It has only been a few hours since the news was revealed to the world, but already deep chaotic currents of shocked disbelief and tumultuous waves of horror and despair are shattering stock markets, breaking up homes, and dividing communities. It was, in fact, our own intrepid (though, in this case, perhaps somewhat imprudent) Ryan Rocifero who discovered that the person calling himself “Trader Joe” is, in fact, an individual whose real name is neither “Trader” nor “Joe,” but “Luben Abadjiev.”
Comments in the street range from the disbelieving to the furiously angry: “I feel betrayed, so betrayed that I’m speechless,” said Juliette Román, long-time customer at Trader Joe’s in Phoenix, AZ. “This Luben character has abused our confidence, and taken advantage of our kind and accepting hearts. I can’t tell you how traumatic this has been for me and for so many other shoppers.”
Lawyers claiming to represent former customers of Trader Joe’s have filed a class-action lawsuit against the retailer, alleging that the deception has “occasioned significant and lasting mental and physical harm to Americans.”
Janette Cvetkov, Assistant Director of Marketing for Trader Joe’s, Inc., issued a statement early this morning. “This furor,” she said, “is clear evidence of the racism implicit in the subconscious of even the most well-meaning American. It also reveals a strong, though usually silent, anti-Bulgarian sentiment. Given the contemporary reality that marketing and advertising have absolutely no connection with reality, we feel that the complaints and protests which we have received are patently absurd. We have also begun the legal processes necessary to legally change our names, so that, in the near future, not only the original Trader Joe, but every employee and shopper, will be named ‘Trader Joe’.”
“Gustavs Klucis – USSR – shock brigade of the world proletariat – Google Art Project,” by Gustavs Klucis (1895-1938). Public Domain.