I’m getting ready to grab a bite to eat after a particular boring shift when this woman flags me down in a parking lot.
She’s just walked out of a store called “Christmas Tree Shop”… and the woman is red faced and clearly fuming.
Now for those of you who have never been up here in Massachusetts, it’s a chain of what’s basically department stores without the clothes. Knick knacks, home stuff, you name it.
Moms love this crap. Dads get dragged into the stores by moms who love the crap.
“Ma’am, is everything ok?” I asked her.
She had sweat dripping from her face, despite the fact that it was about 45 degrees out.
“No – everything is NOT ok. I’d like to file a report.”
Oh boy. I just had a feeling this one was going to be good.
“What happened?” I ask her.
She balled her fists. Spit was forming in the corner of her mouth. She took a moment to get it together.
“We have a huge shark problem here in Cape Cod. People are terrified. And now you have this store selling products that glorify sharks. That’s harassment.”
I’ve been a cop for about ten years. I can’t remember a time I was speechless. Yet here I was.
“You need to go in there and do something about it,” she told me.
I had to stifle a laugh.
“Do something about it?” I asked. “Do something about a store selling shark products?”
The woman became even more red. She started visibly shaking.
“This is the problem with you people,” she told me. “All you care about it sitting around eating donuts. You obviously don’t give a shit about protecting people.”
You’d think a shark had just grabbed her kid at the beach.
“Well, there’s nothing I can really do about it,” I explained to her. “Unless they are trafficking actual sharks… or selling shark banks stuffed with cocaine… my hands are sort of tied. Perhaps you should complain to headquarters.”
She smacked the top of my car with her hand, screamed a couple more obscenities, then walked away. I watched her get into her Bernie Sanders bumper sticker covered Prius, and I drove off laughing.
But apparently she took my advice.
Because I put on the news today and found that all Christmas Tree Shops have pulled “offensive” shark-related merchandise from stores here on the Cape. They attribute it to complaints from residents that the prodcuts were distasteful.
Apparently shoppers like this woman complained to corporate that the items, which included a kitchen towel featuring an image of a great white shark and the words, “Nice to Eat You,” mock shark attacks.
The company responded by pandering to these Massholes.
“We have removed these items from the Cape locations. It is never our intention to offend customers by our merchandise assortment,” Jessica Joyce, senior manager of public relations for Bed Bath & Beyond — Christmas Tree Shops’ parent company — said.
The company’s Sandwich store sold t-shirts that read, “Come to the Shark Side of Cape Cod” and “Cape Cod, Massachusetts — Dangerous Summer — Shark Patrol” with images of sharks on them. Apparently that was so offensive that they had to be removed.
Last summer, the Cape saw two shark attacks and in August, a New York man was seriously injured after being bitten at Long Nook Beach in Truro.
Then, a month later, a Revere man was killed while surfing at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet in what the first fatal shark attack in the state since 1936.
No word on whether that woman then demanded that car dealers in the area stop selling cars because of the amount of people killed by them over the past year.
Or if she stopped at McDonalds and demanded they stop selling Big Macs because of the number of people who have died from heart disease.
Or went to the local package stores and insisted they remove all alcohol from shelves because of how many deaths it lead to.
I have to wonder if that woman rallied all of her friends to start writing letters to Christmas Tree Shops about their offensive products. If so, it shows the power of an angry momma bear.
Or, should I say, momma shark (do do do do do).
This is why we can’t have nice things.