Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sid Salter: Self-Checkouts Endanger Cashiers' Jobs

There were some justifiable fears in the late 1950s and early 1960s - threats like polio, global thermonuclear war, or the President appearing on TV to talk about anything. If he did, you could forget about TV for the night on either of the channels that were available to us (if the weather was right).

But there were also some more enjoyable and interesting things about being a child of the Eisenhower administration. During my childhood, I experienced some wonderful things that have since mostly gone the way of the dodo bird – things like full-service gas stations, traditional all-male barber shops, and rural fish camps restaurants that served, well, fish.

In a big box store this week, those thoughts rolled quietly into my head while checking out. There were two cashiers each with lines a half-dozen shoppers deep. There were more than a dozen self-checkout scanners available. I loathe this technology and even more so if I happen to be trying buy produce or something else that these infernal things can’t readily process.

The Food Marketing Institute reports that back in 1999, only six percent of all grocery stores in America offered self-checkout lines. By 2007, that number increased to 95 percent and it is difficult to find a supermarket or hypermarket (think Walmart, Target, or Kroger) that doesn’t utilize the technology.

So what, you ask? So this, my friend. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics chronicles that as of 2018, there were 3,555,500 cashiers in America making an average annual salary of $22,340 or $10.78 per hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.49, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $14.47. In Mississippi in 2018, 42,120 cashiers had jobs with an annual mean wage of $19,620 or $9.43 per hour.

The feds say this about the future job outlook for cashiers: “Although retail sales are expected to increase over the next decade, employment growth of cashiers should be limited because of advances in technology, such as the use of self-service checkout stands in retail stores and increasing online sales.”

In my self-checkout line in the Starkville Walmart, my scanner predictably took a powder during the banana-weighing portion of the transaction. Fully perturbed, I looked around for a place to throw the bananas. Luckily, a young lady with a yellow Walmart vest intervened.

“The scales on these things are really temperamental,” she said. She tried to make it work but had the same luck I did. My eyes crossed at the prospect of having to cancel the transaction and start over just to find a scanner with a working produce scale.

“Let me take your bananas over here and weigh them on another scanner,” the cashier said. “Y’all finish everything else on this one and then come over here.” Smart. Friendly. Helpful. Human.

We followed her bright suggestions and after paying for the fruit, I asked: “So what happens to your job as Walmart continues to force customers to use these crappy self-checkout gizmos?”

She stared past me: “I worry about that every day, Mister. Every day.” I thanked her and wished her luck.
Despite the spread of the self-checkout technology, cashier jobs in grocery stores and supermarkets are holding steady for now as overall employment in the grocery industry has grown. For the sake of the nice young lady I met in Walmart, I hope that trend continues.

Cashier-less stores, robots, autonomous delivery vehicles and other developments are already part of the retail landscape. I guess that’s good. But I hope that in the process we don’t lose places for bright young people with nimble minds to find jobs – like the gas station attendants of my youth.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at



Kingfish said...

Giggle, giggle, snort.

Anonymous said...

Sid went full old white dude. "Damn them horseless carriages!!!!"

Anonymous said...

I HATE self check outs and I hate stores that have them. Hear that I55 Murder Kroger.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness they just added more self checkouts at the Colony Crossing Kroger in Madison.

Anonymous said...

A work ethic, personality, and positive attitude are necessary to working in a position such as a cashier. The savings to the company are minimal compared to the new technology being employed. This “improvement” is a result of the companies inability to hire qualified employees, even at a decent salary.

Anonymous said...

I'm waiting for Willie wally to order me to stock shelves to replace the items I buy. Why limit customer labor to the checkout?

Anonymous said...

Alternate title: Motorcars Endanger Buggy Whip Makers' Jobs

Anonymous said...

I don't care for the automation, but it's better than a cashier that could care less about serving you. And that's what you get at most places these days. More often than not the cashier is carrying on a conversation with the bag-boy or another cashier. No friendly, personal attention anymore.

Anonymous said...

This is why we will have wealth distribution. The only reason "cashier jobs" are holding steady is because of online shopping/pick up. It won't be long before a robot does that. Those 40k cashier jobs will turn into 500 maintenance technician jobs. Mississippi will be one on the first states that will be affected. Most of the jobs in the state are low skill and will be replaced by technology.

Anonymous said...

Mac’s don’t need no stinkin’ self checkout!

Anonymous said...

It’s all about labor and the problems brought with it.

Owner/Manager: “why did you show up late?”

Employee: “well, my girl couldn’t bring me to work ‘cause we ain’t got no gas and no money leff on our ebt Card”

Owner/Manager: “well you didn’t call in to tell anyone you wouldn’t be here and someone else had to cover for you which has caused us to be short handed”

Employee: “’s like dis you see...I don’t need dis job cause you racist “

And that is EXACTLY what I have been told and accused of being all because I offered a person a job and they failed to pull their part.

There ARE people who want to work but until we get the immigration issue settled then you will always have people taking jobs that don’t need to be here and then you have the entitlement sector who thinks reparations are I order and we owe them everything.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I rarely use them. It's also stupidity to have two lanes with 'limit 15 items' signs posted. I also would NEVER use that call-ahead feature where some minimum wage employee shops for you and loads stuff in your trunk. Nuts. Nuts.

Anonymous said...

It's only the beginning. Corporate America runs everything and a corporation is simply a human money machine, it sees only the bottom line. The bottom line is that the robots and artificial intelligence are far more efficient and profitable than human labor and NO job is immune. The pitiful thing is that some people think a machine can't do THEIR job. The rude awakening is coming. Cover your ass if you can! Cover your kids asses if not!

Anonymous said...

Horseless carriages? Maybe.

But I'm 35 and I'd be more than happy to pay a few bucks extra at the grocery store to interact with a friendly human being making a decent wage instead of a machine.

Anonymous said...

The fewer cashiers a store has, the lower its overhead - which belps keep the pric3 od groceries from rising so fast. I don't mind self-checkout to keep prices lower.

Anonymous said...


"friendly human being" ? Bwahahahahahaha Have you been to the grocery store lately ?

Kingfish said...

I see more workers walking around the store filling online orders than I do cashiers sometimes. Wow. Amazing how technology changes things.

The lack of service and poor attitudes is the fault of the store management. At Jitney Jungle, the company trained you for a week before you went to a store. Then you watched a cashier for one or two days, then someone would supervise you. You had to ask customer if she found everything he wanted, greet her, and then count her change back if she paid cash. Every now and then someone from downtown would go to each store with a checklist and audit the cashier, would even ask several customers after they checked out what the experience was.

None of the stores do that now yet they wonder why they have poor customer service. McDades would have the trainee watch the cashier for a few hours and then throw to the wolves. Ironically, that is where i saw the worst attitudes over the years.

Sid is just showing his age and an inability to adapt.

Anonymous said...

Actually the basis for this change is not technology, but the downfall of civility and humanity.

Anonymous said...

The problem with most self checkouts is the damn area where you have to put all your bags is too small. That and after I scan my beer I have to wait several minutes for someone to come and verify my age. At least at Walmart I can keep scanning my other items while I wait on someone, not like at Kroger.

PittPanther said...

You dummies still going into supermarkets?

I do my shopping at home, on my tablet. Then a worker fills my order, and he brings it to my car.

Now instead of standing at a cash register all day, they get to walk around and fill orders, sometimes walk outside into the fresh air. They're better off.

Anonymous said...

11:12 I'll admit all day long that civility and customer service have been in a steady decline, but the basis ain't that. It's profit, pure and simple. The technology replaces human labor with much cheaper machine labor. It's no contest and it will dominate all aspects of our economy in the future. The horse and buggy have been replaced.

Anonymous said...

11.12 AM

I disagree. No doubt the level of civility and our society's appreciation for humanity has declined, but this is independent of the reality that the sophistication of the technology has risen and the cost has fallen far enough that it makes more economic sense for a store to deploy automated checkers than employ all human checkers. For most enterprises (Jitney and Mac's notwithstanding), if it were less expensive to hire miserable employees who are undependable and turn over frequently (all incumbent costs included), they would still use human checkers. That line, however has been crossed, so we are seeing many more automated checkers and likely will see even more.

A valid analog would be to identify the number of bank tellers employed before the advent of ATM's and the number of bank tellers employed today. There are still bank teller positions, but vastly fewer than before. Most of us who are old enough to remember the early- or pre-ATM days have certainly grown accustomed to using an ATM frequently and no longer insist on seeing a live teller.

I personally prefer the automated checkers, as it is often more efficient. Amazon is experimenting with Whole Foods locations that don't even require a stop at a check-out kiosk - there are readers at the exit that auto-scan everything in your [reusable, eco-friendly] shopping bags and charge it to your credit card/Amazon Prime account. That would be incredibly convenient and attractive to a lot of people.

AI and automation are almost certainly going to impose significant changes on a lot of industries and jobs. Autonomous trucks could gut the employment in the trucking industry by virtually eliminating over-the-road drivers. All that would be needed would be short-haul, last-mile human drivers. AI and other advanced technologies are becoming much better at reading CT and MRI images than humans, so radiologists are at risk. We may need only a few high-level supervising physicians to manage the process vs. actually reading and interpreting the images.

This and much more is either already here or fast approaching. The question yet to be answered is whether the jobs that are eliminated will be replaced by new jobs that we may/may not even know that we need right now. That has happened in the past, as with the industrial revolution of the late-18th and early/mid-19th century. However, there are many who believe that this time is different. At worst, the jobs that go away will not be replaced at all. At best, if there are new jobs created, they will likely require a much different skill set and training, which creates the challenge of turning a truck driver or grocery checker into a software engineer or something equivalent.

On that note: Happy hump day!

Anonymous said...

If a person cant succeed at checking out groceries, what makes us think they will be capable of something more complicated?

Anonymous said...

Hey Sid - I hear the rotary phone is slowly being replaced by them cell phones too!

Bull Og, Cave # 32 said...

Clay tablets and stylus technology threatens papyrus. Good Lord, Sid. Go back to Sumeria. Or open the Starkville Sumerian daily.

“Given the choice between printing 2000 paper copies that won’t last ten years, or thirty copies that can last six thousand years, it’s an easy choice to make.”

“Sometimes archaic media just works better,” says Salter. “In some respects, clay is a superior recording medium. It has more warmth and depth of tone than paper.”

The clay tablets in Starkville are unfired, as was common practice in Sumeria. Like their historical antecedents they are dried in the sun, giving them a startling durability.

“Practically speaking, these tablets could last until the end of the world itself,” says Salter. “Unless someone drops them."

"We also haven't quite figured out how to deliver them. The paperboys on 1950s bikes don't have the upper body strength to chunk them, and several small dogs have been killed."

"Kids these days and their darn technology! Huuummmph!”

Anonymous said...

I take care of the general public. Kids these days aren't even fit for a cashier's job, in fact generation tablet doesn't even make eye contact, can't carry on the most basic of conservations, and dresses like shit. I weep for the future based on the public that I see. 15 years ago everyone wanted to grow up and be a CSI, five years ago it was IT, now no one wants to even get a fucking drivers license. We have created the most unemployable generation to date, thank god for the self checkout, if I have another dumbass pick up a Belgium endive and ask me if it is a buttplug I will scream.

Anonymous said...

Employee A: needs bathroom breaks and federally mandated rest periods, gets sick, gets maried, has kids, might even steal from you... the list goes on and on. All of that equals lost productivity and potential lost prifits.

Employee B : never gets sick, never has a bad attitude, never gets tired, never goes on vacation. Works 24/7 and never complains, quite literally like a machine.

That's easy math friends. Automation is real , keep your head in the sand if you wish.

Messick said...

I don't mind going to the supermarket one bit. I enjoy it, in fact, as I get to squeeze the Charmin and kick the oranges.

Anonymous said...

The Wally World in my hometown just installed a bunch of new self-checkout machines with the regular conveyer belts so you have room to put your items up before starting the checkout procedure. They also tripled the number of self-checkouts they had before. You might have to manned cash register lines open at 5pm when there is a big rush on the store.

Anonymous said...

Wal*Mart is the one that has taken a big leap. Now its hard to tell if it is forward or backward. When they stated opening stores the quiet goal was to keep you in the store until you spent your last dollar. They wanted you to have nothing left to spend anywhere else. As they continued to spread and open even bigger stores, that continued to be their goal. Now, today they want you to order stuff online and come pick it up. The exact opposite of the original plan. Finally the competition they knew would never affect them has arrived. Now they are faced with cutting cost like cashiers. We or our spouse always came home with lots of impulse buys that no longer exist with grocery pickup. The impact has been significant.

Anonymous said...

@1:17 but A has the ability to know when you are shorting the scale, buying less expensive fruit like bananas than grapes, seeing when you are doing things to steal from the company because the company would rather pay technicians to calibrate and operate their computers than people that can discern when the customer is ripping off the company

Anonymous said...

"We or our spouse "

So, tell us - where exactly is bigamy legal round these parts? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Reports of automation replacing millions of human workers are true. More money for the corporations and less for the local economies.

Anonymous said...

I use the self check option just about all of the time. I rarely have an issue with them. The biggest gripes I have is that occasionally there will be a slow-poke in front of me with no clue what they are doing or talking on their phone. Second is the fact you have to call for help if you want to scan a paper coupon. Other than that, I like using them.

Anonymous said...

@3.00 PM

First, those kiosks do more than simply compute your tab and take your money. They have cameras and image-recognition software with the ability to detect the difference between a bunch of grapes and a bunch of bananas. The software can also be trained to know the average range of weight for any of those items, so if someone punches in the code for bananas, but weighs the grapes, it can potentially detect the variance and interrupt the transaction: "Please wait. An attendant will be with you shortly."

And even without that technology, don't think that Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger and any other sophisticated retailer hasn't done the math to determine that the cost savings of replacing x number of human checkers at minimum wage + P/R taxes and benefits with automated checkers outweighs the potential shrinkage from dishonest customers.

Anonymous said...

9:22 AM You should reflect on what the employee said because they were right. I reached the same conclusion in less than 10 seconds in reading your rant about immigration and reparations.

Anonymous said...

"The fewer cashiers a store has, the lower its overhead - which belps keep the pric3 od groceries from rising so fast."

BULLSHIT! Remember those signs at Wal-Mart thirty five years ago, out at the buggy collection site that said, "Return your cart here - Help keep prices low"? Had not one damned thing to do with prices.

Those signs, just like the number of cashiers, affects nothing but affect at all on prices.

Anonymous said...

A lot of these anecdotes about automation have not turned out to be correct. I read, just last month, an old article predicting that "47% of all jobs" will be replaced by automation in the next 10 years. A 12 year old article.

AI and automation are constantly touted as the Next Big Thing, as if it will come for YOUR job and you are a fool if you don't realize it.

Well, CVS and Costco installed a lot of self checkouts, and then had to remove them. At Wally World, they don't even have them on after 11 PM.

At Amazon Go stores, they not only have to have workers, they have to have a security guard.

And that "radiologist" job? They tried outsourcing that with dire results. And even call centers have had to be brought back to the US to get someone with rudimentary English skills.

But, yeah, I'm headed out right now in my Self Driving Uber, to go pick up a Robot Burger, untouched by human hands, whose patty was delivered by the autonomous 18 wheeler moments ago. Those Tea Party budget roads are so clearly marked and smooth that the electric vehicles who charge themselves are barely audible.

No jobs in the future for anyone. Just robots buying burgers?

Yeah. Right.

Anonymous said...

9:22 was speaking from experience and is right. The future will be great for some people, not good for others.

Anonymous said...

I consistently get top notch service at self checkout. It's refreshing. As Dad always said, if you want something done right, do it yourself.

Also, I can tell that most of the anti-automation folks aren't in the hiring business. It's become extraordinarily difficult to fill lower skilled jobs with people who will actually show up and give a crap. It isn't lack of training so much as lack of work ethic, due to lack of home training.

And Walmart's constituency has spoken loudly and consistently over the years: they don't want to pay more for service. They don't want to pay more for 'Made in the U.S.'. They don't want quality. They want Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

Walmart is giving their people what they want.

Sorry Sid.

And sorry to the nice lady at Sid's store, but she'll have another job almost immediately if she wants one. Someone already stole the only decent employee from our local Taco Bell. Dammit.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to use the customer checkout until they give me the employee discount.

How Trendy.. said...

1:17 - Rest periods are not federally mandated. Nor state mandated in most states.

Pitty Pander - You don't have a clue, until you get home, that four things you paid for, and thought you ordered on your 'tablet' are not in the bags. Now what?

I was in Wal Mart today looking for the shortest line to get in. A woman with a scanner and cart came up to me and said she would check me out. She proceeded to scan each of my items, bagged them while standing in the open area, took my card, inserted it in her scanner and I keyed in my pin and she handed me a receipt. Not sure this is better than putting my items on the moving belt, but it is what it is. Wouldn't it be better to simply open two or three more checker aisles than to have roving checkers?

Anonymous said...

Someone has to design,build,and maintain the automated systems. I think we'll be fine!

Anonymous said...

The possibility for some businesses to carve a niche based on customer service still exists.
But, it's a very bad idea to live in the past without accepting the present as it leads to being unprepared for the future.

While Neshoba Crumbles.. said...

Sid will literally shit a robot-burger when he finds himself sitting on the colorful porch of his Neshoba Cabin and notices that the speakers on stage are actually appearing by remote satellite connection - and it was taped two days prior. Then and only then will he finally realize his irrelevance. He won't be replaced since his product is unneeded.

And there won't be twenty MHP SUVs outside the county-fair-grounds. So, no glad-handing for Sid. Only one rent-a-cop leaning against a John Belushi, black and white, 1982 Dodge Monaco with a maple syrup can on top. Sids days are numbered while he's tapping away about automation down to the local hardware store.

Valued Customer My Ass! said...

Both Madison Krogers have recently added four to six more self-checkout kiosks. Piss on 'em all. I'm not attempting to figure out how to weigh grapes and cantaloupes or learn the different types of tomatoes in their data-profile which doesn't even include asparagus.

I turn my case of beer and Coke on end so the girl at the register can shoot the bar code with her scan-gun. I'm not about to pick them up and set them on that reader and then wait for somebody to show up and key in a secret beer-code. And then there's nowhere to set the damned product while an invisible woman screams at me to 'please put the item in the bagging area'. The bagging area won't accommodate a case of Bud.

And I remain unimpressed by the roaming checker-tress who refers to me as darlin'. Bah Humbug on the whole damned idea.

Anonymous said...

The industrial revolution came along and was accelerated by a population explosion. The need was for massive manual labor. This time the opposite will be true. The robotic and AI revolution is upon us and the need is not for manual labor. But we still have the population explosion. What happens?

PittPanther said...

I'm not interested in using self checkout because it puts their work onto me. However, one day when every item has an RFID tag, I'll be able to just walk out with my purchases, never having to stop at any checkout counter.

And why does Madison have 2 Kroger stores within a mile of each other? North Jackson certainly is more dense than Madison, yet only has the one Kroger on 55. Madness!

Anonymous said...

Went to the Ridgeland Walmart yesterday and Oh! My! GOD!! This has got to be the WORST Walmart on planet earth! Of course, one lane open with a cashier and the line was backed all the way into the women's bras and panties. Saw at least 3-4 so-called employees just walking around trying real hard to look like they were doing something. I'm telling you, you could walk outta this Walmart with a freaking 70 inch flat-screen TV and nobody would know. They need to shut this shit show down, level the building and forget about it. The worst Walmart...PERIOD!!!!!

Messick said...

Good article in today's WSJ, regarding Walmart staffing;

Anonymous said...

Pitt Pantie says "North Jackson certainly is more dense than Madison..."


Anonymous said...

"And why does Madison have 2 Kroger stores within a mile of each other?"

You really don't understand the difference in the disposable income between Madison and North Jackson? Sigh.....

Anonymous said...

Pitty Pander has not lived 'down here' long enough to understand the reality of living 'on the wrong side of the tracks'. That's been a Mississippi designation for ninety years. If you live on the east side of the railroad track, you shop at 51 Kroger. Those with their noses in the air who live to the west would NEVER set foot in that store. They're obliged to shop west of the interstate.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is that surely the loss-prevention employees will increase. As they watch the self scanners, they'll no doubt see more and more folks try to scan two out of every three items they slide over into the checkout/bagging area. These employees would certainly cost more than the checkout employees at the register? ..and at times might take two or three to apprehend customers storming the exits at the same time.

Anonymous said...

A couple of weeks ago, I used the self-checkout at Walmart. I had all my bags in my cart then got distracted by an older woman beside me who was having problems completing her transaction. As I turned to help her, an employee came over to help her. I went back to my cart and left the store. When I was almost home, I realized I'd never paid for my items! (I envisioned an APB had already been issued for me.) After calling them and getting no help, I high-tailed it back to Walmart, took my bags back in, looking for someone to explain what I'd done. When two employees approached me, I explained and directed them to the scanner I had used. The younger employee said, "Oh, I just canceled that out." Both of them were shocked that I'd come back to pay for my items. I asked if this happens often and they said, "All the time."

I'm not sure who was more shocked...the employees, because I was honest...or me, because of their somewhat casual attitude towards people walking out without paying.

Obviously, dishonest shoppers already realize how easy it is! ...and they think checking your cart/receipt at the door "keeps prices down"... Really?

Anonymous said...

My receipt at Wally World only gets checked when I have an item that is not bagged like a 12 pack of cola. So yeah, I can see where you could easily walk right out if you have all bagged items.

Anonymous said...

Especially when the checker is your 'close cousin'.

Anonymous said...

11:04-they can hardly count much less count change back

Rod Knox said...

It is very sad, 8:26, but as everyone is getting so smart these days they are losing their good sense. Most places I have shopped in recent years there have been people at the check out who were totally dependent on the numbers on the screen.If I laid a $20 bill on the counter to pay for a $10.19 purchase then quickly dropped a quarter on the counter expecting to get a ten dollar bill + a nickel and a penny the store manager and store security might be needed before I would be allowed to leave with my purchase. How much does it cost to employee someone capable of ringing up sales and making change. Here in Tupelo I know of one grocery store where the people at checkouts can actually chew gum and check you out at the same time and even carry on a conversation with you.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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