This year, Sprockets teams up with Shoppers Upset by Cinnamon Killings (SUCK) to call attention to the poisoning of innocent citizens by merchants who use cinnamon to influence shoppers. Last year, according to SUCK (see Suck Paper 89B), 354 deaths were directly attributable to cinnamon poisoning. How could this seemingly innocent spice be such an agent of evil? Thanks for asking. First, a little background.
Cinnamon was discovered by Marco Polo on his travels to the east. In one of his last messages sent to his mother before his death from liver failure, Marco wrote “It’s intoxicating. It’s delicious. I’m going to roll around in it, naked.” Cinnamon oil comes from the bark of the Asian mwa-mwa (or “don’t eat that unless you’re suicidal”) bush. If ingested in small quantities, it is not immediately dangerous to humans, although amounts as small as one quarter teaspoon have been known to kill entire families of raccoons. Cinnamon oil is 50% coumadin, which is listed as a poison by the CDC. It is toxic to the liver. See the pictures of Marco’s liver, before and after cinnamon exposure.
Since most cinnamon has traditionally been consumed during the winter holiday season, it is now thought that many cinnamon deaths were wrongly attributed to activities like shoveling the driveway or getting stuck in the chimney. In recent years, however, two factors have caused health experts to sit up and take notice in regard to cinnamon:
- The holiday season now begins on Mother’s Day, which means it lasts six months; and
- Merchants have learned that placing cinnamon-scented pine cones in the entrances to their stores enhances sales. Aerosolized cinnamon is thought to be two thousand percent more toxic than ingested cinnamon.
Effect on Sales
Results of a two-year study by Designless Shoe Warehouse (DSW) were obtained by our Spy Department, and they show clearly that cinnamon-scented pine cones in store entryways alter the perceptions of shoppers in a way that is hugely beneficial to merchants. For example, the top photo shows the reality of the interior of DSW Store #36 in Columbus, Ohio. It is disorganized, nearly out of stock, and has poor lighting. It looks as if no one is in charge. The second photograph shows what shoppers whose brain chemistry had been altered by inhaled cinnamon perceived when they entered the same store. This store reported a 35% increase in sales the week after they set up the display of cinnamon-scented pine cones, and this increase in sales most likely kept them from declaring bankruptcy, at least for a while.
Late-Breaking News: Since this story was leaked early last week by Sprockets International, savvy shoppers in some cities have been protecting themselves against cinnamon scented hallucinations by wearing protective gear. In retaliation, some stores have been turning these masked shoppers in to the authorities as “unregistered Muslims,” and families have been torn asunder as a result of these tactics. The SI Consumer Department urges all shoppers to register as Muslims to avoid this unpleasant situation.
Many shoppers have experienced adverse reactions in the presence of the “Cones of Death,” to the point that they have passed out or died. Unfortunately, CPR only drives the cinnamon vapors more deeply into lung tissue, so trying to revive the afflicted shopper is counterproductive. It is usually better to place them into their shopping cart, as pictured here, and wheel them to the parking lot where they have the best chance of reviving.
SI reporter Marty Mudraker interviewed one shopper who had a very close call after being exposed to cinnamon-laden air. “I had a faulty gas mask,” said Carlee Gardner. “I thought it was a perfectly good World War II surplus mask, but I was wrong. I was nearly overcome by fumes, and all the flesh fell from my head and neck. I’ve always been a bit of a bonehead about safety,” Carlee chuckled. Carlee’s doctors think she’ll be all right as soon as she undergoes ten to twelve surgeries, years of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, some skin grafts and cosmetic procedures.
What’s the Solution?
It seems obvious to even the dimmest among us that cinnamon-scented pine cones should be done away with, immediately. Understandably, merchants feel otherwise. There are many lawsuits in the works, although they may drag on for years in the court system.
In the meantime, if you do not have adequate breathing gear, do not enter stores where these “Cones of Death” are sold. If, despite your best efforts to protect yourself, you find yourself suddenly encircled by a cinnamon cloud, scream “We’re all Going to Die!” and drop to the floor. Stop breathing and crawl to the nearest exit. Don’t be concerned with how your actions will be perceived. The point is to stay alive: all else is secondary.
SI Employees: Visit the Employee Store during the Month of November and get 10% off gas masks and other breathing apparatus!!!!