My retail days are ten years behind me, but my hatred for Black Friday hasn’t waned.
It’s long been my contention that the holidays, despite their outward appearance of peace and happiness, actually bring out the worst in people. This year, the masses trumped their usual selfish belligerence by trampling a Wal-Mart employee to death. Even while the worker was dead on the floor, they continued shopping and went on home with their purchases after management closed the store.
Tim Daly suggested jailing the participants, and I’m all for that suggestion. The store just opened, which means any sales came from people in that crowd. Pull the register data, and you’ve got the names and addresses of anyone who paid by check, and at least the names of those who paid by credit card. Bring them all in, and prosecute anyone who can be matched up to the worst of the behavior on store surveillance videos, particularly those who instigated the crush or pushed down the dead man.
This is just day one. We’ve got four more weeks of crowds and traffic to put up with. I hope there won’t be any more deaths, but I’m sure we’ll hear about fights over the latest and greatest toy any time now.
So go ahead, shoppers. Save those pennies and go on pretending the holidays are about anything more than money. I’m going to stay home and watch this Monty Python’s Flying Circus marathon on BBC America.