Weber grill in silver.

So, last night, I went in search of the Walmart in Alexandria off Richmond Highway. It might be the Devil, but my grill was about $20 cheaper there. I don't work in small-town America. My mom and pop hire people to mow the lawn, paint the house, and iron their clothing. They most certainly don't own a hardware store in Mayberry. Okay, to be honest, I'm justifying my purchase even though I do sort of think Walmart isn't the greatest... but I'm on a budget, and I wanted my grill.

Back to my story-

I've not driven that far South on Jefferson Davis Highway since my move to DC in November of last year.

I didn't realize there was so much construction going on in Virginia. I didn't realize that parts of Alexandria don't look like Old Town... with litter and poorly kept houses. I didn't realize there was a Checkers so close to DC (damnit, now I'll be craving Checkers fries again, for the first time since I left Bama). I didn't realize that Five Guys had a whole chain of restaurants into Virginia... with one on each side of US-1.

I also forgot how cheap Walmart really is. My 12-packs of Diet Pepsi, not on sale, were $3 a pack. That's about $1 less than normal SFW prices.

I also forgot how little help the Walmart employees offer. I suppose with all the wage wars, I should be thankful they weren't all outside surrounding a large blow-up rat.

A man who spoke not a word of English attempted to answers my questions regarding the difference in the two grills I was debating between. All I wanted to know was if the smoker grill could be cleaned. He pointed me out of the grilling section. I looked at him confused. Then he gave me a hand gesture indicating I should follow him. I assumed we were off to find someone who spoke English. We ended up in the cleaning supply section.

"No, no. Thank anyways, " I said. "I'll just figure it out myself."

I had the whole Postal Service going nuts in my mind.

So I headed back to grills, where a nice and young guy was assisting an old woman with a plant. I asked if he worked in the grill section. He said no, he worked in garden. I asked if he knew anything about grills. He said he grills almost every weekend... jackpot.

I bought the Weber. He insisted. It's the best. Even I knew that.

Now I have to put the grill together. Then, Sunday, we'll be ready to grill.


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