One of my relatives likes to be provocative. I get that. I am inclined that way myself at times. But his brand of provocateur is somewhat different from mine. He wants me to bring him a MAGA hat from Trumpville, Arizona. And so I will.
I confess to having a small problem with it. Trump has sold over a million official TRUMP/MAGA hats at $US 25.00 and, well, I am reluctant to make it a million and one. Still, a hat is a hat, a relative a relative and it makes him happy…so I will.
You can pick your friends….
I walked into the local SUPER-SIZED Walmart in Gilbert, Arizona, where the internet advised people to get their MAGA hats. I looked around the football stadium sized ‘world of Walmart’ and couldn’t find a MAGA hat display. So, I approached three sales clerks. Each woman was a woman of colour. One black, one Hispanic and the senior clerk of Middle Eastern descent.
“Excuse me, could any of you ladies direct me to the MAGA hat display? I have to get one. I think they are stupid but I have to get one for a family member.”
Two women left immediately.
“What’s a MAGA hat?”
“You know….one of those usually red baseball-cap-style hats that has MAGA printed across the front? It’s part of your president’s campaign…?”
“I’ve never seen one, sir. I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t think we carry them.”
“You don’t know about the stupid bloody MAGA hats on all the Trump supporter’s heads? How is that possible? They are all over the news and the hat is now a veritable icon of current politics.”
“We do not have political items in Walmart, sir.”
“Seriously…you have never heard of or seen a MAGA hat?”
“No sir. I am not into politics or baseball.”
“You really have to get out more, ma’am.”
“I work. Worse, I work at Walmart.”
“You are right. My bad. Sorry. Thanks, anyway.” And I left.
That, in itself, is not the whole story. And yes, I believed her. She was sincere, pleasant and trying to be helpful. But I do wonder how it is possible that a woman in Walmart doesn’t know from MAGA hats?
So, we found something else and headed out. Sal went through the checkout and I sat and watched ‘the people of Walmart’. In the line-up beside Sal’s was a quite tall, older guy getting groceries with his immensely proportioned, dyed blond wife. He was wearing camo pants and a T-shirt which revealed a lot of arm tattoos. I looked at him. He looked weathered. He was fit. He looked like a desert dweller. And, he was wearing a black holster on his belt with a pistol in it. Open carry. Gilbert, Arizona. Walmart.
I was sitting on the opposite bench when Sal joined me. “Sal. Look. Tall guy. Camo. Open carry.”
Sal immediately fished out her phone and fidgeted up the camera. Then she tried to find the guy in her viewer and that seemed to take forever. Then she took a picture. We looked at it. No good. Blurry. So she did it a few more times.
“That was a bit awkward, Dave. I think the woman noticed.”
“Of course she did. Every time you did it the phone flashed!”