It always starts the same way. I need something that has inevitably been made in China but is only available at an American superstore, such as Walmart or Home Depot (for the purposes of this blog, I will shorten it to WalDepot). I do not like to go to to these places as based on past experiences it usually ends badly. But perhaps this time, I inevitably think, it will be different.
This is where my thinking is always, always incorrect.
From the outside, it never looks so bad. This is because the first 15 feet of WalDepot are manufactured to lull the consumer into a childlike state of trust. This is done with a very effectively placed happy sticker.
Happy Sticker!!! Yayy! When one is focused on a yellow sticky happy face, one fails to notice the Evil Doors closing menacingly behind.
And so it begins.
I don't even know where it starts to go wrong. Perhaps it's the terrible, terrible music or the doom lighting that would be far better suited to the Death Star or maybe Hell's own antechamber, but something starts to melt in my spinal column.
I start to get confused. Why did I come to WalDepot? What did I need? Did I need a bath mat? I'm sure I could use a bath mat, and a coffee maker. I have a coffee maker. Is this coffee maker better? How old is my hair dryer? Should I get a new one? Where am I? Why is this hallway so brightly lit? Did I need a heated towel rack? Or a new air filter? Or a bedroom floor? Probably I need one, but I don't remember where the car is. I don't remember WHAT the car is. WHO AM I????
This is the moment when I look around at all the happy WalDepot employees and realize that they are soulless automatons, and/or brainwashed. I am now scared. And also deeply sleepy. I realize that this is where I'm going to be eaten and turned into a zombie but I can't resist. The music has lulled me into a stupor and the smiley face mocks all possible rebellion.
I begin to drool.
I begin to crawl on all fours. Shopping is forgotten entirely, as the desperate need to run away takes over. It's science, really-- survival mode simply kicking in.
Alas, I am stymied by the evil zombie doors of WalDepot. I am forced to buy something or die. I purchase gum and approximately $7,569.33 worth of items I do not, even a little, need.
And this is why I should never, ever be allowed to go to Walmart.