Desperate Buddhists Flock to Local Convenience Stores

Posted: January 30, 2009 in Current Events
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By the hundreds and from around the world, despondent Buddhists have begun to gather outside of small South Korean convenience stores. Many of the men and women have been actively and faithfully pursuing the Way of the Buddha for the majority of their lives, but are just finding the waiting to be unbearable.

Ma Xi-ken, the eldest of a group of Chinese Buddhists who have recently set up a make-shift altar on a flimsy blue plastic table, was eager to speak about just why he and his people have made the long journey to South Korea. “All my life,” he told this reporter in broken English, “I have sought the Way of the Buddha. I pray. I meditate. I abstain. And now in my 95th year I feel no closer to understanding than I did when I was twenty. I just want to know, before I die, what it all means. And if it costs me everything I have it is a small price to pay”

What exactly has drawn Mr. Ma and so many like him is the popular South Korean convenience store chain Buy-the-Way. The company is a ubiquitous landmark across the country and its biggest seller of intensely sweet raspberry flavored wine. An extensive search into the thriving business’s advertising campaign revealed that the company has never offered enlightenment amongst its products, which include mostly such staples as banana flavored milk and portioned imitation crab meat.

However, the company’s CEO, Mr. Park Ji-hoon, does not “discount” the possibility. True to the nature of any successful Korean Businessman, Mr. Park is ready to adapt and exploit the ever changing market. “If there are people wanting to buy a product then we want to sell it to them. And sell it at a price they can afford and at unparalleled quality. But-the-Way is dedicated to serving its customers in all of their consumer needs, both physical and spiritual.”

A young counter jockey, who goes by the western name “Terminator,” working part-time in one of the ninety-five Buy-the-Ways in the Gangnam area of Seoul, had very little to say about the group of elderly Chinese chanting outside of the store’s glass door way. “I mean, like, if we have it,” Terminator said, “and they want to buy it, I don’t really see a problem.” Terminator then put his MP3 ear buds back into his ears and was unavailable for further comment.

Buy-the-Way has subsequently announced that it is actively and passionately pursuing the development of several products aimed at the emerging market. While no specific products were mentioned, there have been well substantiated rumors of a new Buy-the-Way brand of cigarettes to be called “holy smokes” and a new drink called “so-ju want to experience nirvana?”

An at press attempt to contact Terminator was met with sad news. Terminator, since learning that long time FT Island guitarist Wonbin has decided to leave the group, has barricaded himself within his room, refusing both food and water. “There’s just no point to any of it,” he says again and again, “it just doesn’t make any damned sense.”


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