June 13, 2008

Bite Size Bad News 6--The "Staycation"

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I know, I know, the last thing you need is another reason to hate Wal-Mart. But check this out.

Last month Wal-Mart management filed with the US patent office to scarf up the trademark rights to a neologism (one they had nothing to do with coining, incidentally): "staycation."

The idea is pretty clear--what with layoffs, inflation, a recession and $4 a gallon gas, many of us aren't going to be doing much vacation traveling this summer, so let's hang around the crib and Have Fun! It's a "Staycation"!

Rand McNally, the map people, did some polling in April: 57% of American families are trimming their vacation plans this summer, with only 15 % intending to travel for more than five days. One in ten are canceling their plans altogether.

With the trademark application still pending (track it here), Wal-Mart went ahead yesterday and rolled out a widget you can install on your home computer so that every day you can see a nifty new suggestion for Big Fun on your stay-at-home vacation. Most of them, oddly enough, involve the purchase of a barbecue grill, an "inflatable outdoor movie screen" or some other piece of crap from Wal-Mart. (See the press release at this business site--I'm not linking to the swine.)

I wonder what they'll come up with if millions of us find ourselves on permanent "staycation" as the economy continues to go pear-shaped. Waterproof cardboard box liners to keep your new residence dry? Lightweight plastic trays to sell apples and pencils from? 2 for 1 squeegees for the entrepeneurially-minded?

Have a nice "staycation"...


bendygirl said...

Gee, mind if I cross post this? i wish I'd noticed it first!! Oh, I guess that makes me just like Wal-Mart then, huh? UGH, does it?

Jimmy Higgins said...

It's all yours, union girl. Like the rest of us, the information on this site (not to mention the analysis and the opinions) wants to be free.

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. Its reminiscent of the Michael Moore of "TV Nation" and "Downsize This!" which helped to get me on the right track as a 5th or 6th grader, back in the day...