Wal-Mart: 11th plague of Egypt - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Wal-Mart: 11th plague of Egypt

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Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 5:10 am | Updated: 10:01 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

And Moses said unto Pharaoh, "Let my people go.’’

But Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the children of Israel go.

And Moses said unto Pharaoh, "Then shall fall upon you a pestilence the likes of which has never been seen in Egypt. For there shall be Wal-Mart Supercenters in the land, especially around the pyramids, which, as you know, were originally zoned for neighborhood commercial or low density residential.’’

Then said Pharaoh unto Moses: "I see your point. Go in peace. Really. I insist. Here, take my chariot!’’

There is a possibility that I am afflicted by a lack of sophistication or maybe it’s just that I don’t have good taste. Perhaps I’m a little too common.

Whatever it is, I honestly do not understand why people feel as though their world is falling apart when a Wal-Mart comes anywhere close to their home.

IKEA comes to Tempe and the news brings tears of joy, but the mere rumor of a Wal-Mart prompts tears of anguish.

Two more reminders of this phenomenon appeared in the pages of the Tribune recently.

First, Wal-Mart was interjected into the Riverview at Dobson project by opponents of the development. The basic claim — not only was Wal-Mart going to be a part of the project, but that the store might actually benefit from the incentives Mesa has offered the developers. This appears to be an act of desperation by Riverview opponents. You don’t play this card unless you are "all in’’ — to borrow a poker phrase.

The second item concerned the revelation that a Wal-Mart store was being planned for the currently dust-choked intersection of Hunt Highway and Gary Road in San Tan Heights. A resident quoted in the story objected in the kind of obtuse manner that is always raised when the giant retailer looks for a place to land: She didn’t mind Wal-Mart coming to the area, just so long as it wasn’t within her eyesight. Subterranean supercenters, perhaps?

Here’s the deal: Nobody wants to live near a Wal-Mart, yet some people do. Not only do they survive, but somehow manage to lead happy, productive, meaningful lives.

John Jacks, a Wisconsin native, doesn’t understand the reaction to Wal-Mart. Jacks has lived at Parklinks at Superstition Springs, literally next door to the Wal-Mart on Southern Avenue in Mesa, for the past six winters.

"They’re good neighbors, far as I’m concerned,’’ says Jacks. "I have no complaints at all.’’

Somehow I doubt Jacks’ testimonial will be of much comfort to those who live in dread of the little yellow smiley face character moving into the neighborhood.

Not that it matters.

As it is written: There shall be Wal-Marts and rumors of Wal-Marts.

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