Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Wal is never the answer

According to an article in The Honolulu Advertiser, Wal-Greens is planning to open some 200 stores in Hawaii -- most of them next to or across the street from Longs Drugs stores. The Wal-Greens regional manager was quoted as saying Longs has 73 percent of the market share, a percentage so high it's "unheard of."

Of course, if you're from Hawaii not only is that percentage not "unheard of", you're probably surprised it's not even higher. We can thank Wal-Mart for that. I swear, there was always someone I recognized at the Longs, and if I was with my grandma she always bumped her cart into the cart of some other old local lady she knew.

I remember going to Longs one Sunday with my dad. We decided to pick up something inconsequential, like soap or shampoo, but when we got to the cash registers there was a long line and my dad said, "Shit. It's Sunday. What kind idiot goes to Longs for buy shampoo on Sunday?" In front of us in line was my driver's ed. teacher, Mr. Abalos. He was holding his Sunday Longs catalog and telling the person in front of him, "My friends go church every Sunday but I tell them this is my church (shakes his catalog) and this is my bible."

I remember Mr. Abalos best as the guy who taught me never to assume anything while driving because when you assume you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me." I also got pulled over by the police while in the driver's ed. car with him. The officer told us that the car's registration had expired but he let us off with a warning. Mr. Abalos apologized and explained that we were borrowing the car from the school in Lapahoehoe (or somewhere) so it wasn't really our fault. I guess we shouldn't have assumed that our car was legally registered.

I'm kind of bummed about Wal-Greens. I just can't imagine it will engender the same kind of stories/memories/nostalgia that Longs has. I mean, I live on the mainland now and there's a Wal-Greens on EVERY.SINGLE. CORNER. It'll always be generic to me.