I was waiting in line at the Sav-A-Lot yesterday to purchase some bananas and milk. In the ‘impulse’ section next to $1 pregnancy tests was CandyBlox. Charming. Candy you can play with then eat. $2.50 a box. The frugal dude in me said, “Not a good deal. Don’t even think about it,” while part of me screamed like a six year old boy, “Please, please, please!” My frugal self won. The little guy will win another day. Still…such a concept.
Walking out to the car with my groceries, I noted a new store had opened where the Family Dollar had been. There is a continual churn of these stores which consist entirely of the contents of container ships from China and points east. There are no small clothing, hardware, or appliance stores in small town Kentucky anymore. Only these outposts for slave labor goods from around the world. Only this one was obviously an outlier in that group. They called themselves “The Pallet Liquidator Store”. I walked over to view dozens of tall, pallet-sized cardboard boxes filled with the leftover stuff from the contents of container ships from China and points east.
The phenomenon of salvage groceries has become entrenched since the Amish moved into our community over twenty years ago and started them locally. It is a national trend now. This is the natural extension from groceries to big box store leftovers. Commerce has devolved to the point where rural communities are the very tail end of the cloaca of 21st century consumer culture. Below you will find a twisted pair of videos that bespeak this low truth. Useless stuff re-packaged, but still useless. Similar to the Japanese idea of chindogu.
Feel free. Is this what crazy Yeats meant when he ended his apocalyptic poem “The Second Coming” with a question:
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Sometimes the best view of the apocalypse ain’t in some future urban blightscape. No, it is right where the beast hunkers down for the long haul in some small town strip in Kentucky with the nail salons, the tattoo joints, the adult GED centers and the great Sargasso Sea of plastic that is the pallet liquidation biz.