I understand the desire to save money. I still have a television that I bought 14 years ago. I would love to get one of those giant flat screens to put up on the wall – out of my toddler’s reach. But as long as retailers keep trying their hardest to turn the day into a total shit show, and humans remain flawed, greedy individuals – my family will not be going anywhere near a Black Friday sale.
That may seem a little harsh, but I just spent the last hour reading the news. This year, like many others before it, there were some unfortunate events connected with the day of bargains. Is anyone surprised? I’ll give you a little rundown of yesterday’s activities, courtesy of The Huffington Post.
One shopper allegedly pulled a gun on a man who punched him in the face while in line at a Sears store in San Antonio, Texas. Witnesses say the man was trying to cut his way to the front of the line when a fight broke out. The line-cutter punched a man in the face, and that man proceeded to pull out a gun. Nice.
A Springfield Massachusetts man allegedly left his girlfriend’s 2-year-old in the car so he could go into Kmart and buy a 51-inch TV. Apparently he thought an empty car in a parking lot in the middle of the night was a safer place than a crowded Kmart? He claims that he brought the 2-year-old into the store with him and he got lost. Right. And then he found his way back to the car on his own. I totally believe that.
One shopper was violently arrested on Thanksgiving night, when she attempted to bypass the long checkout lines. The 28-year-old female was asked repeatedly to get in line. She allegedly refused and began to scream and throw her merchandise on the floor. From the look of the video footage and the people around her saying, “all she wanted to do was leave,” it seems as if security was anticipating Black Friday trouble and totally over-reacted.
A couple heading into Walmart was struck in the parking lot by a 71-year-old drunk driver. Many people in the crowd outside the store rushed to help the couple after they were hit. There may be some hope for the human race after all.
Is it worth it to work up shoppers into such a frenzy? Many retailers probably look at their profits and say, “yes.” Many shoppers probably look at their deals and agree. As long as news stories like the ones above keep being par-for-the-course I’m keeping my family home and entertaining them with our crappy TV.