Walmart ordered way too many bicycles this year to sell over the Christmas holidays. They outline the entrance to the store all the way back to the Garden Center, blue and pink bicycles, waiting like lost puppies for a family to take home. It is January, post-holidays, several weeks since we’ve gone shopping. Provisions are low. We find a shopping cart and begin our trek.
My shopping partner likes to take control of the cart so as to keep a steady pace throughout the aisles, encouraging us both to select only what is on our list without malingering. Food shopping can be tricky.
There are those who simply power through displays of frozen foods, canned goods, household supplies, dairy, meat—grabbing and moving along with little time to rest up or check incoming messages on the cellphone. Others see shopping as a source of entertainment, tempted by new offerings that have arrived since the last visit. The more health conscious often spend time reading labels and ingredients, returning anything which meets a more than 100 percent daily requirement for sodium and / or cholesterol.
Some are only there to buy advertised items. At the check-out counter, carts are filled with ten boxes of pepperoni pizza, a dozen macaroni and cheeses, chicken pot pies, or bottles of salad dressings, ten for five dollars.
I still dream of Trader Joe’s, Costco, or Winco with its bushels of beans and pasta, opening up a branch in Monroe, Louisiana. But I am not holding my breath. This is a right-to-work state that is unfriendly to unionized and employee-owned businesses.
Today we finish our shopping and walk back to the car. I think Walmart should consider offering those bicycles to children whose parents were unable to buy one. It would save the cost of shipping them back to wherever they came from…