A Burlington Coat Factory in Columbus, Ohio, was the scene of a full-on riot fueled by individual greed, an absence of moral bearing, rampant self-interest and incivility to the point of repugnancy. Picture the Florida State University football program, only in earthy tweeds and plaids, which are sure to be the hot new looks for this fall's fashionable trendsetter, by the way.
Authorities report that Linda Brown pulled into the parking lot of the haberdashery in a chauffeured Hummer stretch limousine, announced to the shoppers inside that she had just won $1.5 million in the lottery and would pay everybody's clothing tab up to $500.
People, being the self-indulgent gluttons that they are, began grabbing clothing off the racks to fill their carts and called friends and relatives to hurry to the store to get in on the action. At the height of the frenzy, police estimated that there were 500 people inside the store and another 1,000 clamoring to get in to claim their piece of the pie.
One shopper confided to the benefactor of Burlington that she needed help paying her rent more than the foldover boots that Beyonce wears, to which Brown promptly wrote her a check. This magnanimous gesture was tempered somewhat, however, by the fact that the check was worthless. Linda Brown was a bust.
By the time the staff at the clothing store realized this not inconsequential bit of information, Ms. Brown had already hopped back in the limo and took off, perhaps realizing that her work there was done. Or maybe she left because she realized that she DIDN'T win the lottery and that she DIDN'T have the money to pay for any of this and that she WAS going to get her ass kicked when everybody found out about it.
Well, you can imagine the disappointment on the sad faces of everyone with armloads of 'free' plus-size designer jeans and fake fur jackets when they found out that it wasn't going to be free; they did what any reasonable person would have done in a similar situation--they tore the place apart and looted the store. God bless America!
Shouts of "I still want my free stuff" pushed the angry shoppers into a feeding frenzy of unbridled entitlement as they rushed out the doors with their swag of moss green ankle boots by Lulu Guinness, skinny jeans by Mavi, blue/gray long sleeved T-shirts by Velvet and teal sweaters by a knock-off Benetton sweat shop staffed by underage orphans in Sri Lanka.
The feel-good story of the year came to a rather ignominious end when the limo driver, money-hungry jackal that he apparently is, realized that he wasn't going to be paid the $900 daily rate for his services and, in turn, deposited Ms. Brown at the local police station.
Sarasota residents could only laugh at the story, knowing that they were much too sophisticated and urbane to be fooled by promises of something for nothing.
In other news, Art Nadel and Beau Diamond were teaming up from their jail cells to offer local investors the latest 'no-risk sure thing' in financial ventures, guaranteeing a minimum 35% return rate to all who sign up now before it's offered to the general public. The fund is to be administered by Sarasota entrepreneurial icon, Bill Griffin, who, being involved in the collapse of not one, but two, insurance scams, has decided to bring his considerable expertise to the investment industry.
Griffin is calling the new investment vehicle from Nadel/Diamond Ventures the "No-Riscorp Fund" since profits are virtually guaranteed by the personal integrity of the three Sarasota financiers.