CVS is S-A-D

While we were on the lam in Canada last year CVS/pharmacy bought Long's Drug's. It was sad news because I and many of my friends loved Long's.

By the way, what's with the slash? Is it a Consumer Value Store Pharmacy, or just a pharmacy, or just a store? Why not CVS Pharmacy? Or are they planning a whole collection of chains, like maybe CVS/oil changers, CVS/smoothie hut, CVS/guns & ammo? The slash is stupid, much like their stores.

Long's was my all-time favorite place to shop, and I hate shopping, but I loved cruising their aisles full of stuff. Where else can you pick up mascara, Kodak Tri-X Pan 400 black & white film, a Faucet Queen thingie for the kitchen sink, Dinty Moore beef stew, a $60 Bart ticket, moist butt wipes AND a nice bottle of wine for dinner all in one place?

Every Long's felt like a quaint, local drug store, regardless of which one you went to. Its many aisles were narrow and jam-packed with all sorts of goodies. All the usual drug store stuff, but also tons of food, snacks, candy, gifts, makeup, greeting cards, jewelry, clothes, housewares, plants, flowers, garden stuff, cameras, film, hardware, ice cream, wine and BOOZE!

When David's parents visited us years ago we stopped at a Long's to grab a few things for the road. In moments, David's mom's arms were FULL of stuff. She found me in another aisle and with big, wide eyes she said, "This store is AMAZING!"

It really was. There was something about it. Every store felt familiar but each had its own funky vibe - you never knew what you might find. A true shopping adventure.

When I heard they'd sold out, I was bummed. Another local business swallowed up by a crappy competitor. (Long's first store was on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland.)

The other day I had to find those stupid little batteries for the cat's laser toy. I saw a former Long's/CVS nearby, so I gave it a try. It was every bit as disappointing as I'd expected and more.

Gone were the numerous aisles of good stuff, replaced by a handful of aisles set so wide apart you could cruise them in a forklift. Gone was the classic, bulletproof linoleum, replaced by a sad, depressing dark grey carpet. Carpet? In a drug store? You can't splatter a jar of pickles on that. The stains look great though. Stupid.

I walked around the whole store and mourned. It looked to have a tenth of what Long's used to carry and none of it looked any good. The displays are sad, the merchandising is sad - the whole place is just sad.

Even worse was the staff. I think they grow them in a facility somewhere in Winnipeg. I waited forever behind a woman trying to use a coupon and the cashier couldn't do the math. She had to call a manager, the manager wandered up to check the price of the item - I don't even know what happened after that - I blacked out. When I came to the sun was in a different place in the sky and I wanted to take a long hot shower and curl up in bed.

I was never a huge fan of Walgreen's but I'm going to go out of my way to find a Walgreen's rather than ever step foot inside a CVS/shithole ever again. Long's, it was a bitch move to sell out. You let us down. When I'm old and even crankier, I don't know where I'm going to buy my gallons of Carlo Rossi and tins of Danish butter cookies.