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.


13 craziest examples of rock star creativity gone horribly wrong

I had a dream the other night that Guns N' Roses played at this local watering hole called Andyman's Treehouse. It was Guns from back in the day, but with Matt Sorum on drums. Cowtown readers will immediately understand why this can be translated as a stress dream for me. The "stage" area at Andyman's Treehouse is about the size of a large peanut and has a tree right in the middle of the room. In my dream of course, I was trapped behind the tree and unable to see anything that was going on. I woke up in a sweat, as you can well imagine.

Don't ask what that story has to do with today's post. I just wanted to tell it in the hope that getting it out will prevent it from recurring. All I need is for that to join the one I have about twice a week about having to go back to junior high for a do-over...I'm on the brink of insanity, mind. Just let the GN'R at Andyman's dream be a one-shot deal.

OK, I guess today's post does have something to do with my dream. It involves rock stars taking their craft to a place that we all wish we'd never seen. Like Axl does...Mr. Obsessive-Compulsiveness took 13 years to release the Chinese Democracy because he can't get along with anybody. But low and behold that album comes out next week and lemme tell you, it's well worth the wait. But besides that point, let's get to today's fun, shall we?

13. Prince
I love Prince. Love him, love him, love him. Who doesn't? But now that he's a Jehovah's Witness, he's not the Mr. Lovesexy we all used to know and love. He won't perform some of his racier songs anymore. And when he hired director Kevin Smith to make a documentary about the release of his album The Rainbow Children all the footage poor Kevvie got was of Prince lecturing fans about religion. So basically it turned into a video version of the Je-Wits showing up at your door, literature in hand, to spread the gospel. After weeks of filming and getting nothing, the documentary was shelved. (Note: If you want to hear the whole hilarious story straight from Kevin Smith's mouth, I highly recommend renting the DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith...it's worth it just to hear this one.)

12. U2
Remember in Spinal Tap when Derek Smalls got stuck inside the pod onstage? Well, that very thing happened to Bono and the gang on their 1997 Popmart Tour. Only with a giant lemon.

11. Warren Cuccurullo
You would think that being a somewhat accomplished guitarist who's worked with Frank Zappa, Missing Persons and Duran Duran (he even wrote one of my favorite D2 songs "Come Undone") would be enough to make a boy happy. But not Warren. He wants to give his fans more...more than they ever could have imagined. Like the Rock Rod, a dildo modeled after his own wang. The toy did wonders for Warren's rep: he quickly became a gay icon, did a little nude modeling and is currently an outspoken 9-11 truther.

10. Rick Wakeman
Rick is the keyboardist in one of the most keyboard-rific bands of all time Yes. Ricky's a wizard on Ye Olde Casio...literally. He dressed like a wizard and performed his concept album The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with a full orchestra, two choirs and PERFORMERS ON ICE! The Yes Capades! The ice-stravaganza was a big hit, but it was also supa-expensive. Rick nearly went bankrupt bringing his vision to life.

Have you ever longed to hear Gene Simmons sing "When You Wish Upon a Star" or wished he'd done a duet with former girlfriend Cher? Ever thought Paul Stanley should do a cover of the '50s hit "Hold Me, Touch Me (Think of Me When We're Apart)"? Felt Ace Frehley never really got a chance to shine? Wondered what Peter Criss' singing voice sounded like? Well, then the four simultaneously released KISS solo albums are all you need to make these dreams come true!

8. Pat Boone
Charles Eugene Boone was the face of '50s shiny happiness. Singer of happy ballads, preacher, Christian activist, conservative talking head, Mr. Family Values. But then in 1997 he decided to show everyone his saucy side. That's when Pat released In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, a collection of metal covers, and showed up at the American Music Awards wearing a leather daddy vest and a dog collar. The album includes Pat's versions of "Panama," "Enter Sandman," "Paradise City," and "Crazy Train," which you may remember as the opening theme to The Osbornes reality show.

7. Happy Mondays
If you've seen the movie 24 Hour Party People, you'll be familiar with the Happy Mondays who were staples on the Manchester doll scene in the late '80s. Problem was, the Mondays were a little too into the doll scene and their label hoped to clean them up to record their follow-up to the hit album Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches. The solution was to fly the band to Barbados to record, but little did they know that while the island was heroin-free, it was crack heaven. The band members went ape shit, smoking up to 50 rocks a day, selling their clothes and gear for drugs and holding the master tapes hostage. Which would have been good because the resulting Yes, Please album is, not surprisingly, really shitty.

6. Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds is widely considered one of the best rock albums of all time, so of course expectations were very high for the follow-up. So when he started recording SMiLE, Brian Wilson went balls-out: he created a gigantic sandbox inside his house, he made his band wear little fireman's hats and then, sadly, had a nervous breakdown. The end of this story is happy, though: Brian took the project back up and performed it live in 2004 to critical raves.

5. Julian Cope
You may have never heard of Julian before reading this, but you'll never forget him! The British songwriter is the king of wild n' wacky creative ventures. Among his more interesting endeavors:
• He recorded the vocals for an entire album while crouched on the floor wearing only a giant tortise shell.
• He protested taxes in London by dressing up as an alien named Mr. Sqwubbsy and plotted to assassinate Margaret Thatcher.
• He wrote several books on prehistoric monuments of ancient England (all got rave reviews).
• He stabbed himself in the gut with a broken mike stand on stage.
• He lived on a traffic island.
Ah, Julian...the lovable scamp of music kooks. Gwar has nothing on this guy.

4. Madonna
If you've ever wanted a look into the mind (and pants) of Madonna, then look no further than her much-hyped 1992 book Sex. Believe me, you'll wish you hadn't. Some choice passages:
• I think for the most part if women are in an abusive relationship and then know it and they stay in it, they must be digging it. I suppose some people might think that's an irresponsible statement. I'm sure there are a lot of women in abusive relationships who don't want to be, who are trapped economically; they have all these kids and they have to deal with it. I have friends who have money and are educated and they stay in abusive relationships, so they must be getting something out of it. The difference between abuse and S&M is the issue of responsibility.
• Sex with the young can be fun. One of the best experiences I ever had was with a teenage boy. But he gave me crabs.
• My pussy is the temple of learning.
If these zingers wasn't enough to induce flaccidity (and nausea), be sure to check out the pics of Madge romping around in the altogether with Vanilla Ice. Seriously.

3. Michael Jackson
Let's say hypothetically that you have just been let off the hook after being very publicly accused of playing hide the sausage with a prepubescent boy. The details of your utterly insane life and vivid descriptions of your naughty bits are now being discussed at watercoolers around the world. Everyone in the universe thinks you're a major freak. What do you do? Why, spend $30 million erecting giant statues of yourself near famous European monuments, that's what! Don't forget to put one on the hill overlooking Prague...on the exact spot where a giant statue of Stalin once lorded over the landscape to show people how smart and sensitive you are!

2. R. Kelly
Mr. Pee Pee Man's epic 22-chapter hip-hopera goes a little something like this: Married man cheats on his wife with married woman, married woman's husband comes home and catches them then reveals he's cheating on her, too...with a man. Married man goes home to his wife, who's in bed with another guy. Someone gets shot. Everyone is sleeping with everyone else. Then a midget shows up. R also dresses in drag. It's hard to tell if R's being serious or if the jokes on us, but remember this is the man that peed on a teenager and said of his subsequent arrest, "Osama bin Laden is the only one who knows what I'm going through." It would be number 1, if it wasn't for this:

1. Garth Brooks
In 1999, the pudgy, balding country singer from Oklahoma adopted the alter ego of a heroin-thin, emo-haired alt-rocker from Australia for a movie that never came out called The Lamb. A whole backstory combined with guerrilla marketing campaign were cooked up, and included a fake Behind the Music, album, phony Grammys and a staged "comeback." Instead of wonderment, the public reacted with confusion, disinterest and plenty of mockery. Poor little fatso Garth...one imagines him sitting at the kitchen table in his little farmhouse thinking about Ziggy Stardust and Spinal Tap and then telling his old hound dog, "Dag-nabbit, I'm one talented sombitch and I'm gonna show the world that Garth Brooks ain't just a one-hit wonder. No-siree-bob! I'm a-gonna become one-a them gee-runge boys and show 'em all what I can do! Yee-haw!"



So my usual surly demeanor has fallen by the wayside out of excitement, pride and enthusiasm! CONGRATULATIONS, PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA! I don't know about you, but this is the most hopeful I've felt in months...what an amazing day!

And, for those of us in OH, we've redeemed ourselves...we're a blue state again!!! Yee-haw yippiee!!


Damnocracy in action

Ah, the election and booze—two great tastes that taste great together. For now...in an hour or two I might change my mind.

This has been an interesting one and right now things are too close to call. At a time like this, I think who you have backing you will be a good indication of what kind of president you'll be. I know who I'm backing, but my opinion doesn't matter. The opinions that really matter? Celebs.

Let's take a look at who the stars are putting their valuable support behind:

Barack Obama
Eric Avery, Halle Barry, Jessica Biel, Judy Blume, Zach Braff, Warren Buffett, George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Taye Diggs, Dennis Haysbert, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Eddie Murphy, Leonard Nimoy, Edward Norton, Sidney Poitier, Ellen Pompeo, Will Smith, Bruce, Springsteen, Will I Am, Oprah Winfrey. Note: Obama's camp also turned down a public endorsement from Lohan.

John McCain
Burt Bacharach, Wilford Brimley, Joe Eszterhas, G. Gordon Liddy, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Tom Selleck, Rip Torn.

So if you're a last-minute undecided voter, hopefully this information will help you make your important democratic decision. Good luck! In the meantime, I'm gonna grab another Schlitz...