Hi, everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick!) Time to down a fifth and get your teeth knocked out for the last pack of Silly Bandz. It's Doorbusters Day!
As per tradition, here are a few classic Black Friday horror stories to remind you just what this holiday season is all about: oneupsmanship. Brought to you by our old holiday pal Krampus.
It was far from the first Black Friday tragedy to hit Wal-Mart. Back in 2005, customers shopping at a Wal-Mart in Orlando, Fla., were involved in a scuffle with security and with each other. According to one shopper’s testimony, "It was absolutely pandemonium in there. They were throwing laptops 20 feet in the air, and people were collapsing on each other to grab them. It was ridiculous.” One man reportedly got in a fight with several security guards, while other customers experienced blows to the head.
In 2006, one Circuit City in Naples, Fla., required police backup to help settle down a crowd after 32 vouchers for a laptop deal had been handed out 15 minutes before the doors opened. Meanwhile, at another Circuit City in the same town, a bad fight broke out between two women in the store. According to Naplesnews.com, shoppers reportedly “witnessed one woman grabbing another woman by the neck over a discounted computer.” Perhaps the world is a little safer now that the chain is out of business (though we do miss their good deals on electronics).
One woman collapsed early in the morning on Black Friday last year while waiting in line for the doors to open at Target. Rather than rush to help her, waiting customers stood firm in their spots, unwilling to lose their place in line. A few decent Samaritans threw candy bars in her general direction, thinking she might just have low blood sugar.
In 2006, Sony decided to take advantage of holiday traffic and released the PlayStation 3 in the week leading up to Black Friday. A video game release is typically a manic event, but when you pair it with the holiday, the result is absolute chaos.
Hundreds of over-eager customers gathered outside a Circuit City in Virginia waiting for the doors to open. Police officers tried to tame the crowd before the doors opened. According to a local radio station, “Twice officers verbally warned the crowd, then an officer shot a pepper ball at the ground.” When that didn’t pacify the crowd, police fired another round. Eventually, the customers dispersed all together.
Back in 2007, I had just had my daughter in October by C-section and I went with my mom to Black Friday. We were trying to get a TV and a man yelled, ‘I'm getting all these.’ When I said we are getting one, he pushed me down and hit my mom with one of the boxes. I was so mad—I thought, "All this just to get something for less."
It was 2006, I had been standing in line in the rain since 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening at a Walmart in North Central California. Walmart had advertised a phenomenal deal on laptops and I was so happy because I was within the first 30 people at the front door. Doors opened at 5 am. By 4:30 am there was close to 1,000 people in line. What happened next was the greatest display of raw human greed in all its ugliness that I had ever seen on a Black Friday. Now I find the term Black Friday is actually a very, very accurate description because for me, it was a truly dark experience. There was a literal stampede at the front door. Walmart had made the mistake of not providing enough security. They also let everyone in at the same time. As I jogged to the electronics part of the store people behind me were pushing and shoving me, trying their best to get in front of me. I was still fully anticipating a great deal on that marvelous laptop. As I approached the electronics department of the store what I saw was sickening... There was a dog pile of people nearly 6 feet high on top of the remaining laptops. Yes, it looked like a pro football game. People were having a free-for-all, throwing punches and kicking each other violently. One young man had ripped a huge chunk of hair out of an elderly woman's head, roots of the hair dripping with blood. People were enraged, yelling and screaming at each other. Store employees panicked and fled. It was complete total chaos. I could literally hear the loud thumps and screams as fists and feet landed explosively on faces, bodies, etc. Several people had blood on them, there was blood on the floor and I know many people would have bruises later in the day.
In California, I camped out at a best buy about 24 hrs in advance. I was in the top 20 of the line. Early morning someone told me to watch their spot. I agreed because I didn't think anything of it and then they return only a few hrs before the store opened. I was pissed. But before the store opened the manager came out and gave vouchers to the first 5 people. Then he gave the rest of the vouchers to an employee. The employee got on one of those lifting cranes kind of like the firemen use. And everyone crowded around him and he started throwing vouchers into the crowd. It was a massacre.
Work at Home Depot. One year we did TVs, huge Plasma ones for cheap. A woman, desperate to get her TV threw her body over the last two tvs to claim them and we heard the sound of breaking plastic.
Last year I literally witnessed someone trampled to death at Walmart. That's it for me and Black Friday. No deal is worth another person's life.But, but...50" plasma screens for $495! C'mon, we can sacrifice some of the plebes for a deal like that! Happy holiday season, lovelies!