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Off-Target at Walmart

The other day I was migrating through the monstrosity of Phoenix when I stopped in at a Target store. Since nobody knew me in town I wouldn't lose face by being seen in such an unmanly store. And besides, I had recently bought my newly beloved netbook from them, and at a loss-leader price too. Seriously, as long as Target offers a 45-day return policy on electronics, compared to 15 days at Walmart and other places, it is worth giving them the benefit of the doubt.

There was a time when I wasn't so kind to Target. Financial analysts used to heap praise on Target because it 'knew how to distinguish itself from Walmart'. Maybe they were right: Target was useless and Walmart was my favorite place to shop; and that is quite a distinction. What did Target offer that Walmart didn't, besides wide aisles? And who goes into a store to buy aisles? Target offered the same cheap Chinese crap that Walmart did, except at slightly higher prices since it selected things that were a little prettier and more stylish to pull in their silly female customers. Target offered no hard goods for guys.

But today Walmart is on the down slope of its history. Imperial over-reach, I guess. And here I was, ogling the Nikon 1 cameras in the Target store. Metal and glass; now that's sexy. Back in the van in their parking lot, I paused and watched Target's customers arrive.

After seeing a statistically meaningful number of such customers, it is completely sane to want to come back as a woman, in my next life. An attractive woman. I have sometimes bemoaned the decline of girl-watching as a healthy, virtuous, and Catonic sport in this decaying country: there's simply no material to work with. But the women walking into the Target were pleasant-looking, respectable, and believable. They weren't 17-year-old girls, either; they were 30-40 year old mothers and wives. It feels so good to walk away from a store and think that our species really does have a future.

Contrast the look of the average Target shopper with the anthropoids over at Walmart: sociology, history, and evolution have yet to offer a satisfactory explanation for the appearance of the average Walmart shopper, who is just a huge, waddling bundle of ugliness and human deformity. The only guess that I will offer is that they are the result of some kind of miscegenation -- partly biological and partly cultural -- that occurs from a toxic brew of too much fast food, diesel fumes from their pickup trucks, meth labs, radon outgassing from revival tent walls, welfare state policies, public schools, tattoo parlors, rap music in elevators, and ghetto or barrio values promulgated by endless television bottom-feeding.

And so I'm going to go a little easier on those nice-looking Target shoppers. When you look at the cars most of those well-appointed women are driving, only the most politically-correct would deny that there is a noticeable correlation between female appearance and affluence. Oh dear, what an awful thing to say, 40 years after the modern women's movement began around 1970! Well then you sit in that parking lot for 15 minutes and do some statistics with your own eyes, and tell me what your explanation is.

But who can blame them for wanting to go into a store and not feel ashamed of themselves or not gag at the mere sight of the other customers? Years ago, I might have been bothered by this correlation of female attractiveness and affluence. Getting older isn't all bad; I mellow. This is just one more example of Samuel Johnson's experience: "As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly." And in this case, let's cross out 'man' and put 'person'.


Thom Hoch said…
Go Boonie... Go! Loved this post. Read it to my (attractive, semi-affluent, Target-shopper) wife... and were both laughing out-loud... tears running down our cheeks. Best entertainment of the day so far.
Anonymous said…
Well this is a first for me, I've posted this to my Facebook Wall.

Tom in Orlando
Hugh said…
Don't sugarcoat it Boonie, tell us what you really think of the Walmart ladies (gents too).
Thom Hoch said…
Hmmm. Think I'll make a bowl of popcorn and watch the comments this afternoon.
Bob said…
"who is just a huge, waddling bundle of ugliness and human deformity",
I think that's just about the best use of the English language I've seen on the internet all day.
Simply awesome, and as a statement of fact, so unfortunately true.
Al Bossence said…
Have you looked at this website lately?
You can post the pictures you take of Walmart shoppers .

Bob said…
Sadly there is NO Target near to me and a Walmart too close. I can vouch for the appearance of Walmart shoppers ... unfortunately :(
Unknown said…
Target's copy writers and admen are already parsing this blog entry for quotes in their upcoming advertising campaign.