I’m sure everyone has heard about the Black Friday stampede at Walmart. If you haven’t, here’s the quick and dirty. A 34-year old temp worker at Walmart was basically stampeded to death by a throng of holiday shoppers on Black Friday. If memory serves me well, I believe that the last Black Friday stampede death also occurred at a Walmart, in which shoppers were engulfed in a desire to obtain a $29 DVD player (which, at the time, was considered quite the deal).
People are disgusting. I understand the appeal of Black Friday. I’ve done it twice. Once in college with BFF AN where I really didn’t purchase much but did acquire a stuffed penguin for my morning wait. Another time last year where the hubby and I (and pop-in-law, what a good sport) stood in line at the butt-crack of dawn in freezing temperatures to get my hands on Emily, my trusted GPS device.
Hearing this story, I’m confident that I will NEVER AGAIN endure Black Friday. People are absolutely crazy. Can you imagine being this Walmart temp employee? You’re probably struggling for cash. You jumped at the opportunity to obtain a few extra dollars for the holiday season by working on the busiest day of the year, at possibly the craziest store in America. You head to work hours before the sun rises. You see a throng of people outside in the freezing cold. As you begin to open the doors, you see the stampede begin. People start shoving, and instead of opening the doors, you begin to attempt to shove them closed against the massive pressure exerted from thousands of bodies on the other side. Your attempts fail, and the masses of people overwhelm you. You fall to the ground, only to have foot after foot fall upon your body, your limbs, your head. You die a slow death, with your last gasps of air trampled out by the foot of another shopper, whose only goal is to obtain a flatscreen TV for this year’s Super Bowl.
Now, the question facing the DA’s office is whether anyone can be prosecuted for the man’s death. There is plenty of video of the event, but how the hell is anyone going to tell whether someone actually and knowingly stepped on said deceased individual? The scene must have been like a mosh pit, with bodies pushing against bodies leading to a domino effect of force.
Prosecuting people will be nearly impossible. But going after Walmart? That’s a different story. Walmart’s stocks are actually up in this gloomy economy, but they should be taken down a notch after this incident. Despite having full knowledge of the size of the potential melee that awaited outside its doors, and despite being the site of prior stampedes, Walmart took little to no steps to prevent such atrocities from occurring. People trampled this man to death. But Walmart basically set itself up to be like a Barcelona track where the bulls could get their television prize.
Amongst all this rambling is one lesson I take away from this incident. I will never ever again even attempt Black Friday. That shit is bananas.