I got the image above from an email list I’m on that occasionally sends out funny stuff. And it is amusing: the idea that Walmart is a place that one would need to dress up for. Here is the text for those who can’t see the image:
“I don’t have to get all dressed up like I’m going to Wal-Mart or something,” she said…
This image is very similar to the College of Planning sign image. It’s been around for years, and every few months a new group of people find it and it goes viral. Again.
As far as I can tell, it dates back to an article from 2005 in The Daily Town Talk. It is now called, The Town Talk. It was founded in 1883 and covers central Louisiana.
Dollar Palace Was a Real Place
The article appears to be about Dollar Palace, which had opened in November 2004. (It appears to be out of business now — but it was in business as late as 2007.) These kinds of articles are standard for local papers. There’s a new business in town so a reporter goes out, talks to the owner and the customers, and files a story.
Is Debra Jackson for Real?
Over at the Snopes forum, Ovalescent noted something very interesting:
That makes a lot of sense. When Walmart moves into a rural area, it becomes something of an attraction. Debra Jackson isn’t some idiot redneck who thinks Walmart is such a great thing. But she is recognizing that it is the economic center of her area.
Is It a Hoax?
A lot of people have just assumed that it is a hoax. But there are a number of things that push against that. The first is that it is an image. One would have had to have gone to a lot of trouble to create the base image. Then, there’s the highlighting and pen outline. That’s a lot of work to go to just to make fun of yokels in a pretty gentle way.
Even if it weren’t an image, most hoaxes of these kinds have no details. At the time, various people were talking about it coming from an established paper. (I’ve found a couple of links to the original article, but it is down and nothing on that site is saved on Archive.org.) It wasn’t the standard, “A large newspaper in the northwest reported about a woman…” There are specifics that can be checked. It passes the smell test.
On the other hand, it would be different if Debra Jackson had said, “I love Dollar Palace! It’s the only store where they keep the darkies in line.” (Dollar Palace was owned by Kenneth Williams, an African American.) In that case, I would start looking for signs of Photoshop in the image above. But as it stands, it seems very likely that it is the real deal, and that Debra Jackson had a good reason for saying what sounds like something very silly.