Thoughts on “My 49 Hours at Wal-Mart”

Rumor has it that you can get anything at Wal-Mart. That is one of the many reasons to avoid it. But on the day after Thanksgiving, 2001, I endeavored to submit entirely to the world of Wal-Mart. My intention was to hyper-accept the offers of consumer culture—health, happiness, fulfillment, comfort, etc.—as though they were made in earnest. On the day after Thanksgiving I entered a Super Wal-Mart planning to stay continuously for seventy-two hours or until I was thrown out.
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My 49 Hours at Wal-Mart: an announcement of possibility

Letters to the outside:

Hi drew,

Believe it or not, I am writing you from Wal-Mart. I am now well into my thirty-seventh hour of continuous occupation. My plan was to stay for seventy-two hours but I have had absolutely no luck finding a suitable place to sleep—go figure! Actually I just got busted trying to bed down. I guess the camping section manager saw the rack of orange camo cover-alls wiggling as I tried to get comfortable below. Just as I settled down I saw a pair of feet approaching. “What are you doing under there?” she asked. I assumed that I’d be escorted out the front door (or worse) so I didn’t bother with an elaborate excuse. “Hiding,” I said as I climbed out and waited, like a good criminal, for the firing squad. But the strangest thing happened! She just stood there looking at me. I know she wanted to open the application but she didn’t have the right program. After a few seconds I just walked away. I took off my wig and spent the next few hours hiding in the magazine section. Now the “Radio Diner” is open again and I’m back in the booth where my “refill” cup hides… I think the whole thing’s blown over.

Always Wal-Mart tm
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