I made a Walmart trip tonight. The store is deserted at about 10 p.m., so I’ve been going pretty late. When I checked out, the clerk spun the bag carousel around a couple of times to make sure we had everything loaded in my cart. He had it going pretty fast, and suddenly I had a vision of all the Walmart workers in this totally deserted store at 3 a.m. running up and down, spinning all the bag carousels.
Naturally, I asked the clerk, a middle-aged, not-very-happy-looking man, if they ever did that. He sort of grimaced, and I said, “I gather that would be frowned upon.” He said, “You’d be fired in about a minute.” And then, in a toneless, stoic voice, he said some immortal words: “There is no fun at Walmart.”
So now, writing this, I am envisioning a musical titled “There Is No Fun at Walmart,” and it would include a number where Walmart workers, feeling a momentary, illusory sense of liberation, would go waltzing down the checkout lines spinning the bag carousels and singing a song celebrating freedom.
This could be a thing. It really could be done, by someone who knows how to write a musical—a previously anonymous, toiling-in-the-trenches Chinese or Guatemalan composer, say—and you could pay your actors minimum wage so that you could sell tickets at low, low prices, and it could be a hit.
Maybe you could even do it in such a way that Walmart couldn’t sue you for millions.
But I doubt it.
*On further reflection, the number itself would be called “There Is No Fun at Walmart/Carousel Bagatelle.” The musical, for purposes of satire and a better title, would be called “Thank You for Shopping at Walmart!” The first number would, of course, be “The Greeter’s Song,” or possibly “The Greeter’s Lament.” You see, I’m actually thinking about this.