The internet has changed things.
Nowadays there is a whole website for people who want to take pictures of other people shopping at Walmart while looking ridiculous, but I first did it years ago, before it was a trendy thing to do among very untrendy people.
I imagine modern-day WalMart employees are accustomed to people snapping pictures but when I did it, it aroused serious suspicion. But I couldn’t help myself! We don’t have WalMarts where I live, so the rural Pennsylvania establishment I visited was like a trip to another planet, and I, like any tourist, wanted PROOF that I’d encountered a display of bananas on another planet.
The WalMart employee who attempted to stop me from my touristy actions will never be forgotten, in part because she shared a first name with me (Reverend) and in part because, although she could cite no specific policy prohibiting photography of the fruit displays, she was certain, deep down where these things count, that I was in violation of something.
WalMart Reverend: Hey, you can’t take pictures of the fruit here.
BIOU: Why not?
WalMart Reverend: Because, you just, you just can’t do that.
BIOU: I’m not sure why I can’t take a picture of this fruit, though.
WalMart Reverend: It’s against the rules of WalMart.
WalMart Reverend: Ah, just go ahead.
Luckily she was nowhere to be found when I discovered the stunning array of ceramic Jesus figurines:
Or the glorious endcap condom sale arrangement (sorry no pics, you’ll have to take my word for it that WalMart sells rubbers). And I thank the creator of the universe every day that nobody was there to kibosh my efforts at taking a picture of THIS lady, The Queen of Aisle Nine:
You can’t really see it in this picture, which has been copied and resized and recopied and resaved so many times over the years that all detail is lost to time, but she’s got her eyebrows drawn on in some sort of felt-tipped blue pen. Unsurprisingly she was buying mostly cat food. The good kind.
So when I am posting pictures of a penis tree or a discarded happy meal, or by some stroke of luck, a lady riding the bus with a big hair roller stuck to the front of her head, know that I have been practicing my surreptitious cell phone photography for many years now, and I am no amateur.
You can be just like me someday, if you simply give up on all your other goals and aspirations.