Can’t trust you farther than this very short tape measure

you have no idea how many mosquito bites I got trying to capture the perfect long exposure of this with the strobes going off

I found this sitting in my drafts folder and it made me crack up laughing remembering how silly this was— it’s from months ago, likely when I was stuck in Princeton, Florida, needing to measure for the installation of something at A Beautiful Place Out in the Country. 

The store in question is likely the Florida City Walmart Supercenter.

I once formed this theory that this was basically the last tail end of all civilization after arriving there on the tail end of a session of battling Z-Bola and witnessing a late night bus pull up there and the passengers disembark to the tune of its engine shutting down with a long sigh and several dozen empty beer bottles being thrown one by one on the sidewalk.

I guess it’s finally come to this. Walked into a Miami location of a typical big box store that’s slowly losing all relevance to buy a tape measure. Got stopped at the front door by a security guard for a metal detector check.

Wait, what?

His detector never went off even after his forcibly and painfully whacking it into my steel jewelry and he waved me on.

I had to go find someone with a key to a locked cabinet for the tools. He arrived with a police officer in uniform who tailed me until I checked out. The police officer was annoyed with me going over to the grocery section to get a snack and yelled at me to go check out and leave instead.

The store had signs up indicating that they will soon cease accepting cash at their registers citing safety concerns, and will be reducing their operating hours to 9 AM-7 PM come summer. It seemed the no cash policy was already in place as a customer was arguing with the cashier over it. The cashier pulled out the empty drawer and showed it to the customer who was angrily shaking a $50 bill and didn’t seem to understand this meant that not only would they not accept cash, but even if they did, there’d be no change!

This is why we cannot have good things.

There may be a couple of things I miss about South Florida, but this was never one of them. As long as you don’t try to go to the Walmart in Redding, none of the retail stores here are sad warzones. Actually, the Redding Walmart is just a giant box full of sadness, gated off aisles, and locked cases from which you can buy nothing, and it’s a small miracle it hasn’t been closed down entirely. Nobody will miss it when it goes away.

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