Anyone who’s ever held a retail job is surely familiar with the concept of finding a convenient hiding place among boxes and camping out to avoid detection, but hiding in a store you’re not being paid to occupy is a new one by me. A teenager in Texas did just that by building two secret forts in a Walmart and living there for four days before being detected. Maybe he was just waiting for someone else to start a Community-style box fort vs. pillow fort competition?
The clever 14-year-old kept spare sets of clothing that he’d change into every few hours to avoid detection, ate food from store shelves, and had even collected himself a pet fish from the pet department. He was so concerned about being caught that he used diapers instead of using the store’s bathrooms, though I’m admittedly not entirely clear on how smelly diapers/a teenager throwing diapers in a Walmart trash can repeatedly is less noticeable than using the bathroom, but I haven’t built a fort since
college grade school, so maybe I’m not up on the latest fort technology.
His secret lairs behind stroller boxes and in the toilet paper aisle (smart choice) were eventually located by a trail of trash and probably diaper smell. The boy tried to run when he was caught, but the police were called and he’s been returned to the family members he was staying with in the Corsicana, Texas area. For more details, check out the local news coverage where I’m pretty sure the anchor is so confused by the story that he checks to make sure he hasn’t gone insane and is actually holding up four fingers when he says “four days.”
It’s clear from the level of dedication—he was about as intent on staying in Walmart as I usually am about leaving it—on the teen’s part that something is not going well for him where he was supposed to be living, so I hope things go better for him in the future.
- A teenage George R.R. Martin sent a sarcastic letter to Stan Lee
- Peter Dinklage as a bemulletted teen
- Teens mock a 90s Internet video, but still don’t understand the Internet