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Oklahoma Business

Mad Maxi-Mart: A Post-Apocalyptic Vision of Local Convenience Stores

5:10 AM EDT on August 12, 2021

I recently received a text from TLO head-honcho Patrick telling me about this convenience store somewhere in Oklahoma City that not only promised smokes and beer, but hot food as well, suggesting that I should look into it, knowing how obsessive I am about championing these typically destitute places.

I think I may have finally met my match.

It was sometime in the afternoon when I stopped by, as cars were not only rounding the building and its decorative signage of various smokables, but a constant clientele of on-foot patrons that kept the door of the place open. At first, it seemed welcoming to me.

As I took a few pictures of the outside, a skinny customer with an angry face was staring at me, following me around, beaming with rage. While nothing new, when I went inside the store, he followed me in and tracked every single one of my steps closely. I turned around to look at him, sure I was going to get stabbed in my ample gut, but he backed off.

As he did though, he shouted to the employee behind that counter that I was not only a cop, but was illegally taking pictures. Without hearing me out, a few patrons quickly shuffled out while the clerk got incredibly antsy, as the skinny dude came up to me again, obviously tweaking.

I told the cashier that I was no police officer and the skinny dude went back outside to sit in front of the store a little while longer.

I backed off and went to the cooler for a decoy drink—a Red Bull, near the pot-flavored elixirs—noticing the Rick and Morty shirts next to a cooler full of Mad Dog 20/20. As more people started to come back in and take the clerk’s attention off of me, I was able to look around a bit more, noticing there was no hot food to be munched on, with the exception of one hot burrito—deep-fried, of course—sitting in a small glass box off to the side.

Perusing the scant aisles a bit more—with the one watchful eye of the cashier on me—they had an insane amount of the most recent flavors of Rap Snacks chips and classic Mexican candies typically unavailable in this part of town, as well as a large selection of sexual protection for the romantic interludes that the chips and candy has been known to prologue.

The store began to reach maximum capacity again. An apparently homeless man stood by the refrigerators off to the side, scratching an endless supply of lotto tickets—he had so many that I’m sure his handful must’ve paid for at least one school. Thanks for giving back.

Behind numerous glass cases on the counter were various paraphernalia, many of which I had never seen before. As a torn-up woman and her torn-up male accomplice walked up to the counter, they asked for a large torch-style lighter, paid for it and left. At that moment I surmised what the clientele wanted and was happily provided to them.

The eyes of the entire maxi-mart glaring at me, I bought my drink and left, no hot food for me—not even a heat-lamped burrito—on this equally heat-lamped afternoon.

As I exited the store and headed to the car, the skinny guy from the beginning was sitting in the shade, still staring at me, breathing like a bull with emphysema. He said something to me, but I was already in the car, downing half of my Sugar-Free Red Bull as I waited for an entry spot back on to the main road, never to return again.

_

Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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