Monday, December 1, 2008

Dying for that Minimum Wage

The first death of the shopping season was recorded on Friday morning after Long Island WalMart shoppers decided it was more important to buy... something... than to aid a fellow human being, prone at (or under) their feet. 2000 people were so impatient to get in and shop before the bargains were all snapped up, they broke down the door before opening, and ran down Jdimytai Damour, a temporary employee from Queens, who struggled to get up under the onslaught of rushing idiots.

I realize this isn't the normal sort of topic for what's supposed to be a political blog, but it speaks to the United States of Mind. And, of course, repeating my mantra, which is "WalMart is Evil."

What is wrong with Americans? Or is it just Long Islanders? Do we really need the DayGlo hot pink TV Chef Barbie so badly we're willing to kill immigrants just to get our hands on one? Is the value of that new Transformer Car higher than that of the human being gasping out his last breath on the floor? Makes me re-think my whole attitude towards X-Mess.

Yes, I still want to buy presents for my wife, my friends and my cats (though not necessarily in that order), but the crowds are bothering me this year more than ever. Shopping in the middle of a rugby scrum only appeals to those already interested in being in rugby scrums (hint: not me). Nothing against rugby or scrums for that matter, mind you. 

I remember being in London on Boxing Day and thought it was pretty crowded, but to me, the worst part of it was the attitude of the folks working the counter at the Macy's-like department store where we bought a bunch of our stoneware (really really decent price). The guy saw what we were bringing to him and we opened our mouths (here come the rude Americans) and asked to have it all shipped back to the States. "But I'm about to go on break." Whiner. The whole city was crowded, and it hardly bothered me at all, even in the very busy toy store, with zillions of kids. But no one was trying to kill anyone else to get the last whatever on the shelf...

The term "Black Friday" is meant to indicate the day of the year when retailers go into the black for the year, where they make their best sales. It's also the time when sales are at their most extreme in bargains bargains bargains for the consumer. So people get a little crazy.

And now of course, Black Friday has a whole new meaning for one Queens family.


Being WalMart means never having to say you're sorry, right? Even if it costs you an arm, a leg, and a lung? I guess they feel it was no longer cost-effective to avoid paying a tiny fine, since paying it would set some sort of, I dunno, precedent: WalMart spends $2,000,000 to avoid paying $7,000.

Really, you are reading that correctly.

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