You Know They Sell Arugula, Right?

« September 2009 »

Memo to St. Louis Tea Partiers: HAVE FUN PAYING TEN BUCKS FOR TEA.

On the big list of topics careful readers may have noticed I haven't covered, John Mackey's Wall Street Journal editorial is way up there. John Mackey is the CEO of Whole Foods, and his editorial on health care is, admittedly, pretty fucking hilarious.

It's a checklist of delusional American libertarian fantasy, in which he details how the health care system could be fixed if only the government would get out of the way. His two funniest proposals? First, giving companies like, oh, I don't know, Whole Foods, say, a tax break on the health care they provide. And second, reducing government regulations on what insurance companies have to cover.

Of course! That's the problem with health care today. Insurance companies are voluntarily choosing to cover too many things, driving up costs! All those people losing their coverage because they get sick, all those administrative jobs that exist solely to deny coverage? Those don't exist. They're just a hallucination caused by drinking too much acai berry juice.

So people on the left got upset, and talked about boycotting Whole Foods, but then other people argued that a boycott would hurt all the innocent cashiers and all the poor tofu makers and whatever. You know, the usual talk-it-out circle jerk which is why I don't go to all the big liberal meetings. So I paid it no mind. Until I saw this awesome story. ACTUAL AWESOME STORY TIME!

"On Tuesday, September 1, the St. Louis Tea Party coalition will hold a Tea Party BUYcott of Whole Foods in Town and Country. This means we're bringing hundreds of new customers to your store to do their weekly shopping. Please expect unusually large volume and media attention from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday. We do NOT want to inconvenience anyone in the process, of course. The idea is to help your quarterly numbers, not hurt them." - Press release from the St. Louis Tea Party.

Can you imagine it? Five straight hours of inbred halfwit teabaggers trying to do their weekly shopping at Whole Foods. For fuck's sake, I'm a middle-class food nerd, and I can't do my weekly shopping at Whole Foods. They don't carry half the stuff I eat, and I can't afford to buy the other half there. So imagine Tea Party crowds, with Tea Party diets and Tea Party food budgets, staring blankly at the shelves. Tempeh! Quinoa! Arugula, the dreaded Communist Salad Green. No Twinkies, no Spam, and the brats are made of chicken and cost eight dollars a pound.

The Arch Teabaggers said they were going to be collecting receipts to post on their website, but I am sad to say, days after the event, no receipts are to be found. They're apparently much too busy trying to stop Obama's school address indoctrination plan to fire up the scanner. All I could find was this report from an admittedly unreliable source:

"We may never know the total receipts from tonight. A sample sample of the 600 or so receipts we collected showed an average sale of about $50. While this sample might not be representative, it’s the best I have right now. And it adds up to $50,000 lift in sales on a Tuesday night." - St. Louis Tea Party blog post, which also reported "more than 1,000" participants.

Now, I know the Tea Party movement's math skills are poor, but really? I mean, let's just assume that they can count to 1,000, and somehow managed to accurately portray the size of the crowd that showed up. For there to have been $50,000 in sales that night, every single teabagger would have had to been shopping individually - no families, no groups. Everyone buying their own fifty bucks worth of groceries, or, as it's known at Whole Foods, "half a basket".

Of course, they only got 600 receipts. And then they took a "sample sample" of it, with no data on how large large the sample sample was, so that we could use statistical statistics to determine the sample sampling error mistake. Dammit, psot the receipts! I want to know what these ultraconservative fuckwits spent their hard-earned money on at Whole Foods.

They can't have all bought frozen pizzas. Half the ones in the freezer case are made with soy cheese, and most of what's left have vegetables on them. They couldn't buy anything organic without their fellow teabaggers beating them up in the parking lot. And I'm almost positive there isn't a single pork rind in the entire place, although things may be different in St. Louis.

This whole incident does make me think of a great strategy. You know how Reagan-worshippers say St. Ronnie won the Cold War by deficit-spending the Russkies into bankruptcy? Let's have Toyota rename the Prius the "Glenn Beck". Get the president of Birkenstock to mention, in passing, his love of the Tenth Amendment. Fake an incident in which Ben waterboards Jerry. Get fair trade coffee shops to fly "Don't Tread On Me" flags. Within two weeks, the Tea Party movement will bankrupt themselves buying hybrid cars, chunky sandals, and rainforest-friendly cappucino, and other stuff they're culturally required to hate. If you can't beat them, trick them into joining you.