The Black Friday Memoirs
"It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way." - Rollo May
Welcome to the holiday season everyone! For us Americans, the holidays are a time to don the yuletide mask of false pretense and give to our hearts content in order that we make up for a years worth of self-obsession and close-minded ideals. I mean, we really love the holidays!
Our favorite part of the holidays, in case you have not noticed, is Black Friday! We hail this glorious day as the largest shopping day of the year (as this is obviously something to be proud of), but Black Friday is so much more than that, it is the national holiday that follows the national holiday in which we celebrate the slaughtering of indigenous peoples...it is a right of passage.
You see, for us, Black Friday is an opportunity to equip ourselves with credit cards we will never pay off, pack into strategically placed sales rooms like lambs to the slaughter, and sacrifice what little piece of humanity we have left in order to get the perfect gift for our obese children who are failing school.
So, to celebrate the most American of American holidays, I'd like to run down some of the best moments of Black Friday in the hopes that I can shed some light on who we are as a people and what makes America so darn great!
- In 2005, a mob of people gathered outside of (insert cliche regional store) in Florida, USA decide that waiting for the store to open is just too much effort. With this decision firmly planted in their mob mind, they begin to push against the locked doors, combining their slender American forms into a modern day fat man battering ram. After a few minutes of strenuous effort, the doors give, ripping from their hinges and releasing a tidal wave of crazed consumers, leaving in its wake a trampled 73 year old woman who only wanted the Golden Girls box set on DVD for $5 off.
- In a moment of 2006 marketing genius, a mall decides to fill balloons with gift certificates and hang them over the lobby to build anticipation for the 5am popping. Well, it worked, over 2000 people were gathered for this grand event. When the balloons popped and the skies rained down marginal savings, 2000 strong rushed the middle of the lobby, leaving a woman trampled and hospitalized for 6 weeks. I wonder if that was in the marketing proposal?
- In an effort to curb the rising death toll from Black Friday, the ever conscientious Wal-Mart decides to just stay open all night on slaughtersgiving. In yet another brilliant move, they decide to set out the products they will unleash at 5am on their respective pallets, still shrink wrapped, and in plain view. Unable to contain their excitement, eager consumers begin to tear into the plastic, setting free the captive goodies. This doesn't fly with the security guards, so the good little consumers get herded outside and locked out in the cold. Enraged that Wal-Mart could be so callous with their needs, these consumers rail against the doors and attempt to sneak in through the garden section, to no avail. Apparently malls in Florida need to buy their doors from overseas as well.
- Back to Wal-Mart! In 2008, employees attempt to chain together in an effort to keep eager consumers from bursting through the doors. Well, it turns out this is even worse than locking doors, as the crowds bowled over the weak link in the chain, killing the 34 year old employee in the process. Also injured in the clamor for Christmas toys for all the good girls and boys were 4 people and a woman 8 months pregnant who lost her child in a resulting miscarriage.
- 2008 was a great year for Christmas cheer! As a matter of fact, two women were in a cordial discussion over who should get the last worthless plastic distraction from Toys-R-Us, when their gentlemen escorts both pulled guns to settle the matter. In the ensuing gunfight which played across the entire store, no one was injured but both men managed to kill each other. Hooray for Christmas miracles!
- Aaaannndddd, Wal-Mart 2008 again! While racing for a laptop that was $100 off, a woman trips and gets trampled for over 2 minutes without anyone noticing. Now, this woman who just wanted a few bones off of a laptop, uses a cane, is addicted to pain pills, and has trouble remembering her own name.
- Move forward a couple of years and back to Toys-R-Us we go! A woman, who apparently was fed up with waiting at the back of the line, decides she is just going to saunter up to the front and everyone else can just wait. As you may have surmised, the other patient onlookers did not appreciate this breach in Black Friday etiquette and took to letting her know it. Instead of realizing her mistake and taking her rightful position at the back of the line, this woman decided to pull a gun. "Everyone was cutting in line. I just wanted to get my daughter the toy she wanted for Christmas, which probably won't be there today." Nothing like grade school logic to solve your everyday problems!
- Circa last year, in the midst of a mad dash for the latest Xbox game, a woman unleashes an entire can of pepper spray on her fellow shoppers.
- Ala 2011, a grandfather takes his grandson to get his Christmas present on Black Friday. While the grandfather grabbed the game off the shelf, the grandson falls to the stampede and begins to scream in pain. The grandfather stuffs the game in his belt to rescue his grandson. The police promptly tackle the grandfather and beat him senseless for shoplifting. It seems even law enforcement agents get into the holiday spirit!
Well, there you have it world! Black Friday is the culmination of contemporary American greatness, the pinnacle of our so-called ingenuity and unbreakable will. We hope you'll consider moving to the land of the free to find the jobs that no longer exist!
To the American consumer currently "enjoying" Black Friday: It's not controversial literature, rock and roll music, or video games that perpetrate violence in our great nation....it is you. I sat down to write this entry thinking it would be humorous in nature, but when I found story after story detailing the ignorance we show collectively during a time that is supposed to represent selflessness in one form or another, I lost another thread of already dwindling hope.
I don't understand what drives us and, quite frankly, I'm done trying. We are not people, we are base life forms. I have a family of dogs at home who understand respect and kindness more than we do. I see them play together, love each other, protect each other...accept each other. When did these concepts leave us? When did they become so foreign? When did we sacrifice our humanity for 50% off of a big screen TV?