Friday, April 17, 2015

"Plumbing Problems" (The Truth Behind Walmart)

[Originally posted at Slacktivist]

Context: Walmart closed 5 stores on the same day, without any prior notice, for six months as a result of "plumbing problems" even though the stores have no problems with plumbing, Walmart's in-house plumbing technicians have no idea what's going on at the stores in question, no plumbing permits have been sought, and when a plumbing inspector showed up on his own initiative to help them secure the necessary permits he was sent away.

It seems that the five stores were closed in an attempt to squelch worker protests, as is Walmart's way.  So the closures of the stores (two in Texas, one in California, one in Oklahoma, one in Florida) is kind of depressing, thus Fred Clark's suggestion:
And we can’t start to believe that if we let ourselves get depressed and dismayed and disheartened by this latest bit of depressing, dismaying and disheartening news. 
So here’s an idea to cheer us up a bit before we even start to think about responses like consumer boycotts, demonstrations, Pete Seeger sing-ins, or legislative campaigns. 
Let’s try to imagine some other possible explanations for the “mystery” of Walmart’s sudden outbreak of “plumbing problems.” What was going on in those stores? Or, perhaps, beneath those stores? Were these closures an attempt to keep some dark secret? Were they necessary to keep the public — the world — safe from something else, something it couldn’t possibly understand?

Jason retraced his steps in the Walmart, looking for where he might have dropped his favorite marble.
Marie walked aimlessly through the Walmart, imagining her path traced out arcane symbols, forgotten by all except the old gods who ruled this world long before the last sauropod had come and gone.
Back in Texas:
Alex chased the child, how had the little thing gotten such a head start when Alex only looked away for a second? This was why Alex didn't like helping to watch kids.
Joslyn didn't know why the GPS on the phone had decided to give strange, seemingly random, directions to move about the Walmart. Joslyn certainly didn't know why the phone would care whether or not that candle was moved three inches to the right, but Joslyn was sure of one thing: The phone said that the destination was world domination, and it was getting closer.
Maggie felt that today was the day. Her dreams had told her to go to the center of all evil in the world, so she had come to Walmart. She was accustomed to dowsing with a pendulum. The expensive looking "gem" at the end of the chain was a hunk of worthless acrylic. The cheap looking chain was platinum.
She followed the path revealed to her, feeling that each step brought her closer to the glorious summoning.
The excitement within her built so that she hardly noticed as her incantation rose above the sub-audible. She found she didn't care. Let the mundanes laugh at her; today was the day.
Almost no one paid attention to Maggie. Even if they had known she was speaking Etruscan, no one in the store knew how much of a marvel that was.
At the meeting of worlds:
It stirred.
Here, without place, and with only tenuous connection to time, there was only one Walmart.
Jason, Marie, Alex, Joslyn, and Maggie were as one. They stood in the same place, walking the same path, at the same pace. Their name was a five part cacophony: its name. Their every footstep added to a symbol with but one meaning: come hither.
Jason, having found his marble, walked out the door; Marie felt her symbol was complete; Alex followed the child out of the store; Joslyn's GPS read, "Return home and await the appointed hour;" Marie said, "Let it be done," in Etruscan as she exited.
It heeded the call.
"There have never been plumbing problems in--"
The pipes rumbled, gurgled, and resembled a very disturbed digestive system in their sonic display.
"Then what do you call that?"
"That's not... RUN!"
"So, tell me again, what's wrong with the pipes?"
"You mean besides the fact that they've become the living homes of a gestalt entity that wants to eat our brains?"
"Yes, besides that."
"Uh... nothing."
"Then I don't see why we can't keep the stores open."
"Did you miss the part where it would destroy the souls and devour the bodies of our employees?"
"And our customers?"
"So what? Closing the stores will substantially cut into our profits."
"If all of our customers are dead, we won't have any profits."
"We need at least eighteen months to make these locations safe, anything less than absolutely committing to eradicating the menace and the infection could spread to every Walmart on earth."
"There is no way that I'd authorize that, the lost profits are too high."
"Six months and not a nanosecond more."
"There's no way we can do it in that little time."
"The decision is final."



  1. Nice. I especially like the last bit, with the conversation.

  2. It's depressing how realistic I find that last bit of conversation.