This article originally appeared in March of 2018 on PivotFromVideo, a now-defunct site that paid popular YouTubers™ to create text-based content® in a futile attempt to fight the tide of multimedia™ domination.® It was written by Withering Larry, and is reproduced with permission from his estate. I have added a few annotations to explain the vintage 2018 references to a modern audience.
What's up, cracklefucks! I've been talking to this sociologist I met at my dealer's baby shower and I have learned some powerfully fucked up history about why grocery stores are called what they're called. Let me lay this shit out for you.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Isn't it named after the rich couple that founded a retail chain because they were infertile, the Walenskis? No, you fucking idiot! The Walenski family actually goes back a ton of generations, it's generational wealth, and the family is actually named after the historical thing!
You see, in 1700 BC in what is now Poland, most marts were just kinda open air. Along comes Gurak, a neanderthal with a smart head on his shoulders, and he walks into his girlfriend's mart one day and is like "watch this" and starts putting up walls. When he's done and his girlfriend's jaw has been picked up off the ground, he's like "check it out: walled mart." He invented the walled mart. Then he and his girlfriend fucked hard on a pile of ancient produce.
Stop & Shop
In the 1970s, everyone had a car because gas was super cheap, and basically all retail in the continental United States was done in the tried and tested drive-thru format. Benjamin Robb, a quintessential Mass-hole from Boston, was pissed off that his wife left him for Memphis "The Hog" Saunders, the huge-dicked heir to the Piggly Wiggly chain of drive-through grocery stores. In what is widely regarded as a "classic Mass-hole move," Robb walked into his oil-magnate uncle's office and put a gun to his head and demanded a loan to start a new supermarket chain.
Robb needed a gimmick if he was gonna compete with Piggly Wiggly, since Piggly Wiggly's success in that era was almost entirely due to their own gimmick of having topless dancers in pig masks follow customers' cars through the store on a conveyer belt. The answer came to him when his girlfriend, during one of his famous mid-golf-game tirades, asked him if he could "just fucking stop talking for one goddamned second, I am trying to sink this putt."
The gimmick was clear: Stop your car, and get out, and then shop. The next morning, the first Stop & Shop had its grand opening, and drive-thru grocery shopping began a steep decline, because walking through a store is way less dangerous than driving.
In Florida, due to blue laws, it was for decades illegal to look at someone while they shopped for groceries. In 1945, efforts by World War II veterans to make public grocery shopping legal were running into steep opposition from the Manderly clan, a devout Christian family who made up 40% of eligible voters in state elections.
Staff Sergeant Montgomery "Johnboy" Killshot was spearheading these efforts, and in desperation decided to reuse one of the key tactics that the Allies used to hold Normandy. On November 9th, 1945, a posse of war veterans showed up at the Manderly compound armed to the teeth. They informed Charles DuBois-Manderly, who answered the door, that because no one pays attention to midterm elections they had been able to pass a ballot measure making it legal to kill any member of the Manderly family and then drink their blood and cut their dry brittle bloodless body up into cubes and use the cubes as salad croutons. The Manderly clan conferred internally for four hours and change, and then fled for Argentina in the family dirigible.
The next morning, the first Public Shoppes location opened in Tampa. The name was shortened first to Public Shops, then Publics, then Hot Damn! Food!!! for 8 months in the 1980s as part of a failed rebrand, and then Publix. It is actually still illegal to publicly grocery shop in Florida, and Killshot was bluffing about the ballot measure, but no one cares. I sure don't!
Eternal Void of Adequate Sustenance
In 2004, Dutch holding company Ahold Delhaize filed paperwork to merge Stop & Shop with Giant Food, a Maryland-based chain infamous for only having normal-sized food. The merger went mostly pretty okay, but the managers of five Giant Food locations in Delaware went rogue and took advantage of the fact that the locations formed the points in a pentagram layout to make a pact with a dark god older than time itself.
The specifics of the deal are shrouded in secrecy, but attempts by Ahold Delhaize to send lawyers, auditors, exorcists, and vampire hunters have all failed due to direct antidivine intervention. Locals will tell you they're glad it played out this way, because the Voids may be extradimensional spaces of swirling abstract concepts and scintillating uncolors, but they're ultimately nicer to shop in and work for than the corporate-owned Giant locations, and have the most consistently good-quality produce of any supermarket in the same price bracket.
That's just the dude's name who founded it, lol.
Withering Larry's lifelong struggle with witherment syndrome ended late last year when he crumbled into dust and blew away in the wind. To donate to his widow at the sociology department of the Michigan Institute of Technology, please click here.
This was what fans of Withering Larry were called. It is a reference to an early video reply to Larry by another channel called The Sexual Time Traveler that referred to Larry as a "cracked, wrinkled skeleton of a man, with a penis that only exists in a theoretical capacity and a brain that has been proven in peer-reviewed journals to not exist at all." Larry thought these were very good points and tried to "reclaim" them, and it worked because the internet is fucking stupid. ↩︎
The Sexual Time Traveler's channel was deleted in 2012 but from what I've heard its gimmick was reviewing historical figures by how much the host, Dr. Poundtown, wanted to have sex with them. I am told Dr. Poundtown was bisexual and openly fantasized about a foursome with Ada Lovelace, Oscar Wilde, and a "particularly kinky" deinonychus. ↩︎
I guess a standard deinonychus is too sexually conservative? Much to think about. ↩︎