I’ve never taken part in a Black Friday shopping event, at home or abroad. I don’t like crowds, waking up early, and the idea of fighting over limited deals. I did do Boxing Day shopping on a couple of occasions when Mrs. Sip and I were in our early dating years and those were bad enough that we fazed them out. Good thing, too, here are some of the craziest Black Friday stories!
In 2008, a 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death in Valley Stream, New York when Black Friday consumers stampeded into the store. Shoppers continued to pour into the location, despite the injury and co-workers trying to stop the rush and help their fallen comrade. Even police where shoved by deal-seekers as they tried to assist on the scene. A pregnant woman was also hurt in the incident, begging the question: what the hell was she doing there in the first place!?
Toys R’ Us Kid
On the same day, across the country, two people were shot and killed following an altercation at a Toys ‘R’ Us store in Palm Desert, California. As two women began fighting, their respective male counterparts pulled guns on each other and ended up killing one another (no loss there!). The incident was said to be more personal than a fight over merchandise and could have been gang-related. When I go to Toys ‘R’ Us, I’m always packing heat!
In 2010, a woman was arrested outside a Toys ‘R’ Us (what is with people shopping for their kids?) in Madison, Wisconsin after cutting in line and threatening to shoot people who objected to her budging. No cuts, no butts, no coconuts, am I right! Lanessa Lattimore was quoted as saying, “I just wanted to get my daughter the toy that she wanted for Christmas, which probably won’t be there when I go today.” Did ya think they might restock sometime in the next month!?
Pour Some Pepper On Me
In Porter Ranch, California, in 2011, a woman used pepper spray on fellow shoppers to “get an advantage” on them over discounted Xbox 360 video game systems. This was in a wealthy suburb, of all places! The attack injured about 20 shoppers and unfortunately, the perpetrator got away in the chaos… whether she was also able to grab her prized Xbox is unknown. You have to hope that at some point, karma comes back to haunt this loser.
‘Tis the Season
In 2011, Walter Vance, 61, collapsed after entering a Target store on Black Friday and later died in hospital from a previously known heart condition. These things happen, but the tragedy comes when people stepped over the man and continued their shopping while he was in distress. I have to point out, if you know you have a heart condition, why in the hell are you joining the madness of Black Friday… and this dude should have known better, he was a freakin’ pharmacist! Worst yet, apparently all he wanted was Christmas decorations. As if those couldn’t have waited!
Sometimes folks don’t even get into the stores before violence breaks out on Black Friday. Two people were shot outside a Wal-Mart in Tallahassee, Florida after a dispute over a parking spot. I think one of the things I hate most in life is crowded parking lots and the whole pursuit of a suitable spot. I know I’m far from the only one who gets put on edge as you spend countless time going up and down aisles hoping for an opening and when you finally find one, you feel like celebrating… with gun shots!
Love at First Line
Things aren’t all bad, though, on Black Friday. In 1991, two random people lined up outside a K-Mart in Valley Stream, New York and made small talk as they waited for seven hours for the store’s doors to open. Two years later, they married and in 2009, Matthew and Michaelle Tulloch, won a $1,000 shopping spree at Best Buy for sharing their story in an essay contest. The couple now has two kids and celebrates every Black Friday the same way they spent that fateful day in 1991.
Drink #333: Black Friday
- 1.5 oz Bourbon (I used Jim Beam Black Cherry)
- Top with half Ginger Ale and half Cola
- Splash of Lime Juice
- Garnish with Crushed Lime Wedges
Did you know that the last Friday before Christmas has also been dubbed ‘Black Friday’ in the United Kingdom, due to it being a popular night for office Christmas parties and the resulting need for emergency services following hard drinking and an increase in fights!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really liked this cocktail thanks to its taste and simplicity. My favourite touch of the entire recipe is to use Crushed Lime Wedges which are meant to honour the many that have been trampled attending these Black Friday sales. I thought that was such a great idea and tried to reflect that in my work.