The fact that the sky was blackening with intermittent streaks of lightning did not dissuade them. The wind wasn’t picking up, so the roof would stay on the tent.
Anyway, this is a big day. The rentals turned over on Saturdays. People line the realty offices waiting for their keys to be delivered between 4-6 p.m. They pick their way to the house and dump the kids. The sisters or the bros pile back in the car for the Food Lion.
Everyone goes to the Food Lion when they get in. People need milk and that vanilla coffee creamer and their margarita mix. The chips were eaten in the car before the bridge, and you need salsa anyway. Not to mention chardonnay. And olives. You could get beer, too, if you missed the Brew Thru–yes, where you drive through an open garage and get handed a case of Bud.
You passed the next closest real grocery store 45 miles ago and you need charcoal, hotdogs, buns and mustard for tonight’s vacation grand opening. Grab that bag of pre-shredded coleslaw for me, will you? It’s got the slaw dressing in the bag, right?
So for the folks selling campaign bumper stickers, yard signs, hats and t-shirts, this is the day. They set up the tent right next to the entrance, where there’s a traffic light. People pause and look over the merchandise as they wait for the light to change. Some people give a thumbs up and sometimes a car horn blares an approval. They set up their store because they want America to be great again, and because they bought the shirts, signs and hats in bulk figuring there was some money to be made. People spend money on impulse buys all the time at the beach.
There’s plenty of foot traffic in the lot. The Food Lion sits in a strip mall with a dollar store and a yogurt place and a sandwich joint. Then there’s the restaurant which fronted the lawn space to set up the campaign shop. Dirty Dick’s Crab House. The folks at Dick’s are especially proud of the thousands of t-shirts they sell with their slogan, “I got my crabs from Dirty Dick’s.” Now customers can buy that shirt–or maybe even a onesie for the baby–at the restaurant and then pick out a yard sign that reads “Hillary for Prison.”
It’s all really quite something. The storm mostly held off. Who says America isn’t great?