Friday, June 24, 2005

The furor surrounding the refusal to admit Oprah Winfrey and her longtime companion to Hermes in Paris after store hours has escalated to the next level. "Oh, it’s on," her spokesperson was quoted as saying. "What is ‘Hermes’ French for? ‘Ku Klux Klan’?"

Hermes, which is actually French for ‘Really, Really Rich People Only,’ turned the Winfrey party away when she tried to gain entry after the close of its business day. "There should be regular people store hours, and they should enforce those as strictly as they like, but there should be anytime hours for people like Oprah and her friends. All we want is fairness."

"It’s like a metaphor for race relations in the world today. There are the people inside the impossibly high-end luxury stores, and the massively powerful Black media moguls locked outside. Oprah is striking a blow here for all the other billionaire Black women without a voice in today’s society," said Gayle King, Oprah’s best pal, travelling companion, and most intimate confidante.

An initial statement released by Hermes said: "Hermes regrets not having been able to welcome Oprah Winfrey and the lady accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermes is committed to giving each of its clients in the world.

"Hermes expresses its sincere regrets for any misunderstanding that these circumstances could have caused," it added.

Oprah has reportedly cancelled an order for a tractor trailer of Hermes toilet paper, and will go back to using hundred dollar bills.

Winfrey's show attracts about 30 million viewers each week, absolutely none of whom can afford a $4,000 scarf at Hermes or even properly pronounce the store’s name, and she is believed to have generated more money than Microsoft and the Catholic Church combined during the past year.

King, a witness to the incident, said it was one of the most humiliating moments of her life. "It was like something out of Mississippi Burning," she said.

"In some ways, it was worse than what Rosa Parks faced. At least Sister Rosa was welcome to move to the back of the bus. They wouldn’t even let us in the back of the store," King said. "Which would’ve been insulting enough, but at least that’s where they have the leather bangle bracelets. Have you seen them? They’re adorable. And only $800 apiece! They also have sterling silver bracelets for $1100, but that would be too painful a reminder of our history as slaves."

A spokesman for the 91-year old Rosa Parks declined to make any statement that didn’t liken Gayle King to a deluded imbecile.

The spokeswoman said Winfrey came to the store 15 minutes after closing and a security guard informed her the store was closed, giving her a card telling her she could come back the next day. Surveillance videotape of the encounter supports the store's account, according to the spokeswoman. Gayle King said the security film in question was the most racist footage since ‘Birth of a Nation.’

Winfrey's friend Ms. King said the TV presenter has no intention of shopping at Hermes again.

"Her position is 'I will shop where people appreciate my business, and allow my friends and myself to fire handguns at the sales staff’s feet to make them dance. I don't believe that any longer includes Hermes'."

Oprah called Robert Chavez, the President of Hermes North America, and asked him why he hated Black people. "To add insult to injury, he refused to even acknowledge the extreme racist philosophy of his company," said King. "If I know Oprah, and judging by the fact we have each other’s smells on our breath and fingers I’d say I do, she’s about to smear Camembert all over these French Crackers."

A subsequent statement from the store explained, with a small hint of exasperation, "Hermes has determined which store director was responsible for the decision to adhere to established store hours, and dealt with him appropriately. We follow our own disciplinary procedures, however, and therefore we could not honor her request to hang him upside-down from a meat hook placed in his rectum, to have his son’s hands fed into a garbage disposal, and to sell his wife and daughters into prostitution in a Bangkok whorehouse. We regret falling short on the requirements outlined by Ms. Winfrey."

Oprah is contemplating buying Hermes so that she can fire everyone, buying all of their homes so she can throw them into the street, and buying all of their children’s schools so that she can have them expelled. If these measures fail to soothe her indignity, she may purchase Paris so that she can burn it to the ground, watching the blaze from high atop the Eiffel Tower with galpals Alfre Woodard and Imelda Marcos. She is also considering introducing a Human Rights Condemnation against France at the UN. If she cannot get the Condemnation presented to the General Assembly, she is prepared to purchase the UN and turn it into a jazzercise studio to be run by her permanent fiancée, Steadman Graham.

The most recent Hermes statement said, somewhat tersely, "Hermes deeply regrets its failure to fully appreciate Ms. Winfrey’s awesome sense of herself. We are of course prepared to pay with our lives. As someone living in an alternate reality known as the real world, where the sun and stars have the audacity to not revolve around Ms. Winfrey , I can only say that if this is among her ‘most humiliating moments’ then she has led a remarkably humiliation-free life, and if we peeled back the insulation within which she has lived it even for a brief moment, we pray our Lord in Heaven will find the mercy to forgive us, even if Oprah and her lesbian sycophant will not."

Ms. Winfrey reportedly has a call into God to make sure this doesn’t happen.