Recently I drove past the empty building left by the latest department store in my town that upgraded to a "superstore." There was a sign that said "For Lease 119,000 square feet." I couldn't imagine what store could possibly move into that space.

I subsequently went to their new superstore because I needed to buy something they sold. It was awful! The place was completely packed with screaming kids and puttering old ladies and white trash people who looked like they'd just gotten out of bed and thrown on the same clothes that had been too dirty yesterday. I couldn't find anything I was looking for.

The commercials for these places involve women with too many kids talking about how easy it is to shop there because everything's in one place. Personally, I don't want to buy my milk in the same place I buy my shoes. And I certainly don't want to trip over this lady's triplets when I'm just trying to grab a pack of crescent rolls for dinner tonight.

The last regular-size department store in my town just went out of business. Sure, it wasn't in the best location, but I think it would have had a better chance if it wasn't in competition with such places as Big S and Super Joemart (fictional names).

When we only had one of these places in town, it was an interesting novelty. A friend of mine regularly did his grocery shopping there, and he joked that it was the only place you could go out for eggs and bread and get a lamp on an impulse buy. But now it's not the only place, and it's hard to find a store that sells toys and clothes and housewares but not fresh celery and six different brands of butter. I just think enough is enough.

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