Summer is hot. One way to cool down is with delicious ice cream. But after a recent Facebook joke, numerous people in Japan probably don't feel like getting ice cream from this Japanese convenience store chain.
Originally from the United States, Lawson is now one of the largest franchise chains in Japan, where it's now owned and operated.
Over the weekend, a Facebook user uploaded photos of a man encased in a Lawson's ice cream refrigerator with the note, "How much is this human?"
Apparently, this was supposed to be a joke—like, that the human was for sale at Lawson? It's somewhat unclear and not very funny.
Online in Japan, many people were not amused to see the man sprawled all over ice cream. Later, someone noticed (see below) that the man appeared to be very excited about the whole thing.
As Kotaku reader Ronnio points out, the text asks if you noticed what's highlighted in the pic.
"This is unsanitary," wrote one 2ch. "Well, I'm not buying ice cream at Lawson," wrote another. On 2ch, Japan's largest web forum, net users began sleuthing to find this shop's address and owner.
Online, there were reports that the man in the ice cream case was the son of this Lawson franchise's owner. The name of the franchise's owner supposedly appeared on the original Facebook post.
This is reportedly the ice cream case in question! As you can see, the ice cream treats are individually wrapped, sure, but laying on them can damage the inventory and even, due to body heat, cause them to melt. It's not as bad as, say, some of the horrible antics American food service has seen, but the stunt was incredibly disrespectful. And nobody wants ice cream boners. Nobody.
Lawson's HQ was not amused and earlier today, it issued a press release stating that an employee at a Kochi City franchise climbed into the shop's ice cream case and uploaded photos online.
Lawson also apologized for the incident.
Continuing, Lawson stated that this incident violated the franchise agreement and that it was canceling its contract with this franchise, making staff terminations, and finally, closing this Lawson's branch.
Note: Not all staff members are being terminated—just the one who crawled into the ice cream case. What's more, other staff members are being retrained, and when Lawson sees fit, there will be an announcement regarding this store's reopening.
There's one word for Lawson's swift and decisive action: Good.
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