Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Sunday Grump

My wife got to feeling badly at Chinamart yesterday, so we didn’t get nearly everything that we needed. As a result, we had to go back today, but we went to the one across town. Crossing the tributary river to the Ohio on the way, I noticed it was muddy to the nth degree. It drains mostly woodlands, rather than cropland, but it muddies with the least rain of any stream I know. It’s like they used to say about the Missouri, “too thick to drink and too thin to plow.”

People everywhere are getting ruder and more low class, but it’s amazing the difference in people from just one local area to another. The other Chinamart is located sort of between the county seat and a slightly better off community to the north. People there often aren’t what they were 20 years ago, but they aren’t too bad yet either, comparatively speaking. Crossing the tributary river makes an obvious difference, though. The folks over there, on average, seem to be down a couple steps in couth from the other store location. They are much more likely to steal your cart, walk in front of you, and hog aisles. Plus, they rarely use the words “excuse me, please, thank you” and “you’re welcome.” Not everyone from that area is like that, of course, but I’m speaking on the average.

I once told a local college professor that, put in a room of locals, I could probably pick out the folks from that end of town within five minutes. He acted insulted and asked how I could do that. I told him that the guys, at least, tended to be ruder, cruder and louder. He then smiled and said that he had to agree, but just wondered what I’d say. Sadly, the folks on the other end of town are trying hard to reach that level of rudeness.

My wife and I both have to use the electric carts anymore, due to hip problems. Unfortunately, not only does Chinamart not have enough handicapped spaces, they don’t have enough carts either. The baby-boomers are getting old quickly, and most stores aren’t keeping up. The other day, I retrieved and plugged in three carts before I found one with enough charge to use. Many don’t work right when you DO get them. I had one go south on me at the very back of the store the other day. Luckily, I can still hobble along when necessary.

As I often do, I looked at the tools today. I spent most of my life using hand tools, so they still hold interest for me, especially since I used to work in a factory that made them. The current version of the Ames single-bitted axe stocked by Chinamart is a doozy. It has a thick blade that measures a quarter inch thick within a half inch of the toe and a quarter inch of the heel. Maybe it would work for splitting firewood, but I doubt it. It sure as heck couldn’t be used for chopping. The head had a really rough finish like it was either cast steel or the dies in the forge had a really crude finish. It was made in India. The plastic handle must have been made in America, since a little label said “assembled in America of foreign and domestic parts.”

I hate spending time at Chinamart, but the missus does the shopping and she says that we can’t afford to shop anywhere else. She’s probably right, unfortunately. Still, if she would go before me, I’d probably never darken their door again. © 2016


Chickenmom said...

I hate, just hate shopping. Most of the people up here are still polite and nice. Lots of us old-timers are still wandering around!

deborah harvey said...

few years ago went to hometown [huntington].
wanted to go to store.
all that i mentioned were long gone.
only wmart left anywhere on any side of any river.
my girlfriend said ,'isn't that monopoly, which is illegal?'.
it is like a cancer and the price is not always cheapest nor is the merchandise worthy.
better to spend a bit more at the hardware store [if you can find one] and get something that will last and not make your work frustrating by its clumsiness and cheap materials.
how would you ever sharpen the ax you saw?

Gorges Smythe said...

As you know, Cm, old-timers are THE BEST!

I miss the old stores, dh, we only have one decent hardware store left in town. As for the axe, IF the steel is good, it would take me at LEAST a half-day's grinding to make it usable.

JMD said...

I am in full agreement with you. We have been in there twice this year (too many) and got in and out with each time 1 purchase. After the last trip I said it was my last...we shall see.

Sixbears said...

There's no excuse for rude manners. Good manners are the true mark of civilization.

India puts out the cheapest steel in the world right now so everyone uses them. Quality is terrible. Even their so called top quality stainless steel is crap.

Joy said...

'Chinamart'. Love it. ;)

Gorges Smythe said...

You're right, Sixbears, so the current rudeness of society at large speaks volumes about the decline of civilization.

I stole that term from Sixbears, Joy. It's simpler than Typing "the Chinese Emporium" like I used to do. ;-)