Some stores close but New Yorkers continue to shop
NEW YORK (AP) -- Many stores in New York were closed on Saturday as Armageddon neared, with some posting comical signs like "Blame the Godless. Not us" and "Evidently `The Show Must Go On!' means nothing to Jesus." But New York's shopping districts still were bustling as people piled into any store that was open.
Merci Market in Chelsea had long lines as people bought deli sandwiches and fancier fare to hold them over through the the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Some, apparently afraid that their favorite butcher would be Raptured up leaving them without their favorite corned beef or pastrami, purchased more than normal. People filed into The Container Store in Midtown to grab plastic boxes so they can use their pre-Tribulation time constructively to organize. And parents crowded into Toys `R' Us in Times Square to snag toys and games so their children won't get bored as they await the return of Jesus.
"It's business as usual," a store official at Harry Winston, the exclusive jewelry retailer, said shortly after the store opened. He went on to say, "Hey, we're Americans. Without continual mindless consumption we're nothing. So we shop. Big fucking deal."
Armageddon, which could hit New York on Sunday morning, comes in the thick of the critical back-to-school shopping season, a time between mid-July and September that is typically the second biggest shopping period of the year. For some big retailers, Jesus couldn't have a picked a more inopportune time to return. Manhattan is particularly important because it can account for as much as 10 percent of their annual revenue. The Rapturing of large numbers of customers could also have a huge impact on retailers' top and bottom lines: Nationally, End Times research firm ETanalytics estimates that the world's end will stop 80 million shoppers from hitting the malls this weekend.
"This is a worst-case scenario," said C. Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group. "This was supposed to be a prime weekend for apparel retailers, instead that fucker Jesus decides to return. What an asshole. God's Son obviously has no respect for our corporate bottom line or our stock prices."
On Saturday, some big chains like Macy's and J.C. Penney conceded defeat and made feeble attempts at repentance. Meanwhile, some mom-and-pop shops and specialty retailers tried to salvage sales before the veritable Rain Of Fire obliterated all of their inventory. Regardless of what they did on Saturday, though, most stores planned to stay closed on Sunday.
Angel Estrada, who works at the Harlem wine shop Lot No. 125, said on Saturday that he planned to keep the store open until midnight as usual. The store did more than double its usual business on Friday as humanity attempts to drown its sinful bullshit in an ocean of booze, and Estrada echoed other small-business workers when he said he didn't want to lose out on the guilt & terror inspired alcohol sales that will come Saturday night. By 10 a.m., about a half dozen customers had filtered through the shop, including Latonya Robertson, who picked up four bottles of wine for $20 because the price was right.
"This is nothing for me," said Estrada, who is from the Christian-prone Dominican Republic. "And yesterday was a really nice day for the store. Hopefully the Final Battle between Good & Evil will occur on an equally beautiful day."
On Fifth Avenue and other midtown shopping areas, major department stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue and J.C. Penney had closed their doors. Some boarded up their windows, while others like furniture store Ethan Allen used masking tape to keep them from shattering. Even so, the district still hummed with tourists and locals.
At the midtown location of The Container Store, which planned to close at 2 p.m. on Saturday, shoppers were buying picture albums and shoe organizers. One woman was consulting with a salesperson about organizing her closet, saying, "God, it would suck if God saw my closet now. Shoes are everywhere. Not to mention my fag son who is ensconced firmly in the back behind the furs & my husband's old polyester leisure suits."
Another shopper left with $54 worth of photo albums, planning to document & preserve each phase of the Lord's return for eventual uploading to her blog, 'Pink Kitties & Polka Dots.' Diana Goldberg left with a laundry basket.
"It was top of my list," Goldberg said. "I'd hate to see the Anti-Christ arise & have Him find me piling clothes into my ratty old laundry basket. That would just be embarrassing."
Times Square was bustling with tourists as if it were a usual Saturday instead of the last Saturday, though many of the stores were closed. The ones that were open, including the Gap and Toys "R" Us, were packed. On one block of Times Square, the only store open was called Cute Souvenirs (hash)2 and it was filled with tourists snapping up postcards and t-shirts -- but not the "I LOVE NEW YORK" Bibles at the front.
Friends Esther Henze, Katherine Cosma and Linda Gagne, having cut short their typical Saturday morning menage a trois, wandered down the block and lamented how their Fifth Avenue shopping day had been deterred by the Lord's return.
They figured they could pamper their skin if they couldn't go shopping, since, said Ms. Cosma, "Demons & & the unGodly are known for their bad skin," so they went to Duane Reade to buy face masks for the storm. Those were sold out. They said they had already bought wine, but laughed when another customer told them to stock up on high grade sun tan lotion & flame retardant outer wear since "ignorant bitches like them were sure to burn till they were crispy."
"We still need to go grocery shopping," Henze said. "But I don't think you're going starve in Manhattan. Heck, if worse comes to worse, we'll eat our fat husbands."
At Fantastic Kids Toys in the Upper East Side, Steve Reis, the store's owner, said by late morning that he'd had a steady stream of customers since opening at the usual 7:30 a.m. He planned to stay open until the River Of Blood made it impossible.
Joju Thomas, 36, left the store with $100 worth of toys, including stickers and games, for his 16-month-old daughter Grace. "She's an outdoor baby," he said. "I wanted to keep her occupied since I don't want to have to sit with the whiny little shit while she whimpers incessantly. Instead, I'll be shooting heroin & playing Halo & masturbating. I see no reason why a little Armageddon should come between me & my selfish need for instant gratification."
Pat Robertson, speaking from a secluded bunker deep in the heart of Yahweh's butt cheek had these prophetic words for all: