Those who read offbeat stories in a futile attempt to block out depressing political news like I do may have seen this viral story by now: A Texas woman was banned from a local Walmart after spending hours driving an electric shopping cart around the store's parking and guzzling wine from a Pringles can.
According to a story from The Associated Press, the source I turn to for breaking news about big-box store, alcohol-fueled small-town shenanigans, cops “eventually found the woman in a nearby restaurant and told her not to return to the store. Police say the woman wasn't arrested and her name was not released.”
I believe an immediate ban was premature. Perhaps she is a creative songwriter looking for the next big hit about drinking something out of something. It’s a relatively unexplored subgenre of popular music, though, to my knowledge, none of those songs mentioned anything as awful as Pringles.
(Note: The awfulness of Pringles is purely the opinion of the author and in no way reflects the position of this award-winning publication. In fact, we would love to tell people how wonderful Pringles are in a corporate ad buy for both print and online. Call us. Please call us. We will fire Hollifield on the spot.)
Let’s explore a few of those songs about drinking something about of something.
In the classic “Blue Suede Shoes,” both Carl Perkins, who wrote it and recorded it first, and Elvis Presley, who sang it on national TV, admit in the song neither would be overly concerned if you drank their liquor from an old fruit jar just as long as you kept your dirty clodhoppers off their fancy footwear.
I wager that if Elvis was alive today and visiting Walmart to buy a pair of blue suede shoes and pick up a prescription or five, he would not be banned for roustabouting ’round the parking lot in an electric cart drinking liquor from an old fruit jar or even a Pringles can. I see a double standard.
In “Rock and Roll Music,” written and recorded by Chuck Berry and later covered by The Beatles, the song tells about some country folks way down south who have themselves a jubilee – or a jamboree , if you will -- and drink homebrew from a wooden cup. What happened to those homebrew-consuming country folks who lapped long and hard from a wooden cup? They got all shook up, but they did not get banned from Walmart.
Turning to country music where someone drinks something out of something, in an underrated song of the 1980s, “The King is Gone (So Are You),” written by Roger D. Ferris and recorded by George Jones, our forlorn protagonist opens a commemorative bottle of Jim Beam shaped like Elvis, peels the label off a Fred Flintstone jellybean jar, fills Fred up to his pelvis, and drinks until he is conversing with both Elvis and Fred about the strange nature of women.
While legend has it an inebriated George Jones once drove a lawnmower to the liquor store, neither he nor Elvis nor Fred Flintstone were ever banned from Walmart. Again, I see a double or perhaps even a triple standard.
As a well-respected lyricist (Note: We could find no evidence that Hollifield is either well-respected or a lyricist), I have written the beginning of a song about drinking something out something. I hope to finish it with the Texas women to get her re-instated to Walmart with full customer benefits.
It goes a little something like this:
I was down at the big box/shopping for support socks
Wondering why I had the blues
Since my divorce I was single/been munching on some Pringles
And I figured I had nothing to lose
Grabbed two fifths of Boone’s Farm/one under each arm
Climbed aboard that ’lectric cart
Circled round the parking lot/that engine getting red hot
Pringles drinking for my broken heart.
When the royalties come in, she can take me shopping.
Scott Hollifield is editor/GM of The McDowell News in Marion, NC and a humor columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.