Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seaside 4: Sunscreen Gets in Your Eyes

When we lived down here before, we used to go chicken-neck crabbing all the time. A roll of twine, some stinky chicken, a bucket, and a net would provide an afternoon of entertainment and a good dinner, too. This area has been really built-up in the last twenty years, and even though we're staying way out of town, down the beach and well south of the tourist area, in only 15 minutes you can drive to a brand new Walmart where until recently there was only farm and field. That's where I went today to get the stuff I needed to go crabbing.

The place I live now is too urban for Walmart-- there's no space to build those gigantic stores, so when I walked into the Supercenter today it was like entering a kind of 21st century consumerista village. Tucked into one small corner was a full-sized grocery store; then there was a Subway, a nail salon, a bank, not to mention a huge store with anything else in the world. There was no denying that the gatherer in me was seduced by the bright white availability of so much stuff at such a reasonable price, and gleefully I filled my cart with a bubble wand, three pounds of bacon, and five dollar bath towels, in addition to the items on my list.

As I continued on through the place, though, I started feeling guilty about my feedlot pork and cheap imported goods, and I imagined myself putting everything back and then commandeering the PA system and speaking out against this consuming consumerism, but then I pictured the townsfolk heading over to the garden department and coming after me with pitchforks, and everything really was a good deal, so, shamefaced and silent, I pushed my cart of excess to the car.

And we didn't catch a single crab.

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