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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Shop 'til you drop

Last night on TV I saw repeated advertisements for various stores, letting me know they would be open at 4 a.m. (!) on Friday to fulfill my after-Thanksgiving shopping desires (ok, not my desires, but somebody else's, evidently). In this morning's paper I find out those stores were actually pikers; a full-page ad from yet another store informs me that they'll be open starting midnight Thursday.

Fortunately the antidote was at hand, since this morning I listened to the "Reverend Billy" and Morgan Spurlock on Democracy Now!, talking about their new anti-shopping movie, "What Would Jesus Buy?"

The amusing timing of all this is that it all occurred two days after I saw this year's edition of something I've mentioned before - the Lamplighters annual Gala, where Gilbert & Sullivan songs are rewritten with a topical theme. This year's title was "Harry Patter and the Willing Suspension of Disbelief," and the plot revolved around the expiration of the 1500-year lease on the Hogwash School grounds (owned by the "Donn Auld," naturally), and the attempt by the evil Wal•de•Mart to buy the lease and turn the school into a superstore. One of the more relevant (to this topic) songs was sung not by Wal•de•Mart, but by the employees of another potential lessee, Gnome Depot:

To the tune of "Merrily ring the luncheon bell" from Princess Ida

House-Gnome's work is never done!
House-Gnome's work is never done!
Stocking shelves is not much fun
Cleaning up after everyone
Often wish I had a gun -
House-Gnome's work is never done, no, never done!

No place for bravery;
Work here is slavery,
Oh, how I hate this awful store.
And now it's a clean-up on aisle 4!

Yes, yes! We hate to clean up on aisle 4!

Life's but a misery
In retail bizzery
Scrub til the floors are spic and span.
But I must do it, I must do it, I must do it...
With no health plan!

Yes, yes! For minimum wage and no health plan!
You shoulda' been there!

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