Recently, somebody took to the Internet to write an essay about how weird it is that Philadelphians are obsessed with Wawa. “I confess, I’m not from here,” the interloper admitted up front, “but why so much emotional investment in something so, well, pedestrian?”
Read that shit one more time, and let it sink it.
You want to know about Philly? I mean, yeah, we’re not the sort of cosmopolitan juggernaut you might find in Indiana or Mississippi. We just have some of the best universities in the world, one of the best art collections in the world, one of the most working-class populations in urban America, and we have something delicious called a hoagie. I mean, that’s all we have.
Oh, and we have Wawa.
I don’t even understand what this would-be carpetbagger is trying to criticize.
Does she honestly believe that convenience stores don’t matter? What would that imply—that it’s somehow strange for Philadelphians as a whole to take pride in such a simple, working-class piece of life? Did she even think this through?
Does she realize we’re the same city that once threw snowballs at Santa Claus?
Apparently not. Because she found it appropriate to commit this sentence to print: “I’m still mortified to utter the phrase, ‘We’re going to Wawa for a Sizzli.’”
First, if that phrase really mortifies you, you probably need to take a good, hard look at your life, at your low self-esteem masquerading as sophistication, and maybe start expressing some gratitude.
Let’s not forget that one of the things that makes Wawa incredible is that it offers nutritious, fresh food to everyone on a blue-collar budget. And it has Hoagiefest! And ice cream! And ATMs! And if you want to go all hip about it, Wawa had touchscreen technology before it was cool!
Twenty years or so ago, Wawa debuted the Shorti with a radio ad declaring: “Wawa’s new Shorti hoagie: It’s short—but it’s thick.” Can you even comprehend how fucking Philly it is that a convenience store deli would build an entire advertising campaign around the wink-wink-nudge-nudge subtext of You’ll love this sandwich as much as dick?
No wonder Mayor Nutter proclaimed April 16, the company’s 50th anniversary, as an officially-sanctioned citywide “Wawa Day.”
Hell, thanks to Wawa’s beneficence, we all get to celebrate the fucking Fourth of July together at the Wawa Welcome America festival this week. How much more meaning do you want from a convenience store in the cradle of American liberty? I mean, really, why do you hate freedom?
For Christ’s sake, I hope I don’t need to explain Butterscotch Krimpets.
We like Wawa. If you don’t, the problem really is you and not, you know, the entire known universe.
I guess Wawa isn’t one of those acceptable convenience-store chains like 7-Eleven (blech) or Duane Reade (fuck you, New York, that’s a pharmacy) or Sheetz (don’t even). I guess Wawa’s problem is that, like Rocky, it’s always striving for something better while still staying true its roots. If I were an elitist Philly-hater, I guess I wouldn’t get it either. Thankfully, I’m just a working-class slob born and raised in Philadelphia.
Yeah, Wawa’s where we get hoagies and cigarettes. It’s also a beacon of hope in a city looking for a cultural compass to guide its masses. It’s a Philly-area original business that made it like a real champ. And, just like a champ, the haters gonna hate and try to bring Wawa, and all of us, down.
Don’t let ‘em.
P.S. If you fuck with our Wawa, we will fuck your shit up.
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