Are you happy with yourselves? Was it worth it? Did you get your Black Friday deals? Did you buy six televisions, four PS3s and a handful of guns (If you went to Walmart, you could have. Don’t believe me? Google it)?
Please don’t tell me you stood outside Target for three days with tents, portable TVs and endless supplies of pinwheel pork rinds. If you are this person, I cannot associate with you.
Did you rush to the malls to geek out about all the super exclusive deals at your favorite department stores? Did you get pepper sprayed or, better yet, trampled? Did you freeze your extremities off to save five bucks on a television?
I don’t understand Black Friday. And after seeing what I saw this year, I’m definitely sure I will never participate.
It all started when a friend of mine posted a picture of tents outside of Best Buy on Monday. Monday, you guys. Four full days before the store even opened its doors to Black Friday deals. And for what? A giant television for $1,000 less, maybe?
I’ll give you this: If that’s what you’re in the market for, it’s a great deal. However, what these stores fail to mention in their glittering ads, placed weeks before the actual event, is that there are actually only 10 of those great TVs in stock. If you’re not one of the first 10 people in line, you won’t get the great deal, and the only way to get to the front of the line is to get there a whopping 96 hours early.
Now really, have you ever been 96 hours early for anything? Will you ever be 96 hours early for anything ever again in your entire life?
So, you left your house four days before the sales even began to sit in the cold for almost 100 hours. While you were there, there were riots, arguments about spot-holding, little or no sleep, and in addition to all of that, you missed Thanksgiving with your family. Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays ever. Did you really choose to miss it for electronics? And pneumonia? Did you forget about the stuffing? How could anyone purposely dismiss stuffing?
Once the doors open, you have to fight tooth and nail to get to where you’re going. You, along with the 500 other people in line, are all going to purchase the same 10 TVs. What makes you so special? Spending 96 hours in line?
News flash: People in lines cut. They’re the same people who cut in front of you in the cafeteria in fourth grade and, this time, no cute rhyme is going to stop them from doing it.
There was a real-life stampede in my hometown. You heard me. Thousand Oaks made The Huffington Post’s comedy section Friday afternoon, after a mall opened at midnight to a slew of crazy shoppers. What store was it in front of? Was it Nordstrom’s, perhaps, with its designer duds and expensive ties? Was it Macy’s maybe, with its decently priced clothing, accessories and more?
Nope. It was in front of Urban Outfitters. What does that tell you about Thousand Oaks? What could all of those people possibly be rushing in to buy? What could Urban Outfitters possibly offer that would cause the scene it did? Two-for-one plaid shirts? Useless, overpriced and oversized coffee table books about the history of the banana phone? A “Where the Wild Things Are” soundtrack?
The video, posted on The Huffington Post’s website, is a truly mortifying spectacle. It begins with a swarm of hundreds of people waiting at the closed storefront gate. Three seconds into the video, the crowd goes wild. As the gate is slowly raised, people start ducking underneath before it’s even fully opened and begin darting into the store. The mass begins screaming, pushing and flooding into the store. It’s like the real-life wildebeest stampede from “The Lion King,” except instead of Mufasa being murdered (indirectly by that a—, Scar), the only thing being killed is the collective dignity of an entire city.
The commentary provided by the boys who filmed the video may be the best part. They scream, “Oh god, oh god, oh snap!” as people run under the gate and security theft detectors snap in half. One of the boys says, “That’s stupid. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”
I couldn’t agree more.
There were other incidences throughout the country. A woman in Porter Ranch (a mere 30 minutes away from Thousand Oaks) pepper sprayed a group of shoppers lunging for discounted Xbox games, requiring the fire department to treat 10 different people for exposure. Someone caught this on camera as well. The cringe-worthy video shows people crying, wiping their eyes and a woman running through the crowd screaming, “My eyes are burning! My eyes are burning!”
This was all about video games, people. Situations like these make me feel embarrassed to be an American. I am embarrassed to live in a society where $40 off a video game console is worth inflicting pain on other people. I am embarrassed to live in a world that airs shows such as “Extreme Couponing,” hosted by the “Krazy Coupon Lady.” I know we’re in a recession, but I will never support missing Thanksgiving, waiting in a line for four days and trampling people for ironic T-shirts.
So while you’re fighting each other for $1,290 3D plasma screen televisions, I’ll be sitting at home, snuggled in my blanket and sleeping off my tryptophan coma. Congratulations on your discounts, but self-worth is more important to me.