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Bad Apple

You remember the tune, don't you? Foleeeeeeeeey's Red Apple Sale! Look what's going on at Foleeeeeeeeeey's! It was the elongated emphasis on the "e" in "Foley's" that kept that little ditty pinballing around your cranium for days, like someone hysterically shrieking autumnal savings to the heavens, but in the goddamn catchiest way you ever heard. Or maybe it went a little deeper than that. Because many Denverites will recall that it was not Foleeeeeeeeey's that invented this bountiful harvest of savings, it was May D&F, the purveyor of textiles that existed alongside Cherry Creek long before the mall ever came to pass. Back in a simpler Denver, young mothers would take snot-nosed children for a May D&F Red Apple Sale, then feed them at Furr's Cafeteria or Round the Corner, before heading home and drowning the rest of the day in several bottles of wine.

There's no explaining why you get attached to certain things, you just do. When Marcel Proust ate that little cookie, he didn't question why it made him feel the way he did — all right, he did later, for thousands of pages, but that's not the point — he just went with the sensation. Similarly, there's no explaining how I became so attached to the Red Apple Sale, hooked by a shitty corporate jingle, but I was. So when May D&F gave way to Foley's, I was glad to see them keep the bargain around, whether through foresight or utter indifference.

But now Macy's, in all their suburban-suck-off-artist-clientele glory, are canceling the Red Apple Sale. Or, as Jan Blankennagel, Macy's new marketing and special events coordinator for Colorado, so callously stated in a recent interview, "Oh, the Foley's red apple sales — buh-bye, red apple." Thanks a ton, Jan, and extra special thanks for saying "buh-bye," like that old Saturday Night Live sketch with David Spade as a stewardess, isn't it fun when we appropriate pop culture to make ourselves seem more funny and relevant?

In all fairness, though, you probably did not know that was what you were doing, just like you probably didn't know there are some out there who feel a sense of attachment to the Red Apple Sale, if for no other reason than it saw them through their many horrific fashion choices over the years. No, your biggest concern is targeting your key demographic: women 25 to 54 years who come into the store 78 times a year. And I suppose you have to keep them happy; lord knows their husbands aren't.

But while the Foley's apple may be gone, the Macy's star is here to replace it, bright and shiny and communist as standing in line. That's right, the Macy's red-star logo is already ruffling feathers among Denverites who say it reminds them of labor camps and turnips and that awesome 1980 Winter Olympics hockey showdown. While I feel that very little about department stores screams communism, I do sympathize. For if a company's management could be so blind to the beauty of a Red Apple Sale, couldn't they also be historically ignorant to the point of extreme offense?

If this winter's planned Swastika Savings Sundays is any indication, the answer is most definitely yes. — Adam Cayton-Holland


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