I must admit, Wal-mart isn't…well, wasn't
one of my favorite places to go. I could
feel the dread creeping into the deepest
crevices of my soul when my wife would
mention going and dragging my kickin' and
screamin' arse with her. God, I hated the
I have posed this very question many times,
to myself mind you, but posed. What's with
Wal-mart? Could it be this seemingly,
simple retail shopping center has been put on
the face of these United States by aliens from
another planet, just to observe the frantic
activity of us humans...make that Southern humans.
You know, like when you were a kid and would drop
some unsuspecting insect into a red anthill just
to see what would happen. Oh sure, you never did
that, yeah right!
This makes sense. I don't know how the Wal-marts
are up north...hell, I don't even know if they
have 'em. But if they do, they just can't be like
a Southern Wal-mart. A Southern Wal-mart is a church,
in a sense! A gathering place for all to wander in
large aisles that have been crowded with pallets
stacked high with stuff "one just might need."
I have served as witness to strange activities in
these Wal-marts from Florida to Kentucky, and the
behavioral patterns of the loyal patrons are the
same. They gather early in the mornings to perform
a ritual that is terribly frightening and strange
to the unknowing. They sit, sometimes alone, sipping
coffee. They sit in groups and sip coffee. They
play bingo very early in the mornin', too! These
folks gather in the pallet-crowded aisles and speak
to each other for long periods of time. I have, on
occasion, overheard these folks engage in seemingly
casual conversation concerning fishin', racin', kids,
life and death. Even I have been mysteriously caught
up in some of these conversations with perfect
strangers, probably brought on by some piece of
clothing I happened to be wearing at the time,
usually a Dale Earnhardt tee-shirt.
Give this a try. Find your local Wal-mart and go
into the fishin' section. Stand around and look
real serious-like at a specific type of lure. It
won't be long before that total stranger walks up
to you and says, "Ya ever catch anythang on that
thang?" And he will be serious as hell about it,
too! Could it be that underneath those camouflage
overalls, there is some scary lookin', scaly-faced
monster from another galaxy trying to figure
you out? Startin' to make sense,
You ever pay real close attention to those Wal-mart
greeters at their front and back doors? Look real
close at 'em the next time they speak to ya! Most
of 'em have a strange, blank stare on their face.
Now, they ain't like us. We usually say hi to
somebody and smile at 'em. They don't! It's kinda
like a robot, uh huh, see what I mean!?
I just thought of somethin' else kinda strange. If
y'all have kids that are say, fifteen or sixteen
years old, just try and dress them in clothes from
Wal-mart. They ain't gonna have it! They just have
to have clothes from one of those stores in the
biggest malls in the state. Then suddenly, they
start comin' home and say, "Look what I got at
Wal-mart." Or, "Did y'all see where that Wal-mart
sales flyer went out of the newspaper?" Somehow our
kids have now become captives of the Wal-mart
aliens! More'n likely it's those weird greeters at
the front door, plasterin' those kids with
smiley-face stickers...they mark 'em, I tell ya,
for later captivity!
Getting back to the idea that I was startin' to
enjoy Wal-mart shoppin'! I don't recollect when
I actually began to like goin' to Wal-mart. It
seemed to just happen, unexpectedly like! I just
woke up one mornin' and drove to a Wal-mart, no
apparent reason. I find myself missing not going.
I just have to see what's been brought out that
I didn't see the day before.
Now, get this. I always wondered what exactly was
behind those big double-doors in the back of the
store that say, "EMPLOYEES ONLY." Did you ever
wonder what's really back there? I know I've asked
many of those Wal-mart folks if they had anymore of
a certain item I was lookin' for back there in
that giant space with the double doors. The answer
I always get is, "All we have are on the shelves."
Then, what in the hell do they keep in the back?
Huh? Think about it! There are PODS back
there, I tell ya!
Did you ever see that old black and white movie,
Invasion of the Body Snatchers? It's a movie
where aliens that looked like the town-folk kept
nasty, gooey, pods hidden in an old shed, and if
you went to sleep you woke up and your mind and
body had been snatched right out from under your
nose, and your neighbors started to wonder why
you looked the same, but you
dad-burned sure didn't act like the same?
So, there ya go! There are pods that are delivered
in those big Wal-mart semi trucks. And, if you go
to Wal-mart too many times and those front-door
greeters see your face way too often, your pod
will be delivered. And then, sooner
than later, you will wake up and have an
unexplainable desire to show up at a Wal-mart,
sip coffee, play bingo, and wander around in
large aisles and buy stuff you don't need!
See y'all next week.
~ Capt. Gary
Gary grew up in central Florida and spent much
of his youth fishing the lakes that dot the area.
After moving a little closer to the coast, his
interests changed from fresh to salt. Gary still
visits his "roots" in the "lake behind the house."
He obtained his captain's license in the early '90's
and fished the blue waters of the Atlantic for a little
over twelve years. His interests in the beautiful shallow
water flats in and around the famous Mosquito Lagoon came
around twenty-five years ago. Even though Captain Gary
doesn't professionally guide anymore, his respect of the
waters will ever be present.
Gary began fly fishing and tying mostly saltwater
patterns in the early '90's and has participated as
a demo fly tier for the Federation of Fly Fishers
on numerous occasions. He is a private fly casting
and tying instructor and stained glass artist,
creating mostly saltwater game fish in glass.