The Big Box Hot Box
by TJ Mott in Feature Articles on 2015-04-09
The average big-box hardware store is like a small city. They have every piece of hardware or tool imaginable (except, of course, the one you’re looking for). You’ll find no less that 15 aisles of power tools stocked with everything from battery operated screwdrivers to arc welders. To store all these tools, you can purchase the 6-foot-tall rolling toolbox, with a 20-watt stereo, built-in beer chiller, wi-fi connectivity, and a Twitter or Facebook app. One aisle over, there’s row after row of pristine white toilets, occupied by a small army of playing children. Near the back of the store, nestled between endless rows of storm doors and windows is a quaint “grocery” section, as if someone uprooted and transplanted a gas station convenience store, and trimmed away all of the bits that weren’t junk food. Finally, outside the building, is the drive-thru lumber yard, where you drive to the end to purchase your 20 cubic feet of mulch and invariably get stuck behind an idling vehicle abandoned by a socially-clueless DIY-er who either disappeared on an epic quest to find help loading 200 short tons of bagged white river rock into his 1993 Ford Ranger, or more likely, thought it was a convenient parking spot while he left for an 8-week sabbatical on a mountain in Tibet.