In what we hope will be looked back on as the pivotal stick-whooping heard 'round the world, two 7-11 workers in California lashed out at a mega-shoplifter who'd defiantly thrown hundreds of cigarette packs into a rolling, 55-gallon trash can.
It's easily the year's most heartwarming video so far. As the action begins, we see a black man, with most of his head covered, brazenly rolling a large, trash bin along a wall full of individual cigarette packs and other nicotine products.
As two Indian-accented store employees verbally confront him, the thief aggressively moves his right hand toward the 5-o'clock position on his waistband, which is covered by a baggy t-shirt. As he does, he exclaims, "Shut your ass up" and threatens to "put my strap on your bitch ass." Strap is urban slang for a pistol.
With the audience temporarily left to wonder if he's bluffing about being strapped, the thief continues muttering insults at the employees -- with "bitch-ass nigga" clearly his most-practiced -- as he rolls down the aisle, throwing fistful after fistful of cigarette packs, vapes and cigars into the can.
As an employee draws close to the trash can, the criminal again motions for his waistband. This time, however, we see him pull something out before quickly putting it back. It appears to be a knife.
As deadly force is threatened -- this time more credibly -- the narrator casually requests a small portion of the plunder, in the form of a pack of Swisher Sweets cigarillos. "Hey, can I get a Swisher? Let me get a Swish?"
Embracing the standard procedure that's pretty much universally imposed on store employees -- to simply let thieves stroll out the door with stolen goods -- the narrator says, "Just let him go. There's nothing you can do. They're not gonna do nothing."
Next the narrator asks a question sure to grate on the nerves of ZeroHedge readers: "Do you have insurance?" Thrown about every time a leftist mob burns a building to the ground or loots a retail store, the question carries a casual disregard for insurance companies, along with ignorance of deductibles, the impact of mass thievery on business insurance premiums, and the eventual impact on retail prices.
Technically, the narrator was spot-on with his double-negative declaration that "they're not gonna do nothing." "Not doing nothing" means doing something -- and these employees were about to do something we will forever cherish.
First come the opening notes of the video's crescendo of just violence: As the criminal wraps up his defiant pillaging, a bearded employee impedes the forward progress of the trash bin before firmly grabbing each of the thief's forearms.
Then it happens: Respecters of property rights are treated to a sight so beautiful it should be emblazoned on t-shirts, flags and maybe even biceps.
From off-camera, a second employee -- in what appears to be a turban of the type favored by Sikhs -- enters the frame and hits the thief on the arm with a five-foot stick.
The bearded employee takes the criminal to the ground and then the real fun begins -- 27 seconds of continuous, unbridled, full-force whacks with the stick. All the while, the criminal spews cries of pain, declarations of surrender, and pleas for mercy -- but not one "bitch-ass nigga."
The narrator is impressed, shouting to the societal-predator-turned-prey, "That's called whooping your ass!" In a second, postscript video, the narrator talks the employees into letting the thief go. In agony, the seated criminal says, "I can't walk!" With the command voice of a personal trainer, the narrator exhorts him: "You better walk tonight. YOU BETTER WALK TONIGHT!"
Next comes a comic twist. As the narrator escorts him out, the limping thief asks, "Can I get a soda...please!" Even his documentarian and post-beating advocate finds the request preposterous: "What kind of sh*t you telling me? You do this sh*t and you want a soda? Get the fu*k out, man."
There's something extra-wonderful about the fact that this took place in California -- where the Senate passed a bill in June that would actually make it illegal to interfere with shoplifters. We'd prefer to see retailers equip their employees with five-foot sticks -- though we'd supplement that with plenty of pepper spray.