Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Big, Boxy America

Was planning a little car trip and yet I procrastinated enough to be looking for an oil change on Saturday afternoon in preparation for a post Labor Day four-in-the-morning departure, necessary in order to get around the Chi-town horn by rush hour and on our way to Toronto. Well, it turns out my usual spot was closed at 3:15 in the afternoon, so today I woke up and headed for the spaciously splendid, superbly centered Wal Mart as a last resort.

On approach to the auto center of this grand edifice were numerous lanes, two of them distinctly marked for the "express lube" category of unsuspecting patrons. We parked ourselves at the end of a perfectly marked ramp and waited. Nothing. Were we supposed to leave the car and enter the building? The Quick Lube place would be all over us now. Nothing.

So I went inside. One guy was trying to sell tires to someone and the other one was on the phone. After twenty minutes of watching these two go in and out of this little office without so much as an acknowledgement of my existence, eventually one of them took my order. I'd have liked to have gone outside to tell my little Hun what was going on, but I couldn't get out without a button press by one of those pretending that I don't exist. Interestingly, they couldn't get out either without fumbling for the right key when there are about eight thousand scanning devices throughout this building.

The main dude handed me a ticket with a UPC code and proudly informed me that I could check on the status of my "express" oil change utilizing any scanner from a check out or price check clerk in the store. Wonderful.

We went in and got a bouquet of flowers for my mom, a certain unmentionable and an extra book for the trip (The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold), and then we headed on back to claim the Focus. The hood was still up and they were apparently getting around to scrounging up the correct oil for this exotic model. No less than one hour from the time we pulled up to these "express" lanes we finally headed out, but not before the dopey part-timer doing our 15 point "expert" lube job had to call over his supervisor to make sure we had enough oil in our car.

The Waltons. You see, just as with the case of The Orleans catastrophe, you have these Reaganite, BMA laden, neo-con skin flints thinking they can apply their economic model to any old thing, with often disastrous results. Everyone manages but no one leads. Everyone makes do with less, and less is the result.

Ok, so a Texan is rough-ridin' the country, and an Oklahoman is running FEMA, and an Arkansan(?) is running the company store. When did all this happen? What happened to good old Yankee know-how!

Wisconsin is pretty self-sufficient. We have lots of fresh water, fertile land, Angus steer and dairy cows. We are the world's leading producer of if not cheese, cranberries. We also have a nice big pipeline to Alberta's oil fields. For what do we possibly need the South and all this hair-brained "leadership" they keep foisting on us?

I say we secede, maybe take Minnesota and the UP of Michigan with us and become the Canadian Province of New Scandinavia. If the German Americans don't like it they can keep Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha and go join the flatlanders in Illinois. Half of Kenosha and Racine are commuters to Illinois anyway, and since they no longer make beer in Milwaukee I haven't figured out what the hell else they do there.

Of course, we would have to import a few million Harley Davidsons a year, but at least we could make them put mufflers on them.

Me and the missus, we're gonna head up to Toronto and feel it out. If you don't hear from me, I've gone illegal.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger Bullock said...

Re: the Waltons'economics; all the more reason to frequent your local small businesses and fight the urge to just accumulate 'stuff' that is mostly made in foreign countries. Going 'shopping' should mean going to a merchant to get something you need, notjust want.
And don't trust the big box trickle-downs/neo con moral grounds/fundy mentals I-been-found to do the right thing(s).

Grass roots. Let's all do our homework, be informed and start to make noise.


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