I feel like this is kind of Walmart’s fault for having such a stupid code word!
All content has been edited for clarity.
A Turd In The Punch Bowl
“As my daughter and I were rolling our very full cart through the aisles one evening a voice came shouting over the loudspeaker.
‘Code yellow! There is a turd in the punch bowl!’
My daughter and I looked at each other thinking, ‘It’s Walmart but what in the world kind of announcement was that?’
My daughter laughed and ran off to pick out some things for her hair. I rolled into the checkout line and told her to hurry up.
The manager walked up to the end of the conveyor belt almost immediately and said sternly to the whole line of us, ‘Leave your carts. We are evacuating the store. You need to leave right now!’
It was a bit chaotic. Food dropped in place. Registers stopped. People filed out quickly. The same message over and over, ‘Leave your shopping. Leave the store. Now.’
I wasn’t leaving without my daughter! Was there a bomb? A fire? A shooter?
We got out safely thankfully, though a bit shaken up.
Later that evening we drove back by and the store was empty as a ghost town but illuminated by the flashing blue lights of several police cars.
Several days later I found out what happened. Several young adults had commandeered the PA System and broadcast the silly turd message, all in good fun. What they hadn’t counted on was the ‘Code yellow’ part of the message happened to mean ‘Emergency! Evacuate!’
It caused thousands of dollars of wasted perishable food, and thousands in revenue, and could have caused injuries due to panic. The boys were tracked down using debit card receipts for purchases they made after the prank. The insider who filled me in said the kids were college students who were being charged with federal crimes.
I don’t believe the boys intended any of it to happen. It sounds like they were just being boys, and well, silly and gross.
Never a dull moment in that circus called Walmart!”