Monday, December 01, 2003

Make Merry, Throw an Elbow

Folks who get their news online may have seen this story about a woman trampled by fellow Wal-Mart shoppers as the doors were thrown open on Evil Friday, a.k.a. the Christmas shopping opener.

In the 6 a.m. blitz for $29 DVD players, the 41-year-old woman was knocked down and trampled by other consumers, who continued shopping their way around her unconscious form. The final cinematic twist: arriving paramedics found a DVD player underneath her body.

They run this kind of story to make you cluck your tongue and decide that consumerism has ruined society, just before you check Amazon for sub-$30 DVD players you can score without that kind of hassle.

But there's the part of the story, glossed over to get to the condemnation of the crowd, that I can't get out of my head.
Patricia VanLester had her eye on a $29 DVD player, but when the siren blared at 6 a.m. Friday announcing the start to the post-Thanksgiving sale...
Whoa, whoa. Wait. "Siren"?

With a group outside obviously insane enough to camp out well before 6 a.m., the Wal-Mart blows a siren? Why not just put pillow-suits on their non-unionized grocery workers and send them outside to throw raw steaks around?
Wal-Mart Stores spokeswoman Karen Burk said she had never heard of a such a melee during a sale. "We are very disappointed this happened," Burk said. "We want her to come back as a shopper." her next life. Mwoo-hah-ah-ah!

Today's FOCR: "Ballroom Blitz," Krokus, The Blitz

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