NANTUCKET, Mass. A blue-ribbon panel appointed to investigate a late August stampede on this tony vacation island has concluded that drastic end-of-summer markdowns on madras shorts, whale-motif ties and other “preppy” clothing triggered a crush of cheap WASP shoppers that left several people injured, one seriously.
“It was a sales clerk’s worst nightmare,” said Endicott Wollaston, a retired Selectmen who chaired the committee. “Hordes of trust fund beneficiaries rushing towards the sale table, with nothing to stop them but a maxxed-out credit card.”
WASPs, or white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants, are an American ethnographic group that prefers expensive-looking clothing, but refuses to pay full price. “I’d say they throw nickels around like they’re manhole covers,” says Willard Normandin, a long-time employee at Brooks Brothers in Boston, “but that applies more properly to pennies.”
The market disruption was an unexpected decline in consumer spending, according to retail industry experts. “You had a build-up of unsold inventory, and a bunch of cheapskate buyers waiting until the last minute to save the most money,” noted Women’s Wear Daily New England regional editor Cynthia Smithson. “We’re just fortunate that there were no endangered species standing in front of the madras Bermuda shorts.”