Lee's Summit, Missouri used to pretty much revolve around a single Wal*Mart up until the mid-90s, at which point the fancy shmancy Target opened up and started selling upper class, rich person things like packages of ground beef that weren't pre-opened / pre-tasted, or pants which had both leg holes accessible. Soon the affluent, snooty folks began flocking towards the Target and their wide assortment of arcane, mysterious objects collected from across the globe, such as the obscure "olive oil" and an oddity to Missouri natives, "wheat bread."
Now while upper class Lee's Summit (read as: lower class America) spends their time pushing red shopping carts throughout Target, the lower class Lee's Summit (read as: a group of people often mistaken for overweight, sweaty vending machines) has taken refuge inside Wal*Mart, and the great Third War of Lee's Summit has begun. The First War of Lee's Summit began when the Wendy's opened up next to the McDonald's on Chipman Road in the early 80s, resulting in hundreds of McNugget-related injuries. Wendy's launched an impressive campaign of psychological warfare, choosing to decorate the interior of their restaurant with those stupid plastic hanging hippie beads that dangle underneath every door frame and force you to push them aside or else they'll dip themselves in your Frosty. McDonald's retaliated by adding a McDonaldland playground, which consisted of:
1) A bouncy Mayor McCheese toy bolted to the ground (you know, to fend off the black market Mayor McCheese thieves),
2) A giant Grimace slide which made it look like he was forcefully vomiting children out of his big, dopey mouth
3) A lot of wood chips for kids to fling themselves into while weeping and shrieking in ecstatic agony, "oh god I love wood chips"
4) A bell with no ringer inside. Essentially an upside-down urine sample cup.
I'm not sure who won this war, but last time I went into the Wendy's, there were three cockroaches crawling around the counter while the sullen hellbag working the cash register was preoccupied swatting flies and possibly airborne tapeworms launched from a rancid pile of infected kitten asses, so I'm gonna go ahead and award the victory to McDonald's.
The Second War of Lee's Summit occurred when the city built a second high school, under the idea that spreading out white trash would lower the perceived concentration of white trash. You know, like how when you were a kid and you couldn't finish your dinner, so you'd cut it up into little pieces and push them around your plate and into surrounding area codes so your parents would be fooled into thinking you didn't actually gouge yourself on Wacky Wafers before dinner. Now there's approximately 48 high schools in Lee's Summit, and there are at least 12 new ones being constructed every half hour. To maximize taxpayer revenue, most of the schools are fairly "high tech" and have flat screen plasma TVs in the hallways, possibly so Coca-Cola can remind children how important an education is, especially if they want to get a job and be able to afford more Coca-Cola. They should just give every student a wireless button marked "GRADUATE" and then can press it whenever they feel they've learned enough to skip to college and ultimately obtain a job at Sprint.
But this third war, man, it's a doozy and I really don't know how it will end. Let's look at each side.
WAL*MART - First off, let me admit I've never entered a Wal*Mart as ugly as the one in Lee's Summit, and I'm not just talking about the building itself. Every single person shopping here resembles some sort of creature in the process of pupating into a brand new species even more revolting than the previous. All the hallmark Wal*Mart clients are here:
1) Fat slob woman who envelopes half her shopping cart under gutfolds, while her 32 six-year old children swarm around her like the world's filthiest and most stupid bees. This is the kind of person who's so fat that when they walk, their legs actually rotate and swing out around the side of her body, because there's no way them drumsticks are gonna lift Air Butt high enough.
2) Ridiculously-dressed black man who either just left his Baptist church or a street corner with his hos. I can never tell if these guys are just really religious or just really pimpin', but they're always struttin' their stuff through the frozen turkey section, pausing to call somebody and ask important questions regarding some woman named "Tina." "Where Tina be at?" "You ain't seen Tina all day?" "You best be gettin' a hold of Tina!" Tina is the cornerstone to the Baptist street pimp's plan of Wal*Mart domination.
3) Shifty looking white guys in hunting gear. I'm not sure these guys even hunt; I just think they like camouflage and refusing to shave, despite the fact they only have a combined 17 hair follicles on their face, and once they grow to be half an inch long, they start curling around in greasy circles that resemble oily silverfish trying to escape from their pothole-size skin pores.
4) Junior high school girls who are trying their hardest to look like high school hookers. "Hey Brandi, does this lipstick make me look like a slut or a prostitute? THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, YOU KNOW."
5) Elderly men and woman who wander around the store as if a UFO just dropped them off and neglected to reattach their central nervous system after a thorough probing. Not only do they aimlessly plod in random directions, possibly determined by the configuration of the stars, but they also possess the unique ability to completely flood an entire aisle with the aura of impending death. They don't know where Tina is either.
Things don't get any better when you realize our Wal*Mart was constructed some time during the 18th century, back when they didn't ever think more than two people would enter their store at once. Aisles are roughly six inches wide, illuminated by the trademark Wal*Mart 50,000,000-watt bulbs that melt your molars. Baby diapers are inexplicably for sale on every shelf of every aisle everywhere. Clothing is sorted by a blind and deaf man relying on his sense of smell ("Hmmm, this smells like... FAILURE. Better dump it into the failure clothing lump"). You can't walk two steps without battling a few hundred "ALWAYS SAVE!!! VALUE!!! VALUE SAVE ALWAYS!!!" signs drenched in neon yellow sperm to attract the attention of orbiting astronauts who think a portable DVD player costing $14.84 is the crowning pinnacle of mankind's achievements.
Then you finally reach the checkout mutants, who are still attempting to master the concept of "4." You can try to use the self-checkout line, but those are always crammed full of droopy-eyed pouches of gravy unable to determine how the magical laser ghost wizard in the box can accurately guess the price of Coors Lite. From start to finish, the Lee's Summit Wal*Mart is a gauntlet of pain no man was born to survive.
Target - They sell those awesome Archer Farms rosemary potato chips.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
The Hogosphere contains worthless ramblings from Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka. Crap that he's too lazy to make funny for the front page. Because he's lazy. And unfunny.