The Walmart Christmas Extravaganza

Christmas time is here again.  Tis the season for celebrating cherished traditions.  Around this joint, that means dusting off blog posts of Christmases past; posts that are staler than re-gifted fruitcake.  Enjoy. 

I wrote the following post soon after I started this blog, and it is still one of my favorites.  I can’t believe it has never been Freshly Pressed, Discovered, or made into a Broadway hit.   If any WordPress Story Wranglers or rich and famous Broadway producers are reading, feel free to reach out.

Thanks to People of Wal-Mart for the raw footage.

Thanks to People of Wal-Mart for the raw footage.

 

Walmart: The Christmas Musical

The entire play takes place in a Super Walmart on a Sunday afternoon during the busy, holiday shopping season.  Here’s the story in a nutshell:

Our heroine is a young ingenue who looks almost exactly like me.    She has been sprinkled with holiday cheer fairy-dust and sent on a quest in the Land of Walmart.  She must find another strand of the same brand of lights she bought last year, to finish the string dangling 1 foot short of the bottom of her half-finished Christmas tree.  Then she must get through the checkout and back to her car before the fairy dust wears off and she turns into a mean, bitchy old crone.

The show opened with Ariana Grande’s spiritual performance of “I’d Rather Be Naughty, So $&%# You, Santa!”  She and her backup dancers wore only sprigs of mistletoe, strategically placed.  As for their dance routine, let’s just say I will never look at a humble candy-cane the same way again.

Next up, a mother softly crooned a simple ballad to the 5 ragged children gathered around her cart.  She was imaginatively costumed in skin-tight black stretch pants and a leopard-print shirt cut low enough to reveal a pair of angels tattooed on the upper slopes of her absolutely ginormous, er, charms.  The song was ” I TOLD You 20 Times!”  and the chorus went like this:

“I TOLD you 20 times you gotta be at least 8 years old before Santa will bring you “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.”  I’m going to have your daddy (Rodney, that guy who’s staying with us) WHUP YOUR A** if you ask me again!”

I wasn’t the only one who left the show humming this moving tune.

The children’s choir almost stole the show with their rousing hit, “I Want THAT!”   The lyric was not complicated – only “I Want THAT”, over and over – but the performance elevated the words to art.  The volume of their childish cries built to a mighty crescendo.  The number ended with the whole choir falling to the floor in the middle of the aisles, kicking its collective heels.  Unforgettable.

The Greeters Gospel Choir’s  a-Capella rendition of “Go Tell It On The Mountain (The Holidays Are Here)” had everyone clapping along.   The reworked lyrics explained in an uplifting, catchy way how if the store employees said “Merry Christmas,” it would be the same as forcing shoppers to turn Christian and submit to full-immersion baptism.  Entertaining and really thought provoking.

But the showstopper was the big production number finale.

I took a couple of dance classes as a kid, so I’m familiar with steps like the flap-ball-change.  But I’ve never seen the moves the Walmart Shoppers Dance Troupe perfected for this extravaganza, a routine they call the Oblivious Shuffle.

Each shopper/dancer leaned on his or her cart and pushed it slowly, oh so slowly, back and forth across the stage.  Their shuffling steps kept one shoe (or house slipper, as the case may be) on the floor at all times.  The shuffling feet made a “shush, shush” sound that underscored the “squeak, squeak” of their unoiled cart wheels.  The occasional crash of colliding carts played like cymbals in the composition.

About half of the dancers had cell phones pressed to their ears.  One at a time, each burst loudly into song with lyrics like “…so that witch my baby-daddy is with now said they couldn’t take the kids Christmas Eve because they had to pick up her kids from her ex-baby-daddy’s, but we gotta go to my new baby-daddy’s grandma’s, so I told her if you think I’m going to take them on HIS day, you can just tell that &%$#…” Their solos were incomprehensible, one-sided conversations when taken by themselves.  Together, they wove a timeless Christmas story.

The dancers went through their movements with vacant, glassy stares that gave the illusion that they were totally unaware of everyone else around them.

Think of Night of the Living Dead as a ballet.

Meanwhile, the young ingenue wove her cart skillfully in and out of the shuffling throng, trying to get to the checkout.   Every checker shut down just as she got to their register, crying “price check on 10″ and “manager override on 5” in a surprisingly harmonious medley.  The audience held their breath when a determined shopper with 2 carts piled high cut in front of our heroine in the “15 items or less” lane, but there was no crash – it was all part of the show.

I don’t want to give away the ending in case you decide to see the show.  Suffice it to say that when our ingenue finally left the store and trudged through the slushy parking lot trying to find her car, she looked a lot like the apple-wielding hag in Snow White.

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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37 Responses to The Walmart Christmas Extravaganza

  1. janmalique says:

    I’m left almost speechless at the freshness and energy of this, em, production. As some may say in parts of the UK, ‘you’ve been robbed mate’. Pertaining to the error of being overlooked for fame. Or infamy in this case…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Piglove says:

    O.M.P. I am snorting and rolling here with piggy laughter. Hilarious my friend. And mom/dad say so very TRUE! Hilarious! XOXO – Bacon

    Like

  3. dmswriter says:

    Loved this last year, love it this year!! Only at Wal-Mart, right?? It tops the time I was shopping there with our son, who was about 18 at the time. I was in the women’s section looking at leggings that would fall apart two days after I got them home. Nearby were a mom and her daughter (probably wearing pajamas as regular clothing, if I remember correctly). My son came walking up, just as the daughter took off her pants – right in the middle of the store, down to her undies – to try on a pair her mom gave her off the rack.

    I was gobsmacked!! My son did the fastest about-face I’ve ever seen and walked off. The mom and her daughter just carried on, even though they knew people were watching. It makes me detest Wal-Mart more than I already do. “Night of the Living Dead” indeed!! Merry Christmas, Peg, and thanks for another great year of laughs!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Oh no! You can’t make up stuff like that.

      In fact, the woman in my play with the stretch leopard pants, angels tattoos and a bunch of kids was someone I actually saw at WalMart. She inspired this post. You know that classic painting of the 2 angels leaning on the garden wall? That was her tattoo emblazoned on the tops of the biggest bosoms I think I’ve ever seen. Couldn’t help staring, which was, I’m sure, her whole intent.

      Like

  4. Al says:

    I’m forwarding this to the producer of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” What a great follow-up music video this will make! Of course, my usual finders fee will apply.

    Like

  5. Go Jules Go says:

    I’m practically in a cold sweat just reading this. I might have to strategically place a candy cane over my eyes before I finish my Christmas shopping this year.

    Like

  6. Elyse says:

    We discriminating shoppers perform at Target.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. List of X says:

    This could be the next hit Broadway musical after Hamilton.
    And it would mean that people would pay hundreds of dollars to share the experience of Walmart shopping.

    Like

  8. hmunro says:

    “As for their dance routine, let’s just say I will never look at a humble candy-cane the same way again.” Thank you *so much* for giving that phrase to my imagination. What my mind’s eye has just conjured cannot be unseen. Ha ha.

    Like

  9. I believe we’ve been regifted.

    The Oblivious Shuffle is a big hit in New York, too. It reaches a fever pitch in front of Trump Tower. Don’t ask.

    Yes, but what about the half-finished TREE?

    Like

  10. You know you can shop Walmart online, right? Of course, it’s not nearly as entertaining.

    Like

  11. Erica says:

    What an excellent portrayal of everyone embracing the true spirit of the holidays.

    Like

  12. Leo says:

    I’m fairly confident that this story was incorporated into an off broadway version of Kinky Boots. Fabulous stuff. 😉

    Like

  13. marymtf says:

    We have nothing like Walmart here, Peg, more’s the pity. When the musical arrives in Oz, you might want to change the name to Ikea-Itis. Ikea has only one exit and it’s at the opposite end to the exit. People have been known to drop by the wayside with exhaustion clutching their purchases to their bosoms.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      So true. We have a couple of Ikeas in the Chicago suburbs and I go there frequently. I always head straight for the Damaged/As-is room and often don’t go through the rest of the store. It’s by the exit doors, so I park there and slip through the one-way-only checkout lanes, going against throngs of traffic like a salmon going upstream to spawn.

      Like

  14. Margie says:

    No doubt about it – Walmart is more than just a place to shop. It is a showcase of the type of ‘talent’ that you just don’t see at Neiman Marcus. As Paris Hilton would say, Walmart… do they like make walls there?

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      What a classic quote, and you’re so right – totally different cast at Neiman Marcus. Although one thing Walmart has going for it is you don’t have to worry so much about every garment you try on having orange pancake makeup smeared around the neckline.

      Like

  15. Oh, yeah, this is/was a classic post! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours, Pegoliciousness! (My husband insists that we stop at Walmart next week to buy an X Box 1 that’s on sale, but I don’t know if I can survive the crowds. Maybe I’ll wait in the car and sip hot cocoa while he shops?

    Like

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