Practical joke at local Wal-Mart has some football fans up in arms

A practical joke that reached all of the way to the corporate levels of the firm that is building the new Wal-Mart Supercenter drew more than its fair share of attention this weekend as the start of the 2007 football season got a big rivalry boost from construction Supt. Mike Wineinger. As the coup de gras of a Red River rivalry between Wineinger and local store manager Bob Smithson, a 40-foot Texas Longhorn and slogan was painted in burnt orange on the front of the new building. “This all started after I lost a weight loss bet in the store and had to wear UT clothes for an entire day,” said Smithson. “Mike is a Texas fan and being an Oklahoma native, I was brought up as a die hard Sooner fan, so we had some back-and-forth jawing that was just friendly banter. He said one time he was going to do something big, but I had no idea he was serious.” Wineinger got the idea for the practical joke several weeks ago and with planning efforts, got his painting company from Austin to come to Brady last Thursday to stencil and paint the logo. “I got a phone call late Thursday night from my night manager and said I needed to come up here,” said Smithson. “He told me that something had happened and I really needed to come check it out. “He and I are both OU fans and this was about as bad as it can get.” The practical joke stirred more than a few emotions throughout the weekend with some folks taking the event to heart and expressing their extreme displeasure to Smithson and members of the store. “I had one person who was honestly angry and upset and said they were never going to come shop in the store again,” said Smithson. “Another person called and I happened to answer the phone and after they asked for my name and position, they hung up before I could even talk to them about it.” Wineinger pulled off the prank with full plans to cover up the logo with the regular paint scheme that will eventually be the normal Wal-Mart colors’ without any school’s logo or slogan. “I had Bob convinced we were going to have the new store decorated in a Longhorn decor and theme,” said Wineinger. “Nothing like a little Red River rivalry to get things going.”

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