5 Reasons I'm Not Sorry for Burning Down Your Walmart
Dear Walmart #6908,
You don't know me. Not by name, anyways. The police are referring to me as a person of interest. Internally, you're probably referring to me as the guy who set fire to your store.
You're probably quite reasonably asking why I did this. "Who would commit such an act?" I imagine you saying. Well, notwithstanding my love for committing acts, this time I had some pretty good reasons. Here they are.
You Kind of Deserved It
Let's get this one out of the way early. You, the management of Walmart #6908, are a huge bag of dinks.
You may have noticed that your Black Friday event was on a Thursday. That seems to me an odd mistake to make; after all, the name "Black Friday" itself contains some pretty valuable clues as to what day of the week it should occur on. Anyone who's taken an introductory calendar skills course should be able to schedule such an event properly.
"No, the squares represent days. Do we ... do we have to start again?"
In fact, I'm pretty sure that you deliberately scheduled your Black Friday event on a Thursday, knowing full well that your employees and customers would be forced to skip Thanksgiving to be there. I have a hard time imagining why you'd do this -- profit alone can't be enough, surely -- and am forced to conclude that you were actually trying to steal Thanksgiving, like some kind of turkey-loathing Grinch, living in your hilltop cave, listening to us in the city below as we sing our traditional Thanksgiving songs.
So I think you can agree that you were acting at least a little bit like a bag of dinks, and any damages you suffered on that dark and mis-scheduled night could be considered an act of karmic retribution.
I Didn't Even Start the First Fire
Admittedly, none of your customers seemed to have a problem skipping Thanksgiving, although that may simply be because they had trouble with the concept of "thanks," much as they did with concepts like "please" and "Sorry for spitting in your hair." Now, on an individual basis, I'm sure these are all excellent, upstanding people; there's no crime in wanting to save money. But en masse, I'm sad to say that their excellence wanes and fades and farts away.
A situation you put them in, I might point out. Stacking your customers 200 deep, ensuring that they have less turkey in their bellies than they would normally prefer and telling them that only the fastest and punchiest will get the best deals? You knew what was going to happen even before you opened those doors.
Being near the back of the crowd, it took me a couple of minutes to get to the doors, so I didn't see how it started. But by the time I made it inside the store, it already looked like a Gomorrah of Everyday Low Prices.
"And lo, they came, and demanded that the Rollbacks be brought forth, so that the men might have intercourse with them."
Seriously, You Assholes Deserved It So Much
The primary reason I was there on Mislabeled Friday was to secure one of your "door-crashers," specifically the Crap-E-Print Printer you advertised for $29.99.
It was going to be a gift.
It was probably the printers themselves causing the fires, I now realize, so shoddily built they were, bursting into flames with even the slightest of mishandling. Indeed, by the time I found the pallet of them, the surrounding area was already littered with printers bursting into shoddy, low-quality flames. So crappy, low-quality products -- that's another strike against you.
Also, could you assholes not come up with a better way of putting door-crashers on display other than by hastily unwrapping a pallet of them in the middle of a mob? Animals at the zoo are fed with more dignity.
And more creativity.
I won't go into all the details of how I secured my own printer, but know that it involved no small amount of guile and childish screaming.
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.
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.