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Monday, 2 April 2007

The following document is the results of a study conducted by the Department of Homeland Security last Christmas season. It deals with a threat that Americans deal with every year. This document was classified Top Secret but was leaked when someone accidentally left it in the copier machine at a local post office.

*TOP SECRET*

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

The following document is top secret eyes only for members of Congress. Its purpose is to protect them during one of the most dangerous events Americans participate in on a yearly basis. Christmas holiday shopping.

*Begin Document*

The following is provided to keep you safe during this time of great risk, Christmas Shopping. It's based on the old Defcon rating to give you an easy to use level of threat. Further you will be given an estimated time it would take to buy toilet paper during each phase.

Defcon 1: Normal Holiday Shopping
This is the beginning of the holiday season. You will notice a slight increase in the amount of people. However, most people are just browsing the newly put up Christmas tree decorations. ETA for TP: 5-10 minutes.

Defcon 2: Heightened Holiday Shopping
The shopping has shifted into the next phase. Lines are slowly becoming longer and longer. The stores are getting more and more crowded. Rookie cashiers are just beginning to be brought up to the front lines, many of them will not survive then next few months. More importantly you will begin seeing two threats more and more now.

Threat 1: The semi-intelligent guided cart missile.
These are children that through begging and whining have managed to gain control of a shopping cart. Once they have it in their possession the first thing they will do is run it into a human target usually taking out some vital organ.

Threat 2: The mechanized shopping unit. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a nice granny out with the family for some shopping, and don't be fooled into thinking it's "just a powered wheelchair". These units are in reality dangerous machines of conquest. They can be used to block entire isles of sale items and crush feet under their merciless treads.

ETA for TP during this phase is 20 minutes.

Defcon 3: Declared Holiday Shopping
Holiday shopping is in full swing. Everywhere the lines are hopelessly getting longer and longer. Those cashiers that have survived phase 2 are now seasoned veterans. Extra stock boys are now deployed in an effort to help people load their purchases and keep the merchandise on the shelf. These brave souls will suffer heavy causalities. Their names will live on in honor, scrawled onto the walls of the men's bathroom usually with a profanity before them. You will now meet yet another threat. The Juggernaut.

Juggernaut Threat: Don't think that these are mere SUVs. No, these are massive platforms of holiday shopping. They lumber up to front of the store, pushing smaller shopping platforms aside with ease to disgorge entire squadrons of holiday shoppers. Then they become an area denial weapon taking up two, three, even four parking spaces. Powering down, they sit waiting to be called in for a quick pick up and escape.

ETA for TP in this phase 35-45 minutes.

Defcon 4: All-out Holiday Shopping.
Holiday Shopping has engulfed every store. Many stores have put up count downs to Christmas in an effort to drive shoppers into a shopping frenzy. The mere sight of these signs will drive some shoppers into crazed shopping orgies where they will stop at nothing to get what they want. The stock boys have been reduced to a broken tribe of survivors that has taken refuge in the break room and worship the Coke machine as their god. You'll see two more threats at this phase.

Threat 1: This is a not very dangerous threat. It's the shopping sniper. These people are one who have waited till the last minute to begin shopping and are left with very little choice of merchandise. In an effort to get the things they need they will snipe things from other people's cart when they think no one is looking. Simple cart security is enough to deter this threat.

Threat 2: This is the most dangerous threat yet. It's the Citizen General Mom. It's a soccer mom that has run insane from the holiday shopping madness and has militarized her entire family. The family will pull up in a Juggernaut and quickly offload an entire holiday shopping army. Citizen General Mom employs all the tactics. Many times she will have as many as three Mechanized Shopping units being screened by guided cart missiles. She is ruthless and will stop at nothing to get all the things on her list. Avoid her at all costs.

ETA to TP: 60 minutes.

Defcon 5: Nuclear Shopping.
Thusly named because it now takes a tactical nuclear warhead to get a parking space. Inside the stores is an image from Dante's Inferno. The surviving cashiers and other workers are shell-shocked zombies. People are desperate and don't even know why. During this phase it's best to send in someone else to get what you need.

ETA to TP: Just use the phone book.


The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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