A song named “Charlie Brown” was recorded by The Coasters in late 1958. It made it all the way to No. 2 on the Billboard Music Chart.

I remember it being immensely popular on local radio stations. It was played often, right on up until the ’70s. It was one of those tunes that you couldn’t get out of your head once you heard it.

Everyone listening to the song would sing along when it came to the chorus, especially the last line. In a deep, low voice, one of the Coasters would sing, “Why is everybody always picking on me.”

The top brass at Walmart, I am sure, can relate to that line in the song.

A few months ago there was a viral video of a woman opening a carton of ice cream in a Lufkin, Texas, Walmart, taking a lick and putting it back in the freezer. A few days later, at a Walmart in San Jose, California, another viral video appears of a girl gargling with some Listerine. She spit it back into the bottle and placed it back on the shelf.

Not to be outdone, a girl in Wichita, Kansas, on a video, spit in a jar of Salsa and put it back on the shelf. Can you guess where? Walmart of course.

In all three incidents, Walmart officials quickly emptied the shelves and reassured the public that no shopper will buy one of these tampered products.

After the ice cream incident, it was reported that product tampering can result in between two and 20 years behind bars. This did not deter the other two females in their attempt at some one-upmanship involving mouthwash and chip dip. The desire to appear as an idiot to their friends on social media was worth the chance of going to jail.

I cannot begin to understand the logic.

Tampering with products started with the 1982 Tylenol murders. That caused companies to be innovative with packaging and make food and medicines more difficult to open without leaving evidence of tampering. It came with a price. Products cost more today so the bottle or package can’t be opened until you get it home and have your husband drag out some power tools to saw off the top.

Then things take a turn for the worse. Shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, resulted in more than two dozen deaths. One man killed people out of hate; the other killed because he just wanted to kill some people. I am not sure which one is the most despicable and deranged.

A couple of weeks later, another deranged individual in Missouri walked through a Walmart dressed in body armor, and he carried a weapon for no other reason than just to scare people. It worked. He probably is lucky that someone didn’t kill him. He was taken to jail. I am sure Walmart officials hope he stays there.

Members of the Walmart board of directors must be scratching their heads and thinking how this could be happening to us. Here we are trying to provide the public with products and food at reasonable prices at convenient locations, while people with their own agendas are dragging our company into situations that reflect badly on our name.

Walmart executives, if you are listening, it isn’t your fault. You are not being picked on. Lately you just happened to be a convenient place for people to do unspeakable things. In the past few years, mass shootings have occurred at music venues, work places, churches, schools and other places where a person intent on causing death and terror can conduct cowardly deeds.

People who don’t want to do the right things cost those who do. Hijackers caused the cost of flying to increase, as airlines had to cover the cost of installing terrorist-proof doors leading to the pilots. Likewise we pay the price for airport security because of 9-11. We pay for the packaging on the bottle of Tylenol every time we bring a bottle home. You can bet that if you go to a concert, the ticket price includes pay for the beefed-up security. We taxpayers pay for that cop patrolling the halls of our schools.

So, Walmart, recent events are not your fault. You might feel like Charlie Brown and think everybody’s picking on you, but that’s not the case. I know you feel like you need to monitor the ice cream aisle and have armed guards at the front door because you think you are being picked on.

Sadly, those who are intent on doing shameful things will do it somewhere else next time.

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Dr. Darlene Atkinson-Moran grew up in Olanta. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She is retired from the education profession and now resides in Florence with her husband, Michael. Contact her at citizencolumnist@florencenews.com.

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