OKLAHOMA LAND SNATCH 1889…..walmart greeter stomped to death

Oklahoma Land Snatch
Oklahoma Land Snatch

Good Morning ‘Sooners’ than Later,

The holiday season is agonizingly “slouching toward Bethlehem” with all the ‘white elephant’ gifts and parties to attend….or not.  It’s such a festive time of year yet I only feel put upon and miserable. I mean more than I usually am.  I’m not even sure why I feel this way other than to say it’s so blatantly hypocritical.

Black Friday reminds me of the Oklahoma land grab of 1889.  90% of the most desirable plots of land bordering the lakes and rivers had been stolen by “Sooners” jumping the gun.  I see a comparison here….with those morons pitching tents in front of Walmart so they can be first through the door to snag one of the few big screen TV’s at a give-a-way price.

“As the expectant home-seekers waited with restless patience, the clear, sweet notes of a cavalry bugle rose and hung a moment upon the startled air. It was noon. The last barrier of savagery in the United States was broken down. Moved by the same impulse, each driver lashed his horses furiously; each rider dug his spurs into his willing steed, and each man on foot caught his breath hard and darted forward. A cloud of dust rose where the home-seekers had stood in line.”**

At long last the doors flew open at Walmart and within seconds the old “Greeter” had been run down….now scrambling on hands and knees to find the wall. The display of dinner ware crashed to the floor as the frenzied crowd now dispersed throughout the store seeking that rare action figure or appliance.

“Some of the men who started from the line on foot were quite as successful in securing desirable claims as many who rode fleet horses. They had the advantage of knowing just where their land was located. One man left the line with the others, carrying on his back a tent, a blanket, some camp dishes, an axe, and provisions for two days. He ran down the railway track for six miles, and reached his claim in just sixty minutes. Upon arriving on his land he fell down under a tree, unable to speak or see.”

There it was at last!  He’d lost precious seconds by darting down the wrong toy isle, but he could see there was only one Nerf N-Strike gun left and his 6 year old boy had his heart set on it, so he wasn’t about to give it up and launched into a dead run.  Just as he leaped for it another just as determined Mom leapt simultaneously from the intersecting isle causing a collision resulting in each holding a piece of the toy missile launcher for dear life!  The man being stronger ripped the toy from the woman’s arms, and then turned away in a hail of expletives from the disarmed woman.

I don’t think my comparison is much of a stretch if any.  But honestly the holidays have now become merchandised; guided by advertising agencies designed to take us through the twelve days of Christmas buying, spending, and charging even for things not earmarked as gifts.  For me, this annual ‘land grab’ and media hype take the enjoyment I should feel and besmirch it like ass-wipe!  Thank God for Whiskey!


** William Willard Howard…Harper’s Weekly 33 (May 18, 1889): 391-94