A Muckraker’s Guide to Steelyard Walmart
The suburban teen’s fascination with Steelyard Walmart might be a cash cow
Written & Created by: Cameron Mays
Trapped in the bubble of innocence or ignorance called Brecksville, somewhat younger Cameron was always enthralled by exotic stories of adventure and excitement. Not exotic stories in the vein of a Baghdadi sailor going on supernatural oceanic voyages, but of suburban teens taking their parent’s cars to supercenter Steelyard Walmart after 10pm. Their mighty yarns of watching people with less money eat unbought fruit and steal Stanley flasks captured the imagination of my younger self. Had I been more cool, I would have dressed up as these brave urban explorers for Halloween or themed my eighth birthday after Steelyard Walmart. All I wanted to be was a hard-knock voyeur, risking it all to catch a glimpse of someone going through a really bad day.
...the trend of young people coming out to Steelyard Walmart has become so ingrained that it functions as an affluent-suburban rite of passage.
Now that the depth of my worldview has expanded from a droplet to a puddle, I’ve made two important realizations. The first is that the tellers of these tales, white dudes 17–22 years of age, are not ideal interpreters. I suppose it is a little hard to enjoy a story about “the other half” when the half telling the story lives with their parents in a Petros Homes’ McMansion. The second is that the ails of Steelyard Walmart are not unique to Steelyard Walmart. The stories of hour-long lines and crazy patrons are really a staple of any Walmart in the United States. The only difference is that Steelyard Walmart is significantly closer to a steel mill; so in other words, there are no differences.
Unfortunately, the trend of young people coming out to Steelyard Walmart has become so ingrained that it functions as an affluent-suburban rite of passage. As my letters and petitions to the Department of Suburban Cultural Affairs demanding an end to this shameful ritual have gone unanswered, the only solution is to work with the grain. I might not be able to stop young people-watchers going to Steelyard Walmart, but I might be able to profit off of them. Find out how and more on the video I made: