} 2013 will be a banner year for new vegetables at Wal-Mart, as Wal-Mart
} discovers that manufactured foods are cheaper than those grown the
} old-fashioned way, with farms. Let's look at how this plays out over
} the year:
} January: Building off "designer foods" introduced by other companies,
} Wal-Mart begins sales of skinless apples and rindless watermelons.
} Fruit sales increase, as do the sale of napkins and napkin-like
} February: Moving beyond minor modifications to existing fruit, Wal-Mart
} begins creating new crossbreeds. Among the more popular new foods are
} the coconut grape, the BBQ rib lettuce, and the bacon banana.
} March: After the success of the crossbreed foods, Wal-Mart introduces
} completely new foods. The first is the seafood patty, although others
} follow in rapid succession. This patty is grown on a vine in hydroponic
} farms, and forms in the size and shape of a hamburger patty, but has a
} flavor that resembles fresh grilled swordfish. Caviar popsicles, on the
} other hand, become an Internet meme as they flop in the marketplace,
} and are withdrawn within a week.
} April: Wal-Mart begins sales of completely engineered meals. Resembling
} bento boxes, these meals contain an appetizer, a main course, and a
} desert, but are not separate foods packaged together but rather a
} single complex fruit grown by a genetically engineered plant.
} Complaints arise that the skin over the dessert portions can be
} particularly hard to remove, especially with the provided wooden knife
} that grows in the box but often has dull serrated teeth.
} May: Wal-Mart introduces the first fully synthetic food, other than
} Hormel Spam, by introducing synthetic steaks. Priced cheaper than
} regular meat, and without any fat, it proves surprisingly popular.
} June: Wal-Mart rapidly swtiches out most food products for synthetic
} versions. Wal-Mart food factories spring up across the American
} midwest, converting petroleum products into cheese, potato chips, and
} fruit salad.
} July: Wal-Mart announces that they now sell 85% of all food sold in
} America, and 90% of that food is fully synthetic. Hormel stock
} plummets. Farms across America cease farming activities, leaving
} already planted crops in the ground to rot.
} August: Wal-Mart stops all sales of any product derived from a plant or
} animal, citing safety concerns. Through intense lobbying, they convince
} Congress to pass a new law prohibiting the possessing, manufacture,
} sale, or ingestion of any "natural" food. Exemptions are made for
} Native American reservations, federal prisons, and anyone named Larry
} who lives at 35 Elm Street in Brooksville, IN. A minor scandle erupts
} when it is discovered that the chief food scientist at Wal-Mart is
} coincidentally named Larry Fitzgerald, and he does indeed live at that
} exact address. For the most part the public accepts the explanation
} provided that it is a pure coincidence.
} September: Various left-wing groups unite to stop Wal-Mart from taking
} over the entire American food supply. Environmentalists, animal rights
} activists, anarchists, socialists, and performance artists join forces
} to create Occupy Wal-Mart's Stores (OWS). Thousands of protesters camp
} out in front of the main entrance of Wal-Marts across California for
} two weeks before Wal-Mart's specially trained SWAT teams conduct a
} massive coordinated sweep of all affected locations, rounding up the
} protesters and taking them away in unmarked vehicles. They are never
} seen again.
} October: Realizing that people will buy anything if it's cheap enough,
} combined with a new supply of raw materials, Wal-Mart introduces
} soylent green. Thanks to its low price, it immediately becomes a best
} November: Responding to strong demand, soylent green is made available
} in different colors and flavors. Purple soylent boysenberry quickly
} outsells all other soylents combined, and by the end of the month,
} constitutes 73% of all food sold in America.
} December: Wal-Mart introduces Bacon Wine, imported from El Paso, Texas.
} Wal-Mart is unable to keep up with demand, most stores are sold out
} within minutes of opening, as agents of a mystery buyer purchase all
} the wine as soon as it hits the shelves. As supply dwindles, bottles
} sell for thousands of dollars each on eBay. The identity of the mystery
} buyer is not discovered, but in unrelated news, the Internet Oracle's
} responses become increasingly slurred and unintelligible.
} You owe the Oracle an effective hangover cure.