Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My Pants Sag. We Go to the WalMart.

I need to create a customized checklist for travel packing. I mean short, a list not so extensive that the idea of following it becomes so great a burden that one, in effect, crosses one's fingers, places one's bet and takes one's chances. I want something lean, something focused, concentrating on items the absence of which is the stuff of paranoia, that which you never ever ever forget to pack until the time you do.

A belt is one such item. If you are a man whose shape in certain parts of the world -- or at least in a couple bowling alleys I know about -- is more or less the gold standard for the male physique, by which I mean the classic python-dines-with-pig, sometimes your love handles weigh on the tops of your shorts and force those shorts down down down unless you cinch those shorts UP. This morning I tugged until lunch, but then I gave up and asked my sister-in-law to drive me to the nearest heart o' Florida WalMart. I don't go to the East Bay WalMart nearest us, somewhere near San Leandro. I personally resent WalMart's attitude toward unions and also the fact its hegemony is supposed to have ruined small businesses all over the country. Cheap stuff priced cheaply is fine in moderation, but I do wonder if the WalMart phenomenon is integral, perhaps not as a cause but as an effect, to the creeping impoverishment of the American working class over the last 25 years.

Yachts for them, five-buck "I love grampa" t-shirts for the rest of us. I don't stop at the WalMart.

But so many of the working class of Florida having failed to stand with me in recent elections, today I did not stand with them. I went to a local WalMart in a wretched little strip mall -- where the people were lined up to park in the disabled spaces and it's the truth -- and bought a cheap belt from a rack of belts the smallest of which was designed for a man a yard in circumference.


My pants, as it turns out, are thoroughly apolitical.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sears once occupied the attention - and wallets - of America as today does WalMart.
And sales online, which was invented JUST FOR ME, has dented many a retail legacy, too.
History says that these, too, shall transmogrify away.