Island Packet — If there is anything in this world that drives me nuts, it is a grumpy Jedi.
They are like this more than you think, always with the “These burlap robes are so itchy,” and the “I’m supposed to lift that whole ship out of that swamp but I’m staaaaarving” and the “Since he figured out post-death communication, Obi-Wan’s Force Spirit keeps dropping in during Me Time, if you catch my Jedi drift.”
But on the whole, Jedis are supposed to be wise, enlightened and even-tempered, which is why it was peculiar this week to read of one of them getting all snippy with a British supermarket.
Indeed, the founder of the absolutely factual International Church of Jediism, a 23-year-old with the discouragingly snoozy name of Daniel Jones (although his Jedi name is Morda Hehol, which is also the noise that occurs when you bump a four-wheeler into the back of a camel), is claiming he was “victimized over his beliefs” by the workers at a Tesco supermarket in North Wales, who were, to be fair, probably just really upset about their subpar midichlorian counts.
How did this happen, you might ask? Well, unsatisfied by letting his dork belief system prevent him from kissing a girl on its own merits, Jones’ church requires its worldwide membership — which numbers half a million, according to the Internet machine — to wear Jedi hoods that cover their heads, because if you think those scorching Tattooine double-suns are brutal, you, my friend, have clearly not endured a sweltering Spring Break in North Wales.
And Jones says he was kicked out of the store when he refused to remove the hood, which the store considered a “security threat,” although it must be guessed that in this context “security threat” means “he was weirding out the women shoppers by staring at them with a forever unfulfilled longing.” Besides, “security threat” seems unlikely. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful supermarket security unit controlling everything.
“I told them it was a requirement of my religion but they just sniggered and ordered me to leave,” Jones said of the mystical energy field that controls his destiny and is substantially weakened whenever it comes in range of a produce section. “I’ll advise worshippers to boycott Tesco if it happens again. They will feel the Force.”
Now generally these kinds of stories imply a David-vs.-Goliath sort of narrative, or at least the subtle subtext of the pure, naive believer who only wishes to shop for his fatty snacks and Mountain Dew cases in peace and be left alone by the cruel, judgmental throngs. But frankly Tesco’s response to this makes me wish we had one on the Bluffton Parkway, right by that Dunkin Donuts they keep telling me is coming but isn’t there yet because they WILL NOT STOP TAUNTING ME.
Here’s Tesco’s response: “Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores, although we would ask them to remove their hoods,” the company said in a press release. “Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all went hoodless without going to the Dark Side. If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.”
How awesome is that? I have never once been this entertained by any American chains, and yeah, I said it, Publix.
Anyway, if there is anything to be learned here, it’s the uncomfortable conclusion that if you are to one day stand against the evil in the universe, you will probably first need to learn how to beat the public relations department of a British grocery chain. May the Force be with you.