The Most Wal-Mart Purchase at Wal-Mart


Life is going. I’m sad. I’m okay. This forty-five dollar purchase from Wal-Mart encapsulates my life right now: two pairs of sweatpants, an inflatable raccoon, two cans of Pringles, waffles, and milk. This is the most Wal-Mart purchase at Wal-Mart, ever. At least for me. It’s some kind of personal record.

I’ve discovered wearing sweatpants and the healing, comforting powers therein. I didn’t own a single pair until now. (I’m more of a fan of athletic shorts for couch-crashing.) But in these past few weeks of mourning, watching television, and eating junk food, I realized I needed to up my game. If I’m going to do something — like completely give up on myself — I needed to do it properly.

I need sweatpants. I had that exact thought one afternoon, during one of my long emotional spells of staring. That’s one thing I’ve learned — in grieving, staring is its own emotion. It’s not just an action — it’s a full-body-consuming feeling. It’s like a worse form of depression. At least with depression, you can attempt to move through life. In a state of staring, you can’t even move.

Anyhow, the idea of sweatpants suddenly came to me, and it felt like a life raft. I felt like I’d been given a divine mission from God to go get sweatpants. And Wal-Mart suddenly seemed like a warm, loving friend. The fluorescent lights kissed my face and the closely-cramped racks of camouflaged thermal underwear hugged me. I trudged my way back to the WALL OF SWEATPANTS. Yes! The WALL OF SWEATPANTS exists! And it’s a mecca-land for all who seek it. And my God, do people seek it. It has now been scientifically proven by me, based on my Saturday night observations, that this IS the busiest square foot of Wal-Mart.

Snapped out of my staring void, I had a sudden rush of blood to the head. I felt euphoric. I’m in Wal-Mart and I can buy stuff. Holy fucking shit, I’m in Wal-Mart and I can buy stuff!

I’ve gone on record about how much I hate inflatable lawn ornaments in the past, but I was vulnerable. A three-and-a-half-foot raccoon in a Santa hat for TWENTY DOLLARS seemed like a steal.


I could have done a lot worse in the state I was in. And in fact, I did.



There’s impulse purchases, and then there’s morbid purchases. Pecan Pie-flavored and White Chocolate-flavored Pringles fall into the latter category. I will now review these for you.

Pecan Pie Pringles: Nope. Whole lot of nope. They are terrible. They are beyond terrible. They’re like woodsy, waxy, and buttery, all at once, combined on a potato chip with a dash of cinnamon. NOPE.

And the wife’s review (without trying them): Oh my god, just looking at the cans makes me feel like vomiting.

White Chocolate Pringles: I keep finding myself eating these. But don’t tell the wife, because her review is (again, without trying them): don’t even tell me when you eat them, because that fact alone will make me feel like vomiting.

They’re not terrible. I wouldn’t recommend them. But if you find yourself unable to leave the house, wearing sweatpants, and staring, they might just pull you out of the funk for a few minutes.

18 thoughts on “The Most Wal-Mart Purchase at Wal-Mart

  1. Not just white chocolate Pringles, but white chocolate “artificially flavored.” Oh, dear. You must really be in tough shape. But the fact that you’ve got an inflatable raccoon makes me feel a little better.

  2. What, SP, did you somehow imagine yourself layering one each of those scary-flavored Pringles on top of each to replace your real-life pumpkin pie? That’s the only explanation I will fully accept. But the most astonishing thing about your trip to the WalMart, according to your fab photos, is that the inflatable raccoon is only a SM, not a M or L. At that proportion, the XL would rival King Kong, or maybe even Godzilla.

  3. Nice to see the Pizza back in the shopping game, but here’s to hoping your grief doesn’t turn you into a WalMart junkie. On the plus side, your front lawn looks ahh-mah-zing.

  4. Your wife seems like a very wise and reasonable person. Very glad she found a way to avoid the flamboyant Pringles and thus avoid vomiting. The raccoon is a lovely choice. It has an awestruck expression which fits nicely into the creche scene. The dinosaur is a nice addition, bearing a gift. Since he matches the green wise man, perhaps he (the dinosaur) is one of the wise man’s sherpas. Thank you for sharing your holidays with all of us.

  5. sweatpants are the greatest thing ever and (I would imagine) a great comfort right now. There’s no pretending that you’re going to be productive while wearing sweatpants, which is probably my favorite part about them. I also like pulling the elastic beyond my feet so it’s like I’m wearing footie pajamas (not sure if other people do that or if I’m just a weirdo).

    I also love the new addition to your lawn, that was money well spent. Who needs sheep in their nativity scene when you can have a raccoon instead?

    I’m with your wife on the pringles. If you want something pecan pie flavored that is actually delicious, get Trader Joe’s pecan pie ice cream. It is seriously amazing.

    1. Are you my wife posting under a secret name? She has been doing that footie pajama thing and CALLING IT THAT. (I did not disclose during this post that I bought sweatpants for her as well.)

      Trader Joes Pecan Pie Ice Cream: duly noted.

  6. That raccoon is all types of awesome. Makes me wish I had a yard, or a cat who wouldn’t be jealous about sharing a living room with her inflatable brethren.

  7. I’m not sure why the raccoon seems more out of place at the nativity than the raptor. My mind accepts the raptor, but the raccoon just seems silly… adorable, but silly. Oh, and organic milk is the tops.

  8. Pizza you are my favorite writer. Even in your grief you make me laugh-out-loud. I was at Target today looking for pants for my kid. I strolled past the youth sweatpants and thought no way. He ain’t ready for those yet. Thank you for being you, for being real, and sharing that with us. By the way, the racoon infiltrating the dino nativity scene is hilarious. Makes my blue LED icicles look dull.

  9. Sweatpants are the only way to survive sometimes.
    Glad to see that the Christmas Dinosaur is back in action again this year, doling out the Christmas cheer dutifully from your yard.

  10. I just started following your blog and it looks like I’ve come at a rough time for you. Taking something sad and making it funny is one of the greatest gifts a human can have, and you are clearly funny when you’re sad. I’m glad I found your work.

  11. I had no idea what you meant by an inflatable raccoon until I saw the picture. At first I thought it was like a raccoon scare crow or something. I say if your going to go walmart, go all out!

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