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Lost Blogging: Day 5

Posted on Friday, April 14th, 2006

Dave!Yesterday on the way home from the dentist I stopped at K-Mart to get a pizza. That sounds strange, I know, but I kind of like the "Little Caesar's Pizza Station" there. It's the best of the worst pizzas in town, and a 14-incher only costs $5. K-Mart is kind of a strange place. Once upon a time, it was the "bargain basement" store in town, and people put up with the low quality, imitation-brand merchandise because it was cheap. But then along comes Wal-Mart, and suddenly K-Mart is caught with their Wrangler's around their ankles. No longer are they the best bargain in town. Wal-Mart has blue-light specials on every item all the time.

So K-Mart hunkers down and retools. They can't really compete with Wal-Mart (who can?) so they start getting exclusives (like Joe Boxer and the Martha Stewart stuff) and tries to serve the middle ground with good merchandise as decent prices. But it's a crowded field, because there are a lot of stores in that arena. I don't shop K-Mart very often because my favorite store in that space is Target (nothing personal, I just prefer their stuff).

So when I get to K-Mart, I order my pizza and then go shopping while I wait for it to cook. Most of the bargain shoppers frequent Wal-Mart, but you still get an occasional penny-pincher.

Like yesterday.

I make my way back to the grocery aisle so I can get some Pop-Tarts on sale (3 for $5) and find an older woman on her hands and knees, spreading out boxes of crackers on the floor. At first I think that she fell while carrying an arm-load of crackers, so I run up to see if I can help. But she waves me away and says that she's "doing fine". This puzzles me greatly, because none of the boxes are marked with prices and there's no special offers printed on any of them. The price is on the shelf. And then I realize what's happening... she is actually looking at the UPC codes and comparing them. At least I think that's what it happening. I guess that she thinks a UPC code with a lower number would be cheaper?

I suppose I should have found a way to explain it to her, but she made it clear that she didn't want my help. I still have no idea what was going through her head. A part of me hopes that wide-scale deployment of RFID technology is a ways off yet, because I can't imagine what this woman is going to do once price tags AND UPC codes aren't used anymore. She won't have anything to look for.


Here it is... the final "Lost Blogs" entry is now up over at DaveSpace! Click here to read it!

Those of you wanting to make guesses as to my "lost blogger's" identity should send me an email at the address in my sidebar. Comments with guesses will not be approved! The "main prize" has already been won, but everybody who sends me a correct guess between now and midnight Seattle time (PST) will be entered in a runner-up prize giveaway for a free Blogography T-shirt. But remember the rules... you only get ONE GUESS... so make sure you're sure about who it is before contacting me, because any subsequent guesses by the same person will be tossed out. Good luck!

If you want to learn more about Pauly's book (or pre-order a copy), visit The Lost Blogs site!

Categories: DaveLife 2006, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. Jeff says:

    Maybe she was looking for clues to your lost blog!

    They closed a lot of the K-Marts around here. Last I heard they were going down in flames.

  2. ms. sizzle says:

    are you sure she wasn’t checking fat grams? 😉

    i prefer target as well. there is something less “ew” about it.

  3. Karl says:

    Ha, that is rather bizarre, the cracker lady. I think I would probably just stand there and watch her until she finished. It’s just too weird to walk away from. Unless she started interacting with me, expecting me to help. Then I’d leave.

  4. Annette says:

    I was happy to buy Joe Boxer socks at KMart and thought I got a great bargain… until I opened the package and found out there were roughly three different sizes, altho the package said nothing about this… my conclusion is that they are selling “seconds”. I made do with these anyway, as the socks still fit, but it makes for interesting matching antics when I look for a pair in my drawer.

  5. Ms. Q says:

    ooohh, oooh, oooh, I know! Emailing you now.

  6. rach says:

    they had to close the 24-hour super k-mart here in oakland because people kept eating the food from the grocery section and leaving crap like chicken bones and apple cores in the aisles.

    oh, the memories.

    it’s a good thing i’m a target fiend.

  7. jodi says:

    target is definitely the best. i refuse to shop at wal-mart because i had family that worked there, and were treated so poorly… but i also refuse to shop there cuz it’s kinda icky. i don’t even have a k-mart near me anymore.

    target rules!

  8. Chaz says:

    I can’t even remember the last time I went to a K-mart, and I don’t really even see them around very much anymore. I didn’t realize, however, that Joe Boxer is a K-mart exclusive now. I guess that’s why I don’t own a pair of Joe Boxer boxers anymore.

  9. Kevin says:

    She’s pulling a Clerks and looking for the latest “freshness date.” Some people are scary.

  10. Rabbit says:

    K-mart, K-mart, it’s our store! We shop there cause we are poor!

  11. Chanakin says:

    Was she by chance wearing an aluminum foil hat?

    *three days to Blogiversary III

  12. Brent says:

    RFID is sweet…even if Wal-Mart is the one championing the movement. I’m not surprised you found a woman closely inspecting those little UPC lines. I suppose it’s par for the course. Wal-Mart, as much as I want to hate them, really have their stuff together inventory wise. They know what their customers want and how much they demand.

  13. Belinda says:

    Those RFID tags scare me worse than Dracula…and I’s scared of some Dracula! Or, to put it in terms you’ll understand, worse than a pack of clowns packing shivs. The day is coming when they’ll be standing there in the delivery room waiting to microchip our infants. *shudder*

  14. Renee says:

    I don’t know why many say K-mart is the cheapest store. Back in the mid-80s, I bought one fake wool winter jacket for $55, and not to mention it went out of shape after a few wears. And when K-mart came to Singapore in the early 90s, it’s gone as quickly as they came.

  15. Ms Chatty says:

    Drop me a line. I’ll give you some details that will make you never want to eat Little Caesars ever again… 😉

  16. suze says:

    wow. that is some impressive dedication to bargin shopping she’s displaying there. misguided, no doubt, but impressive nonetheless. (i just really like that word, nonetheless…)

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