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by Gary Schoichet
THREE SHOPPERS WERE KILLED, trampled to death, in a rush to the sock section of the Valley Stream, New York Walmart on Black Friday. “It’s really hard to imagine such a rush for socks,” Walmart CEO C. Douglas McMillon told Blinding Light News Service when informed of the tragedy. “Computers, televisions, iPads, but socks? Who knew there was that kind of market for socks?”
A video of the incident shows hundreds of customers, eyes glazed and froth bubbling from their mouths, many holding small children, rushing past steeply discounted high-priced items to get to the socks, which were discounted by perhaps twenty cents a pair. “I don’t know what happened,” said shopper Lorna Simmons, sporting a bandage over her left eye and a sling holding up her left wrist. “I waited on line for ten hours to be one of the first in the store. I needed a new refrigerator and a microwave oven. Somehow I got caught up in a whirlwind of people. I was propelled past what I came for and I had to have socks. There were so many of us possessed by a need for socks. It was devilish.”
CEO McMillon, upon hearing Simmons’ interview, said, “There are no devils at Walmart, no supernatural beings able to create that kind of mob behavior. People want bargains and we give them just that by keeping our prices low. How do we do it? We force our suppliers to sell to us so cheaply that they barely stay in business, and then we underpay our employees so that many of them need Medicaid and food stamps to live. If it wasn’t for Obamacare, some of them would die.
“The only devils at Walmart are the Walton family and top managers like me.
“You know, there was a time that we proudly only sold goods made in America. Now we could care less. It’s about the money, not the pride.”
Mr. McMillon is no longer the CEO of Walmart. He was last seen at a soup kitchen trying to make amends.
Meanwhile, Black Friday has spread to countries that do not celebrate Thanksgiving. In England boisterous football fans, also known as hooligans, who have been banned from many European countries have taken on Black Friday as their day. “We don’t want to shop, we want to brawl,” said one drunken fan who took to the new venue for riot with glee. “I went to an Asda store, which is owned by Walmart. Some people were fighting over large screen tellys, but me, I just came to fight. It was great. I don’t know why they didn’t have more security for the huge crowds. Didn’t want to spend the money, probably. It was great. It was like being in America.”
Gary Schoichet is a prize-winning labor journalist, editor, and photographer. He writes and photographs what he sees. He nevertheless still has a sense of humor.