A riot nearly broke out at the West Ashley Publix on Thursday afternoon when a crowd of free sample groupies formed an impenetrable chain in front of the meal demonstration kiosk, blocking everyone in the store from reaching where they needed to go. Given the kiosk’s heavily-traveled location near the deli, complete gridlock ensued.
The meal demonstration kiosk at Publix serves as an educational tool to show people how to cook inexpensive meals in a short amount of time. Those watching get to try a small sample of the meal at the end, but studies have shown that most people pay zero attention to the demonstration and just play on their cell phones in the middle of the aisle until the free samples are ready.
One angry shopper, Wanda Greene, couldn’t contain her frustration. “It’s a friggin Dixie cup of pasta primavera worth two cents, and these fools are camping out over here like they’re handing out gold coins or something. It’s lunacy! Just get the hell out of my way!” Greene attempted to push her cart through the wall of people, but was unsuccessful.
Craig Simmons, a free sample groupie, seemed oblivious to the fact that he was blocking shoppers from passing by. “I’m second in line, okay? Go to the back, because I’m second in line.” He continued playing Clash of Clans on his phone without further comment.
Witnesses reported that Greene was unable to make it to the deli in time to obtain the Mojo Rotisserie Chicken she wanted, and was last heard angrily screaming “All that’s left is this Lemon Pepper shit? Where’s the damn Mojos?!”