I already told you how I pushed Moon Pies as my item one year and sold million worth. But theMoon Pie contest started back in 1985, when John Love, an assistant manager at the time in Oneonta,Alabama, accidentally ordered four or five times more Moon Pies than he intended to and found himselfup to his eyeballs in them. Desperate, John came up with the idea of a Moon Pie Eating Contest as a wayto move the Moon Pies out before they went bad on him. Who would have thought something like thatwould catch on Now it's an annual event, held every fallon the second Saturday in Octoberin theparking lot of our Oneonta store. It draws spectators from several states and has been written up innewspapers and covered by television literally all over the world. As of this writing, by the way, theworld record for Moon Pie eating is sixteen double deckers in ten minutes. It was set in 1990 by a guynamed Mort Hurst, who bills himself as "the Godzilla of Gluttony."Corny How could you get any cornier than that But when folks get together and do this sort of sillystuff it's really impossible to measure just how good it is for their morale. To know that you're supposedto have a good time, that there's no place for stuffed shirts, or at least that they always get theircomeuppance, is a very uplifting thing for all of us.
CLAUDE HARRIS,WAL-MART'S FIRST BUYER:
Alice and John worked for a little while at Wal-Mart, but have both branched out into independentbusinesses of their own. Alice tried her hand as a buyer, but didn't care for it too much, and now she'sgot her own investment company, The Llama Company, down in Fayetteville. In some ways, I believeshe's the most like mea maverickbut even more volatile than I am. John, who was a Green Beret medicin Vietnam, became our second company pilotI was the first. He's the most independent of the bunchand the only one who doesn't live here in Arkansas, and he's a tremendous individual. He and his familylive out West, where he designs and builds sailboats, and he also runs a large crop-dusting business,which is owned by Walton Enterprises. We're all pilots, so it's real easy for us to get together on amoment's notice.