General Order Number One is in effect while we’re here training at Camp Atterbury. That means that we aren’t allowed to leave the installation, we can’t drink alcohol, we can’t fraternize (no sex,) we aren’t allowed to have automobiles here, we have curfew and are only allowed to wear our military uniforms (no civilian clothing.) They say these restrictions are placed to help us get ready for the restrictions we will face while overseas, and to help keep discipline while in a deployed environment. (I say it’s to keep stupid people from making stupid mistakes that prevent them from deploying.)
Since there are almost no facilities at Camp Atterbury, (no commissary, no large exchange, no recreation outlets, etcetera,) the strip mall in Columbus, Indiana (about 20 minutes away) is the sole source of action for the local area … Primarily, the big Wal-Mart is the center of attention.
Every once in a while, we’re allowed to make a “field trip” to the local Wal-Mart. It’s a big deal when someone’s making a Wal-Mart run … everybody clamors to get a seat on the bus. Normally, I hate going into Wal-Mart, but with no other options, I go every chance I get.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some anti-capitalism nut who wants to burn all Wal-Marts so small businesses can strive again. I just hate that no matter WHEN I go into Wal-Mart, it’s ALWAYS crowded and it’s ALWAYS a crappy experience. Of course, I’m more concerned about saving money than the experience, so I keep going back. It’s a love-hate relationship. I love saving money, but I hate the experience (and that nagging voice in the back of my head that tells me that by shopping there, I’m somehow supporting the destruction of small businesses.)
It’s the wonder of Wal-Mart … somehow, they keep me coming back, even when I don’t want to.
But I guess I shouldn’t complain. People in Afghanistan don’t have a Wal-Mart to complain about. (I wonder if Wal-Mart will open a branch in Afghanistan.)