Your Black Friday Horror Stories

Some of you were forced to wake up at 2 a.m.. to brave the near-riot at the neighborhood Super Store for the crack-of-ass deals on pretty TVs. Here are the two submissions. Two. Really. You're done shopping, send us more.

Don't Risk Your Life For Cheap DVD Players

Several years ago or last year(who cares?), my wife and I decided we were going to get cheap dvd players for all the grandparents and kid's daycare so we could: 1. Pay less and 2. Basically have a single model of device that we have to walk everyone through installing and troubleshooting. My job was to hit a southern Illinois Wal-Mart for my first Black Friday.

I showed up about a half-hour before opening, figuring that was early enough to avoid the crush. Right. I was about a quarter mile back in a line snaking across the front of the store, across a driveway to a loading dock and down an adjacent sidewalk.

Everything was cool, though. I shot the shit with a husband behind me who gets dragged out every year with his wife. I told him this wasn't so bad and didn't know why I was more scared about this than I was before my first BASE jump. He then told me with gravitas I did not heed – ‘Just wait'.

So, about 5 minutes before opening, there is a subtle shift in the crowd. I imagine it's similar to when dogs sense an impending earthquake – they're not sure what's coming, but they feel like howling and pissing themselves and I start to feel a little antsy.

I now look at my watch and it's about time. The funny thing is that there is no atomic clock outside the Wal-Mart and people start doing a countdown – except everyone's countdown is not synchronized. Most people are within a beat or two of eachother, but of course there's one fucker who has the Blutarski watch that is about five seconds off of everyone else's, but I digress.

Now I can see people starting to enter the store up ahead and I'm expecting the line to start moving steadily and possibly pick up speed as people disperse throughout the store like when the pace car peels of the front. But no. The line basically goes from 0-60 in about 2 flat. I realize that regardless of ability, mobility, or handicapiness – Black Friday must be a temporary elixir. You get one hour of mojo, then back to the Rascals and Hovarounds. So, in front of me are two husky sisters(related. Not ‘Sistas') who are prepared. They had been discussing strategy about who goes where and gets what. Sister number one will be throwing lead blocks so Sister Two can get the cart through to their main objectives, but there's a problem. As we are crossing the driveway, Sister Two has no problem getting the cart down the one curb because it like basically getting to Base Camp, but going up the other curb is a different story. It is her Khumbu Icefalls. I don't know why, but she can't hop the cart over the curb and she and Sister One start losing ground. I don't want to be a dick and stampede them, but I'm not in the majority. We start getting swarmed on all sides and the old guy who had warned me earlier comes by and gives me a shrug as he's being dragged by his wife, but Sister Two is going to tie some ladders together, put on the crampons and get across the fucking glacier except Sister One has had enough. She grabs Sis Two by the torso, with both arms and pulls her away from the cart, half pleading-half screaming, ‘JUST LEAVE IT!" Sister Two doesn't miss a bit and ditches the cart and we are off again until we hit the front doors and the North Face.

The sisters weren't the only ones that thought getting a cart in advance was a good idea. Just when I thought we were in, I manage to get a glimpse past the big sisters and see a sea like baffle of shopping carts that had been abandoned at the front door. But it turns out to be a blessing. I'm a big guy, but I can't count the number of mosh pits and crowds I've successfully maneuvered(with drinks in hand) through to get back to the stage and friends, so I start dancing and sliding through the carts like Vincent Cassel in Ocean's Twelve and make up some serious ground just to catch the back end of the initial horde that has snapped up about every door buster near the front of the store. Seeing that the pallet of goods has just been decimated, I use my height advantage to see another pallet queued up several aisles off to the side, so I duck laterally through the crown and am able to grab a stack of dvd players Indian Bricklayer –style and make it to the checkout.

Total time from opening to checkout – about 7 minutes. Total time off my life – 20 years easy. Hopes for humanity – dashed. Have I done it again – fuck no. — Vern aka godspeed_aquaboy


"That's Why You're Going Out Of Business Because Of Shit Like This"

I worked at circuit city my freshman year of college the year before we went out of business in Newark, Del.. I had never worked a black Friday before but I heard horror stories from other co workers saying that it would be unlike anything I have ever seen before. I was prepared for it to be crazy but little did I know that as I was pulling into the parking lot at 3am there were 200 cars in the parking lot and a line that stretched around our building all topped off by a bonfire that was set in our trash can. Since our store was in Delaware we had people come from Pennsylvania, jersey, and Maryland and everyone was out there and eager to buy this $300 laptop that we had advertised as a black Friday special which everyone wanted but since it was a model specifically for black Friday and circuit city lost a shit ton of money on it we only received 10 and I was selected by my boss to tell everyone outside the great news. I went around and asked people in line if they wanted the laptop and if so I gave them a sheet of paper so that they could redeem it, a golden ticket if you will. When I ran out of sheets everyone got the idea that we only had so many laptops so they started yelling at me and throwing beer at me as if it were my fault that we ran out, or saying "I'm going to best buy" like I gave a shit or saying "that's why you're going out of business because of shit like this" when we lost $86 on the laptop! It only got worse when we opened. When the doors opened everyone stormed in trampling a pregnant woman who was in the front of the line. Another woman had her head thrown through a glass case where our ps3 games were and thousands of dollars of merchandise destroyed by customers fighting over it or being trampled on. Three months later we went out of business.

Erik
Newark, DE