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APRIL 1, 2003 -- Wal-Mart announced early this morning that it is acquiring Fleming Cos., Royal Ahold, and c-store chain 7-Eleven.

Terms of the separate deals were not made public, and a high-ranking Wal-Mart executive who asked not to be identified said that the company had no intention to explaining the deals to anyone.

“Look, nobody can outbid us, and this is barely petty cash to us,” said the executive. “Frankly, we’ve just gotten tired of all the pussy-footing around, so we decided to just get it all done. The government won’t bother us, because we’ll be using Fleming to rescue the independent grocer community, we don’t own any c-stores, and Ahold is having such image problems that they’ll just be glad to have the thing off their plates.”

The executive said that in view of reports that Wal-Mart is on track to become a trillion-dollar company, and is unlikely to be dislodged from its position atop the Fortune 500 list anytime in the current millennium, industry observers can expect to see more such deals.

“We’re bigger than most countries, and we do more for more people than most of the nations of the world,” the executive said. “Heck, we might pick up a few countries while we’re at it, just to prove we can.”

The executive, however, would not comment on reports that Wal-Mart is preparing to hire a secretary of state, create its own defense department, and even purchase a TV network so that consumers could have “all Wal-Mart, all the time.”

The one thing Wal-Mart will not do under any circumstances, the executive said, is buy a major-league baseball team. “That’s a morass we’re never going to get involved in,” he said “It’d be easier to get peace in the Middle East than to make a profit in major league baseball.”
KC's View:
It’s April 1st, folks. We couldn’t resist.

As a famous modern philosopher once said, “If we didn’t laugh, we’d all go insane.”

The rest of today’s stories are for real.