Black Friday Violence

December 4, 2008

Well, I arrived at 12:30 am at a local Super Wal-Mart on Black Friday and didn’t expect anything different than any other year. I’m a Black Friday veteran, having done this for the last five years.

I normally camp out at Best Buy, but this year’s deals weren’t appealing to me. So I decided to go to Wal-Mart this year. And I picked a Super Wal-Mart near my house since they usually have more quantities of doorbusters than regular Wal-Mart’s. I had my tent ready, but guess what? Super Wal-Mart’s actually open at midnight instead of 5 am on Black Friday!

So my friends and I walked around the store not looking for anything or shopping. I just wanted the doorbusters. The Wal-Mart employees were actually still getting ready by bringing pallets of stuff wrapped in black plastic out in between the aisles. We read some magazines in the magazine aisle trying to pass the time. There were no lines at all except for some bunches of people around certain pallets. At about 2 am we decided we’d read enough magazines and decided to walk around again.

We went by the electronics and, behold, there was a line! So we lined up and waited. And waited. And waited. And did some more waiting. It’s really tough waiting in line inside the store because everyone was standing up. I wasn’t about to stand to stand for three hours so I bucked the trend and sat right on the floor. Honestly, I would’ve rather camped outside and been able to sleep in my cozy tent.

Well, 5 am hit and the black plastic began to be ripped off! It was chaos everywhere! Of course, I was stuck in the electronics line that wasn’t moving, but I could see all the action from where I was! People were scrambling to get everything and there was barely any room to breathe, much less move. All of a sudden, I could hear the screams of some women. Apparently, a fight broke out in the grocery section between two women! The guy in front of me said that he saw another fight in the toy section between two women with boxes and toys flying everywhere! He even said that one box hit him in the head! I had never seen such chaos in my life! Best Buy never got this crazy.

There was much worse violence in stores around the country, however. At a Toys ‘R Us in Palm Desert, California, two gunmen shot and killed each other after the women they were with started fighting. Apparently, it was not shopping-related violence. Two women fighting in a toy store on the busiest shopping day of the year wasn’t shopping-related? Yeah, right!

A Wal-Mart employee was also killed at a local Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, New York on Friday. He was trampled to death by a crazy mob trying to get in the store. It is just not worth it.

I am considering doing Black Friday completely online next year and skip out on the crazy mess and chaos. I will definitely not go to Wal-Mart on Black Friday again. It is just too disorganized and took way too long. I mean, they had just one register for the entire electronics line that wrapped around the store. We were probably number 50 in line and it still took most of the morning trying to get out of there. Insane.

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