When Doorbusters turns deadly

I've never understood the Doorbusters phenomenon. Perhaps it's because I'm not a morning person, or because I opt to do all my Christmas shopping on-line to avoid the onslaught of crazed frumps tearing each others' hair out for a Hannah Montana Malibu Beach House. Getting up at 2 a.m. to line up outside of Radio Shack for an extra 20% off of the three XBox 360s they have in stock sounds like a situation cooked up by Old Scratch himself.

I wondered if this year's Doorbusters sales might be a little less animalistic than years past, because maybe, just maybe, the financial crisis/gas prices/stock market bullshit would lead people to scrimp and pinch a little more. Not so. Turns out the crumbling economy instead made the usual crowds more bloodthirsty for deals. Yes, folks, Doorbusters has turned deadly.

Today a hapless Wal-Mart temp was trampled to death by mooing herds of shoppers who literally broke the doors down and stampeded into the store, hell-bent on consuming. The poor employee was crushed by hundreds of jackasses for "several minutes." When police were finally able to get to the man to administer first aid, the crowd continued to jostle and push the officers. Other shoppers caught in the melee sustained sprains and bruises and a pregnant woman who fell was rushed to the hospital.

It's being reported that the crowd began to form lines in front of the store at 9 p.m. Thursday. You want to know what for? A fucking $800 plasma screen. That's what this poor 34-year-old temp's life is worth. How many of those lunatics do you suppose had their houses foreclosed on this year? Stupid selfish fucks.

How many of us have experienced vulgar displays of mass consumption on Black Friday that have changed our view of humanity forever? This is the worst it can get, but I found many, many other examples of Doorbusters-incited mayhem on the Internets. Here are just a few horror stories I came across:

My cousin worked in a Wal-mart in the mid-90s, and one holiday season they decided to hide a Tickle-Me Elmo in the store and announce it. People were tearing down shelves, destroying merchandise, and physically attacking each other to find the stupid thing.

I work loss prevention at Best Buy in Humble, Texas. Before we even opened the store we had a streetcorner preacher in line and two guys arrested for wrestling. They were wearing luchador masks. They weren't in line—they just wanted to put on a show. Unfortunately, their wrestling was for real, not a choreographed show, so all it did was get them some shiny silver bracelets.

My friend went out to Wal-mart to snatch up one of those $300 32" HDTVs they had on sale. Upon opening the door the entire line flooded through the door and a woman fell to the floor, being trampled by a few people stepping over her back with her child crying next to her. My friend, being a good Samaritan and an aspiring law-enforcement officer, stepped back to help her up. She was worried about him not getting an HDTV and he was only concerned for their well-being. Needless to say, the 7 HDTVs they had in stock were gone in mere seconds after the rush, but the fact that that woman was nearly trampled was a travesty.

I did get to watch two 60ish year old women hit each other with canes over Beanie Babies for their grandchildren. One of them fell and started to bleed before the loss prevention guys actually tackled the winner. This is why I no longer shop on this day.

[This shopper told of standing in line at Best Buy for hours, hoping to get a voucher for a sale-priced laptop; an employee of the store was handing out vouchers for various items to people waiting in line.] As I waited for the employee to walk back to where I was to inquire about the laptop, I witnessed something I’ve never seen before. At the front of the line were two Mexican men in their 30s. They were grabbing every coupon that was offered. Then, it happened. A white mother in her 40s and her teenage son got out of a black BMW 7 series, walked to the front of the line in place of the Mexicans, and the Mexicans handed their sale tickets to the woman and went back to their beat up car and drove off. THIS WOMAN HIRED THESE MEXICANS TO WAIT IN LINE!! Can you believe this? (Well, it IS Orange County!)

I worked at Wal-mart one year on Black Friday. I had to unwrap a pallet of coffee makers and cheap gizmos. I got knocked over. That same year a manager of mine got a shopping cart rammed in his crotch and also broke his watch.

I was working at a Wal-mart the year of the Tickle-me Elmos. Our store had a police substation in it, and I was given a pair of uniformed officers as escorts to deliver the pallet of Tickle-me Elmos to the floor. This was to insure I wasn't accosted on the way to the department, and that I would be given ample time to get my pallet jack out of the pallet and head back to the recieving area before they pounced on it.

Here's a fun story: Three years ago, when I was working for Circuit City, people outside were selling their tickets that guaranteed them a $600 (normal price $1,100) TV to other people in the line. Several of the tickets went for over $1,500. To recap, tickets for a TV that was $600 that normally sold for $1,100 were being sold for $1,500+. Think about that.

Bloodbath on isle 12! For the record, I'm not picking on Wal-mart. Nearly all of the stories I found just so happened to have taken place there. Weird.

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