Black Friday Stupidity

Every year on Black Friday we hear about some dumbass who injures or kills fellow shoppers just to get a sweet deal on soon-to-be outdated electronics or the current craze in stuffed toys (Remember Cabbage Patch dolls, Furbies, Tickle Me Elmo?).

This year was no exception.

NEW YORK (AP) — “On Thanksgiving night, a Walmart in Los Angeles brought out a crate of discounted Xboxes, and as a crowd waited for the video game players to be unwrapped, a woman fired pepper spray at the other shoppers “in order to get an advantage,” police said.

Ten people suffered cuts and bruises in the chaos, and 10 others had minor injuries from the spray, authorities said. The woman got away in the confusion, and it was not immediately clear whether she got an Xbox.”

I have to ask “Why?” I also have to ask “Who’s to blame?” Is it solely the woman’s fault? Clearly, she had the forethought to bring her pepper spray with her and actually use it on other shoppers just like herself, but I tend to blame the stores for perpetuating and even propagating this type of behavior.

Is it really necessary to line up hours ahead of time just to be let into Wal-Mart at 4:00 am for “door-buster deals?” (Granted, I have stood in line on a Monday night at Gamestop to pick up my prepaid copy of World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King when the doors opened at midnight even though I didn’t even download it for two months afterwards. But video gamers are known to be lazy, and not one fight broke out. I think we were all frozen and tired.)

So why can’t stores just open at their normal time? Why can’t they continue the sale for longer than a few hours? Wouldn’t they make more money and have less stress? Wouldn’t their employees prefer to spend Thanksgiving with their families instead of sleeping during the day because they have to work some ungodly hours the next day?

And what about people like me who actually have to work the day after Thanksgiving? I’m not entitled to great savings because I can’t hit the stores in the middle of the night?

Really, Black Friday shopping extravaganzas bring out the worst in people. Not mere hours after giving thanks for everything we hold dear, we go out there and knife random people just to make sure we get ours first. That is truly not in the spirit of Thanksgiving or Christmas.

“Look what Santa got you, little Susie!”

“But Mommy, there’s blood on it.”

“Don’t mind that. Santa just had to kill someone to get it.”

“This is the best Christmas ever!”