Sunday, December 19, 2004


So, like I was saying, this weekend, I'm spending time with my son. He's a senior in high school. They're out on Christmas break. They still call it Christmas break. Lots of other places don't, though. Others call it something like Winter break. Or something that doesn't offend the druids or the wiccans or other non-Christian groups. Never mind the fact that it offends me that they remove the name of my Lord and Savior. Christmas is a special time for Christians. Never mind the fact that there was no such celebration in the early Church, and that its a pagan holiday co-opted by later Church leaders. The fact that the celebration is only 1600 years old rather than 2000 years old doesn't remove it's significance to Christians today.

So, anyway, he's on break and we're spending some time together this weekend. This means eating out a lot. And buying stuff that I forgot when I left the house. Which, of course, means a trip to Wal-Mart[shameless link - but stuff!]. After all, they haven't kicked the Salvation Army to the curb. So, after eating supper last night, as we were walking out of the Hardee's, I looked over at the Wal-Mart[shameless link - but stuff!] and remembered some stuff I needed. So, we went there and got the stuff I needed. When we left, we went out the entrance (I guess it's also an exit) that has the traffic light. You see, there's a traffic light at the west entrance, but not at the east entrance. There wasn't always a traffic light at either one.

Years ago, Wal-Mart wanted to put a store up in my home town. But, for some reason, the city fathers didn't want one. Maybe they actually did, but maybe Wal-Mart wasn't buying the land from the people they wanted them to buy the land from. Maybe it was something else. Whatever the reason, Wal-Mart went to another town some 30 miles away. See, in that part of the state, Wal-Marts were few and far between. So, the Wal-Mart went to this other town.

Perhaps I was a little harsh on the city fathers earlier. Maybe they were just worried of the effect a Wal-Mart would have on the small businesses in town. Sure. That was it. Of course, it doesn't explain the city fathers driving to the other town and shopping at the Wal-Mart there, does it? Especially around Christmas Time. Or the fact that Wal-Mart was a problem, but K-Mart[shameless link - buy stuff!] wasn't? Hmmm. Okay, city fathers, everyone needs to get their stories straight.

Anyway, this other town had a Wal-Mart. And my home town didn't. Fast forward to just a few years ago. Wal-Mart decided to try again. This time, they either bought the land from the right people, or the coalition fell apart or something. Wal-Mart bought the land and started building. They put up a Super Center. If you don't know the difference between a regular Wal-Mart and a Super Center, I think it's the size. Or that the Super Center carries groceries. Or changes oil. Or something. Anyway, they're Super. At least that's what the sign says.

So, the Wal-Mart Super Center opened. And, you had to drive 45 miles for the next nearest one. Yes, there was a regular dinky Wal-Mart 30 miles away, but my home town had the only Super Center in miles. And then, folks from the town that got the earlier Wal-Mart started driving 30 miles to shop at the Super Center in my home town. So, lots of traffic on that highway. Remember when I said there wasn't always a traffic light there? Well, there wasn't a traffic light there. "Not enough traffic," according to the state. So, then folks started getting killed there. "Not enough traffic," according to the state. That made those families feel real good, I'm sure.

Anyway, later, a Huddle House opened next to the hospital. They put up a light. "Enough traffic," the state said. I wonder if that many people actually eat at the Huddle House. Or if it's all the traffic generated by the ambulances taking Wal-Mart shoppers to the hospital.

Oh, a light finally was put up at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart paid for it.

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