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Monday, May 19, 2008

A Loving Ode to Wally World

You've been there before. Sunday afternoon and the pantry is bare. No milk, bread, cereal, nothin. The only thing in the fridge is old spaghetti with a greenish tint. There is probably something to eat in the house if it came down to it, but Cheerios Alfredo with pickle slices just doesn't sound appealing. If you're going to eat, you gotta go to the store on a Sunday with all the teeming masses. This happened to me this weekend so I braved the local Wal-Mart.

The place was absolutely packed with humanity all wandering in seemingly random directions as their foraging instincts kicked in. I had a plan, or at the very least a habit. I knew what I was looking for and where it was and without fail idiots were blocking my every move. A cart orbited by 4 hyper kids blocked the wheat bread. Two carts stopped at the same spot in the middle of the aisle obstructing my path to the juice. Some lady with a pantsuit that made her ass look too big stood in front of the pizza for about 2 minutes without moving. I'm not even going to get into the girl singing in the dairy section.

The atmosphere was cheery at any rate, which helped temper my frustration. It was a bright, sunny day, and some of the solar rays filtered in through the sky lights. Some hooligans attempted the old prank of having "Mike Hunt" paged over the intercom but their mischief was foiled when the extremely country customer service rep inadvertently added three syllables to the name. I tried to get some chicken for lunch but the head of the deli department who looks like a refugee from a CBGB concert was off on a heroin break. After ducking into the women's underpants section (I refuse to call anything at Wal-Mart lingerie) to avoid a gaggle of stampeding kids I decided it was time to go.

While getting checked out I learned of interesting shifts in our youth culture. The guy behind me in line was friends with the cashier and was buying a hat. The two started talking about clothes, more specifically, fashion. Here's the gist of the conversation:

"Yeah, that hat looks good"
"You know, I'm starting to dress differently and the girls are loving it."
"Yeah, skater stuff. Pants that aren't baggy. Shirts that fit. Girls really like that."

A sea change is about to occur folks, you heard it here first. No more kids wearing baggy shit! Now parents will have to bitch about those lousy kids and their tailored, well fitting clothes. Unless this has been going on in California for the past two years and it's just now reaching Georgia of course.

Now you know I wasn't going to brave the hell that is humanity without picking up a treat. This particular Wal-Mart is the one that receives the shipments of Legends repack cubes. These usually have about 10 packs in them of assorted junk packed in a storage cube. I like these things because the cubes are useful for storing smaller sets and stuff that you're currently working on (I've got my half-finished '07 Bowman Draft set in one) and as long as you can find one or two decent packs showing through the cube, the whole thing is usually worth the ten bucks. Recently they've started putting cards in the top and side to keep evil sorts from looking though the case and scoping out what junk packs they shoved in the middle. Here's the top of the one I got.

What appears to be an '88 Topps card on the left and an unknown Derek Jeter card on the right. However, There are two cards on the side too and they were both from the 2007 Wal-Mart Topps Trading Card History set. Inserts are always nice bonus cards so I snagged this one. Here are the four bonus cards:

WM1 Frank Thomas - The Big Hurt is on a 1941 Play Ball design, which Topps isn't allowed to mention on the back since Upper Deck has it trademarked or something. It's actually a pretty decent approximation of the design even though UD's 2003 Play Ball set does it better.

WM15 Ichiro - This is copying the 1933 Delong Set. Topps did a weekly giveaway of cards with the Delong design last year including another Ichiro. Topps nails it, but it's hard to screw this design up.

WM17 Derek Jeter - Ah, so the Jeter was a 1991 Stadium Club rip-off. When was the last time Topps did a full bleed set? This here looks pretty good, They need to bring Stadium Club back and do more of this. It looks like they ripped a bonus pack from an '07 Series 1 blaster for this cube.

The last card is an actual vintage '88 Topps card of good 'ol crazy Ozzie Guillen. No one has threatened to fire him in at least a month or so, so he's due to say something horribly offensive and entertaining soon.

I'll be opening the packs this week on A Pack A Day if you want to follow along at home. Here's the schedule:

Monday - 2005 Donruss
Tuesday - 2007 Upper Deck Series Two Fat Pack
Wednesday - 2006 Fleer Ultra
Thursday - 2006 Topps Updates & Highlights
Friday - 2007 Topps Series One Rack Pack
Saturday - Another pack of 2006 Topps Updates & Highlights
Sunday - 2004 MLB Showdown Trading Deadline

Only 7 packs, but if you count each pouch on the jumbos, you got ten. My '07 UD set is pretty anemic so I probably need most of that Fat pack. I also am looking forward to ripping the Donruss, Ultra and Showdown packs so I didn't do too bad for myself.

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