Maybe the prospect of Black Friday excites you. Maybe you set your alarm for 3 am the day after Thanksgiving with fervor, barely being able to contain yourself for the onslaught of consumerism debauchery. But maybe, just maybe, you’re looking for a way out of it; maybe you need an excuse to bow out gracefully from the one day a year that it’s socially acceptable to punch a toddler over a Malibu Barbie. Either way, this American tradition does not come without its price…read on for Black Friday Worst Holiday Nightmares. Dum Dum DUMMM! (That was a dark, ominous scary movie noise.)
Wal-Mart Slashes Prices…and tramples people
November, 28, 2008, an unsuspecting Wal-Mart worker is trampled to death, and 11 savings-hungry shoppers were injured (including one woman who suffered a miscarriage due to being stepped on by 200 people) in Valley Stream, Long Island. Soon after, many Wal-Marts decided to open for a full 24 hours to avoid this situation, and have started calling it Event Day this year instead of Black Friday. Take heed, no one wants to die at Wal-Mart.
Murder ‘R’ Us
That same year, 2008, a man opened fire in a Toys ‘R’ Us in Palm Desert, killing two shoppers. Allegedly, two groups of shoppers began arguing over something, and someone in the group started shooting, causing shoppers everywhere to run for cover. Like West Side Story, but with retail.
The Nightmare on Elmo Street
In 1997, the most dangerous toy of all was created: Tickle Me Elmo. For some reason, everyone needed to have a red monster who giggled and vibrated, and they would go to all means necessary. Hustlers rushed to stores on Black Friday, to later sell Elmo online for up to $1500. An employee at Hot Topic was injured when, as he was holding the last remaining Elmo, a group of shoppers literally attacked him. He suffered a broken rib and a concussion.
Avoid the madness
How to stay safe this Black Friday: Stay away from large crowds, chalk up the extra cash for the must-have items, and avoid anyone with crazy eyes (or the woman who really needs a $3 toaster). Do some research beforehand for the lesser-known deal, and maybe pack pepper spray?