Fed-Ex delivers a whopper of a thrill at Wal-Mart

July 17, 2007|by TIM ROWLAND

Editor's Note: Tim Rowland is on vacation. This column was originally published on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006.

"Has anyone in here ever heard of a dude named Kevin Federline?"

That question, posed by me in an open newsroom, was greeted with about a dozen swiveled heads and looks of incredulity.

No, looks of pity is more like it. One 20-something colleague ventured to take me under her wing and help me limp through the ins and outs of pop culture, much like a Candy Striper would sympathetically assist a geezer tottering his way down the hall to get physical therapy on a broken hip.

If, like me, you are older than Robert Byrd's grandfather, here's the dope: Kevin Federline, aka K-Fed, is a purported rap musician who has basically failed in the area of tunage, but temporarily succeeded in the area of marriage to one B. Spears.


This marriage lasted all of 36 hours which, as I understand it, set a new endurance record for Hollywood celebrities. Without Britney, K-Fed became known as Fed-Ex, and his career as a musician - well, let's just say he's not going to make anyone forget England Dan and John Ford Coley anytime soon.

This was a disappointment to me, since as a responsible journalist, I took some time to do some research on his body of work and was much impressed.

I mean, how can you not be floored by lyrics that include:

"Toy all your thing on me, baby. Toy all your thing on me. Toy all your thing on me, baby. Toy all your thing on me."

All I can say is, move over Warren Zevon. As singer-songwriters go, this is top shelf. I like music that challenges the intellect. As a matter of fact, I have changed my e-mail address to

But all this background is beside the point because the real news is that that the aforementioned K-Fed was in Hagerstown earlier this month! In Hagerstown to shop at Wal-Mart!

Um. Did I read that right? Big rich superstar in a Hagerstown discount store to buy, as the news story said, "food, clothes and video games?"

The Hagerstown part I can see, if the celebrity happens to be driving through with the windows rolled up at high speeds. But Wal-Mart? For clothes?

Britney, dah-ling, hold up on those divorce papers, this man needs you. Unless the fashion world has taken some crazy left turn that I don't know about. I haven't talked to Pierre Cardin lately, but I don't recall seeing many supermodels walking down the runway of late in stretch pants.

Of course, he was instantly recognized by the clientele and swarmed by autograph seekers. Apparently to a lot of Wal-Mart customers, this was the most exciting, life-changing event they'd experienced since learning that Dollar General now accepts credit cards.

For a megastar, I'm not certain what's more unsettling - being in a Wal-Mart or being recognized in a Wal-Mart. Maybe it's me, but I'm not sure that's the demo I want as my core fan base.

This isn't to say that I myself don't occasionally shop at Wal-Mart (although, ahem, The Herald-Mail has never done a story about it). It's just that the size of it overwhelms me, is all. And invariably, I wind up being so fascinated just watching the shoppers that I forget what I came to buy.

Along with adoring fans, K-Fed was followed by a couple of body guards and the ever-present paparazzi. That's an interesting contrast right there. These guys are used to hanging out at Emporio Armani and Le Cirque. Paparazzi dude finds himself in a Wal-Mart aisle full of George Foreman Grills, he has to be thinking maybe it's time he stalked some other target.

Although this might explain K-Fed's presence in the first place. The police were called, management said, because "the store has a strict policy about photographers on the premises."

You hear that, Prince Harry? For all your red-coated fuzzheads at the palace, all you ever needed to do for some peace and quiet was to walk into your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart.

Hagerstown awaits your arrival. Feel free to toy your thing on us.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at You can listen to his podcast, The Rowland Rant, on

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