#2. I Even Tried to Stop the Fires
After extracting myself from the pile of rage and printer enthusiasts, I stumbled into one of your employees -- who, for the sake of her anonymity, I'll just call Nancy. She kindly helped me tend to my wounds -- a variety of printer-shaped contusions -- the whole time looking at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen on a human being.
Like this, but with more blue smock.
By this point approximately 20 percent of the store was on fire, and the flames were closing in around us. "Shouldn't you guys be ... you know? Putting out these fires?" I asked Nancy.
She didn't say anything. There was nothing to say. "Let it burn," her eyes whispered. "Let it all burn."
I think you might have some morale problems.
Anyways, because of some decisions I've made in life, I'm never going to be one of those everyday heroes who makes regular contributions to society. It's either Die Hard for me or nothing, and seeing an opportunity to die hard, I went for it. Climbing on top of a stack of Bad Boys II DVDs that were mysteriously untouched, I held my printer aloft. Slowly the mob noticed me, my elevation and possession of the sole surviving printer clearly marking me as a moral and intellectual leader.
"Rabble!" I shouted. "Ugly, hateful rabble!" I added, editorializing a bit. "We are all going to die here."
"That's bad!" I yelled, correcting them. "We want to live! We must work together! To save our lives! And restore our humanity!" Hearing murmurs of confusion, I continued, "And get great savings!"
"Which is why I need you to set more fires!"
I've read somewhere that when fighting brush fires, firefighters will literally fight fire with fire, using small controlled fires to consume all the flammable materials to make a firebreak. So casting myself in the role of Die Hard/Smokey the Bear, and a rack of off-brand jeggings in the role of dry undergrowth, I heaved my shitty, plasticy, surprisingly volatile printer into it, sending it into flames. The crowd soon followed my lead.
#1. Seriously, Fuck You Guys
I assure you, I am just as surprised as you that this worked. I've made so many fucking mistakes with fire. And sure, there was another few thousand dollars of property damage, but by that point, I was pretty OK with that, because fuck your fucking store. The mob seemed to share a similar opinion, and set to work creating more recreational firebreaks around the store.
"Good on them," I said proudly, getting down from my plinth of unloved Will Smith/Martin Lawrence vehicles. "Bless em." I found Nancy, still staring at me, though now with a different kind of sadness in her eyes. "Did you see me Die Hard up there?" I asked. "Yippee-ki-yay," I added, making a kind of hand gesture that was meant to communicate the concept of Die Hard. More sadness from her eyes, as she watched more pillars of smoke rise around the store. After a few seconds, I finally managed to piece it together.
"You need this job," I said. "You need this store. It's a crappy job, with crappy smocks, and crappy fluorescent lighting, and they pay you less money than many actual animals."
This dog makes $29 an hour and gets matching contributions to his 401(k).
"But you still need it. This awful fucking store is now, impossibly, a cornerstone of the economy." I sighed. "We have to stop this," I concluded. She nodded, sadly.
I resummitted Mount Bad Boys II and collected my thoughts. "Excuse me? Rabble? Hey. You've all done some really good work here today, and we've all learned a lot about ourselves and saved a couple of bucks. But if I could get everyone to calmly file outside and go fuck up some small, local merchants, that'd be great."
"Thank you!" Nancy's eyes said, sadly, as the throng of consumer-monsters streamed out.
"Happy to help," I said, feeling more and more like Die Hard with every passing second. "Nancy, before I go, I should ask," I said, leaning in conspiratorially. "Would you like to set fire to something?" I tilted my head at the stack of Bad Boys II DVDs. "No one will mind."
She nodded, the tiniest flicker of a smile crossing her face.
"Go on then."
But the flames refused to touch them.
Check out more from Bucholz in 10 Helpful Tips For Bending The Masses to Your Will and 18 Things I Regret Doing As Your Mall Elf: An Apology.