Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wal-Mart: Rolling Back Prices, Splattering Heads, or The Hazards of Bargain Hunting

Ok, you need to read this:

  • "(CBS/AP) A worker died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers when a suburban Wal-Mart opened for the holiday sales rush Friday, authorities said. Nassau County polie said the 34- year-old worker was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6 a.m., an hour after the store opened. The cause of death was not immediately known."

This is a report from November 28th, 2008. And my friends, this is fucked up.

I love the holidays. I mean, I guess I do. They are great in a lot of ways. Time to reconnect with friends and family. Time to eat cookies in excessive quantities. Lots of time to lament having gotten suddenly and inexplicably fat.* Oh yeah, and people give presents.

I like getting presents. Like, who doesn't? The Great American Gift Exchange is an expensive tradition that allows us to show the people who mean the most to us just how little we actually know them. Sure I love my Aunt, but I don't want another jar of Vermont maple syrup. If it's the thought that's supposed to count, Hey relatives, start using your effing brains.

Despite the more enjoyable aspects of the season, "the most wonderful time of the year" has its drawbacks (e.g. Holiday Muffin Top, or Family Reunions). And one of the biggest bummers of the holidays is shopping for gifts. Stop in at any store between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, and odds are good that the lines will be out the friggin door. Even major retailers seem to always run out of the one awesome thing you wanted to buy your dad, leaving the poor guy to settle with another shitty tie. There are only so many great gift ideas to go around. I wonder if my dad would like a Bidet...

Now that we're all just coming off the whole post-Thanksgiving "Black Friday" thing, let's pause to think about that news story I showed you. Sure the holiday shopping rush is stressful and not all that fun, but just think: it could be your last.

Guys, a dude died at Wal-Mart. He DIED, because people are fucking nuts about getting a deal. I just... I just can't wrap my mind around wanting ANYTHING at Wal-Mart so badly that I'd:
  1. Line up outside Wal-Mart at 9 p.m. the night before the store opened. Yes, people did that.
  2. Stampede through the doors when they opened at 5 in the g-damned morning.
  3. See a worker in my path and actually physically push him to the floor in a selfish, mob-induced frenzy for blocking the cheap-o DVD rack.
  4. Proceed to step on his head/stomach/wiener/etc., so as to effect his death.
Talk about bargain hunting! They're rolling back prices, and the people are out for blood.

Thanks Wal-Mart for opening all those extra check-out lanes so my food-stamp-munching, death-trample friends and I can more easily waste our hard-earned factory wages on toys no longer made within the borders of the great nation we claim to love with magnetic ribbon-shaped bumper stickers. So much tacky shit to buy, (apparently) so little time. I like America, but I fuckin' LOVE a deal, man! And I'll kill you to get it.

In fact, according to that article, the Wal-Mart bum-rush wouldn't even stop to allow paramedics to resuscitate the poor, dying man. And in the midst of the unimaginable, hellish chaos, at least three other people were injured.

Seriously. What is wrong with these people. Would Mary and Joseph have tried to kill the Wal-Mart staff on Jesus' 1st birthday to get a better price on swaddling cloth? Me thinketh not.

Everyone, the moral of this story is simple: Let's keep holiday manslaughter to a minimum. Let re-gifting tube socks be the extent of your yuletide misdemeanors. Deals are great, but killing other human beings at Wal-Mart to get them is unforgivable.

*It was those damn delicious cookies.


*RyRowe* said...

I used to think hell was Wal Mart on a Sunday around 10:30am(just after church gets out, chalk full of 8-10 yr old shitheads who've been sitting for an hour+)
But I guess Wal Mart at 5am on "Black Friday" is ACTUAL hell.

Also, have you noticed that the Wal Mart in Folsom smells like syrup?

Lisa said...

The last few times I've been to Wal-Mart have been while unemployed (subbing doesn't count), and let me tell you... it's like an actual graveyard in there around 1pm on a Tuesday. SO many people near death, or similarly down-and-out.

ANd yes, it is the caramel corn they sell somewhere near the front entrance. It smells disgusting.