So there I was, sitting in my living room, drinking my last bloody mary of the day, checking my Facebook page and watching a House rerun on USA. Rob Tinsley, a longtime friend of mine had updated his status to reflect his preparation to head out into the Black Friday shopping maelstrom, and having watched The Smoking Gun presents World's Dumbest Shoppers earlier in the evening, I sent a tongue-in-cheek reply to not wind up as a highlight on volume two. Then, after I woke up to begin my Friday, news had broken on the death of a Wal Mart worker in Long Island, New York after being trampled by idiot shoppers trying to get a bargain on a flat screen, a laptop, or whatever was apparently worth recreating the scene of third world residents trying to get to a relief package freshly airlifted by some humanitarian group.
The as-yet unidentified man, 34 years old, was working for Wal Mart through a temp service when the store opened this morning in a manner only less organized than a full-fledged riot, as a statement from Nassau County police said a group of slack-jawed morons "physically broke down the doors, knocking him to the ground." Jimmy Overby, a fellow Wal Mart employee, said the temp worker was "bum-rushed by 200 people...they took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too ... I literally had to fight people off my back." The temp worker was pronounced dead at around 6 a.m. Eastern time this morning, an hour after the store opened.
While the police added that three other shoppers had received minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital for observation, reports were also surfacing that a 28 yr-old pregnant woman was knocked to the ground and had suffered a miscarriage. True to form, I suppose, shoppers continued to flood the store, going right around EMS workers attending to the woman and the temp worker. Remember the infamous story about the woman snapping a cell phone pic of the pregnant stabbing victim in a convenience store from a year or so ago? How is this any different? Although I guess we can say, as a small victory, we haven't as yet heard of any asshats emailing pics from this sickening display.
Shopper Kimberly Cribbs was quoted by news sources as saying "They're savages. It's sad. It's terrible." I would not go so far as to drag down the good name of savages by comparing them to this gaggle of low foreheads. Savages earn that name for a reason, but rational people, the same people who make transactions in stores everyday, do not trample people to save a couple of bucks on a fucking DVD player.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in Bentonville, Ark., would not confirm the reports of a stampede during the day-after-Thanksgiving bargain hunting, but said a "medical emergency" caused them to close the store. Yeah, fucking right. At what point, when the cash register tape told them the day was a boom profit, or when the crime scene tape became an issue of aesthetics?
Not that this tragedy is the first indication that something needs to be done about Black Friday sales, but rather one of the more compelling. How hard can it be to operate businesses with a modicum of civil order 364 days a year, but allowing blind eyes all around the fucking day after Thanksgiving? The answers may not be all that clear, but they are there, not the least of which would be holding these retailers accountable for the chaos they inevitably engineer, in the name of making up the slow parts of their sales year.
I'm not much of a gambler, but I would put good money on the barrelhead that not a single person entering or leaving that Wal Mart had an ounce of guilt, even upon hearing the news. That may be "terrible," or "sad," as Cribbs put it, but those people could not truly give a damn, as they have already made a dent in their holiday shopping, and good for them. Hope there isn't a crowd in hell when they get there. I'd hate to think of the inconvenience these soulless idiots will encounter.