A comedian spent a full day and night in Kmart, and the results are hilarious.
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On Sunday 27th January 2019 I drove 160km south of Perth to visit Kmart at Eaton Fair. Was I after a bargain? Had I missed out on an item at another Kmart? Yes, but I was also intrigued that a 24-hour Kmart somehow existed in country Western Australia.
I also had another motive ...
I wanted to see if I could live within Kmart for a full 24 hours.
You read that correctly. I’ve heard people say they love Kmart so much they wish they could live there. And let’s be honest, some living rooms now resemble the entire Homewares section of Kmart. (Providing you were able to get your hands on the Lilac Velvet Chair .)
Because if you didn't Instagram it, did you even do it? Image: Instagram @kmartlad
So at 2pm (AWST) I walked into Kmart unannounced and began to live in Kmart. My first issue was that there was barely any phone coverage. I slumped defeated in Men’s Activewear when all my phone showed was SOS. After circumnavigating the Kmart I discovered I could get coverage by the utensils and at the back against the door of the Customer Service desk. I began to post to my Instagram @KmartLad with no idea how this journey would end. Of course I had my doubters.
I actually trained hard for this.
I would go to Kmarts in my hometown of Adelaide and acclimatise. I started at 30 minutes, then an hour, gradually I worked my way to two hours in Kmart. I would imagine what I would do, what I could eat, where I could possibly sleep and of course, the obvious question …
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The ultimate Kquest. Image: Instagram @kmartlad
I found ways to keep busy.
I made a mug at the Photo Centre. Answered questions on Instagram. Read a book cover to cover. Listened to the Hottest 100. But after two hours I was exhausted. There are only so many times you can walk through Homewares and spark joy.
This is where once again I learned the power of community. Little did I know some people had been screenshotting my posts and sharing them. At this point I had done my best to not draw attention to myself in the store.
As I sat in the toy section pushing all the buttons that said “Try Me” I heard “He’s here, he’s in the building, find him.” This is where I met the Kmart customer service award-winning Cat. She found me, laid down the law and then proceeded to help me achieve what I could never have done on my own.
The staff were actually amazing. Image: Instagram @kmartlad
Cat was replaced by Raelene who bought me Maccas and then started her night shift. As the staff worked around me they would pass by and check that I was OK. They suggested I could sleep in the pillow cage and would make sure no one disturbed me. As tempting as that sounded at 3am, I pushed through without sleeping.
"Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives." - Maya Angelou
Life can be tough sometimes, but I found with the help of others and facing challenges a little at a time you can conquer anything. So it was a little after 2pm on the 28th January 2019 that I walked triumphantly out of Kmart. I received a round of applause from staff and other members of the community.
I did it. I lived in Kmart for a full 24 hours.
Jason Pestell is an award winning Stand up Comedian currently performing his show Kmart is Life at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 9th- 21st April. He has yet to book accommodation but knows there are a few 24 hour Kmarts there. Check out the full #24HoursInKmart at www.instagram.com/KmartLad
Jason Pestell is a Kmart fan from way back. Image: Instagram @kmartlad