How To Interest A Big Publisher

Society is not breaking down. Society is broken.

I caught this bit at Yahoo news, about a college student who spent his spring break in Wal-Mart (or should we spell that, W@L-M*RT?). Skyler Bartels haunted the fluorescent interior for 41 hours in a row, watching movies, playing video games, eating from the snack bar and stealing naps in the garden department. He planned to write an article about his experience but decided against that when he failed to meet his goal of a full-week’s stay. The greeters were getting wise to him, and Bartels had to leave before he was thrown out.

But was the project really a failure? Read on:

The Des Moines Register…called to ask him about the experience. Once the story ran, TV networks began calling.[Bartels] also talked with a book agent, has been contacted by New Line Cinema about a movie concept and did a radio interview with National Public Radio.Bartels told The Associated Press he has decided the stunt wasn’t such a failure after all.“I’m incredibly happy with the press coverage,” he said. “It would be kind of silly not to accept it with open arms.”

In a spasm of sheer meanness, I sent this story to Steve. I told him he was going about this writer-thing all wrong. No need to actually WRITE. All you have to do is hang out a few days at Wally World. Steve comes back, “You blog it, Matt. If I have to do it I’ll shoot myself.”

Maybe we should file this under Doom and Gloom.


  1. I forget, does WalMart even have a guns department so that he could shoot himself?

    Any bets on how long before the news starts interviewing criminals rather than their victims?

  2. He spent 41 hours in HELL. I don’t even want to think about that!

    I’m still doing it the old fashioned way: sending loads of paper off to agents and publishers and waiting for REJECTIONS so that I can call myself a writer.

  3. One of these days Wal Mart will break the chains that bind it, swallow the sun which will precipitate four consecutive winters. It’s pretty much downhill from there.

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