Everyone loves multiple births. The Bush twins are every conservative man’s fantasy. Triplets are even better. And quads or more are guaranteed news anywhere.
Whenever a family has a litter or so, it’s all over the news for a little while. Companies often fall over themselves in giving the family help as a PR move, and it usually works.
Unless, of course, the company is Wal-Mart. And the “help” they are asked to give is very specific.
This morning’s Boston Herald has the story of a family that just welcomed quadruplets into their tiny home. They were going to put an addition on the house to make room for the new babies, but zoning regulations forbid them from increasing their septic system to handle the additional size of the house (and household).
A solution appeared ready-made: a nearby Wal-Mart had a large sewer pipe, with a bit of excess capacity. If they would allow the Lynch family to connect to that pipe, they could put up the new addition and not force the family of seven to somehow all live in a 750-square-foot, two-bedroom ranch.
Of course, Wal-Mart had absolutely no obligation to let the Lynches use their sewer pipe. Or even to answer the request at all (they didn’t). But here the world’s biggest retailer had a chance to score a huge PR coup, to show their human, compassionate side, to help out some little people with a big problem. Instead, they sat on their collective thumbs.
Wal-Mart is a sponsor of Paul Harvey. When he plugs them, he ends with “you couldn’t have a better neighbor.”
I suspect the Lynches would disagree with that.