Entry 368: What? Sam’s Club Had No Vacancies?

Recently I finished yet another post-apocalyptic, young adult trilogy in the vein of The book-review-monument-14-L-ArcvCc[1]Hunger Games and Divergent. This one was called Monument 14.

I don’t know what makes these post-apocalyptic trilogies “young adult,” other than that the main characters tend to be teenagers. I also don’t know why young adults seem to be so fascinated with the end of the world; I guess they enjoy seeing how teenagers will save humanity after all the adults screw up.

Maybe these trilogies are for young adults because those are the only people who can remember what the hell happened in Book 1 when Book 2 comes out a year later. The second and third volumes don’t even come with a “previously in…” like they do with TV series. Us old adults have to reread the first book when the second one comes out, and reread the first and second books when the third one comes out, unless the movie version of the first one has come out by then, and wasn’t it crazy with the Harry Potter books (which, of course, wasn’t a trilogy at all but a, um, septology or something), when you were watching the second movie while you were reading the sixth book, and trying to keep track of who was dead and who was about to be?

My wife Barbara has the right idea. When I recommend a new trilogy to her, she’ll say “Let me know when all three books are out.”

Why do stories need three books anyway? And how does the author know, when he or she starts writing, that there can even be three books? What if the first one doesn’t sell? Will people be left hanging, like they are when a TV series is canceled after Season Two so that you’ve been watching a story build for two friggin’ years only to have it end with the big secret not yet revealed and your whole summer is ruined thinking about it, and there are all sorts of online petitions and letter-writing campaigns trying to get the network to renew it, and you spend three months trawling the Web reading fan-supplied endings to the point that you are horribly saddened that there are so many people who so obviously don’t have any sort of lives to speak of and that you are on the verge of becoming one of them?

Where was I?  Right: post-apocalyptic, young adult trilogies. This post isn’t about them.

Remember way back in Paragraph 1, before I got totally sidetracked with ridiculous Film_43w_LordOfFlies_original[1]subplots in the second, third, fourth and fifth paragraphs, I mentioned a trilogy called Monument 14? It’s about a group of kids who get trapped in a big box store when the big one hits. It’s an interesting premise. Can they survive despite being in possession of everything they could possibly need to survive?

It’s kind of like Lord of the Flies with an endless supply of Pop-Tarts.

I bring up this particular post-apocalyptic, young adult trilogy because, in an instance of life imitating art, a teenager in Corsicana, Texas recently spent four days living in a Walmart.

vestNow, of course, this wasn’t an exact imitation of Monument 14. For one thing, it was missing the end of the world as we know it. Also, the kid wasn’t trapped in the Walmart; he just sort of moved in. He managed to live there 24 hours a day (it was, after all, a 24 hour “supercenter”) without being detected. And he didn’t even wear one of those vests.

According to KTVT

“Customers who walked down the aisles where the teen was living never noticed two hidden compounds where the boy was able to store necessities, sleep in a makeshift bed and eat items taken from inside the store.”

In case you’re wondering, the “two hidden compounds” were among the baby strollers andwalmart-kid-21[1] behind the paper towels. He made a hole behind the drinks aisle so he could grab juice. He also changed his clothes every few hours to avoid detection, and took to wearing diapers so he wouldn’t have to use the store’s bathroom.

Clever kid.

Except that he only got caught because store personnel followed a trail of garbage to one of his hiding places. Couldn’t he have made a hole behind the Hefty Bag aisle and grab some of those?

It’s unclear why the kid moved into Walmart. Perhaps Target raised his rent. Evidently, he lives with relatives, but was staying with other relatives when he disappeared. Nobody seemed to be looking for him, though, and let me reiterate that he was in the superstore four days.

How bad does your living situation have to be for you to listen to the music they play in a Walmart for 96 straight hours?

Or maybe the teen was trying to make a statement. I don’t know what that statement would be–perhaps a protest against low prices or unmeltable ice cream.*

We’ll probably find out more about it in a future report.

Or in Book 2.

See you soon.

*As reported recently in this blog, Walmart ice cream sandwiches are able to withstand temperatures of 80 degrees without melting.

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