Black & Blue Friday

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

"Doorbuster" was the perfect term for Friday's rush in New York.



Black Friday is quickly becoming a horror flick for some Americans

"NY Daily News: WORKER DIES AT LONG ISLAND WAL-MART AFTER BEING TRAMPLED IN BLACK FRIDAY STAMPEDE"

That's the headline from today's rush to save a few bucks on a new laptop.  The sub-head would include the facts that customers continued to flow in even as paramedics worked on the guy as he lay dead in the middle of the floor.  Oh-- I'd be remiss if I didn't include that a pregnant woman was also among four others injured when she was knocked down in the rush.  (EDITOR'S NOTE: later stories indicate woman did NOT lose her baby as originally reported.)  Hey, Don King-- can I get an, "Only in America?" 

Funny, but that's not a reason why I don't get caught up in the Black Friday madhouse.  I'm not saying I don't get the paper and go through the ads, because I do.  But even when I find a great deal I don't go out at 4 a.m. to try and get it.  I did that one year at my wife's urging only to find that the HDTV I was hot for was "HD-ready" not an HDTV.  I almost created a headline like the one above when the Sears employee told me that.  He didn't care that I woke up at 5 a.m. to get this deal.  When I informed him he has to honor the ad in the paper he shrugged, "We don't carry that.  But we do have something just like what you want right over here for a few bucks more..."  Ahh, I'd fallen victim to the ol' bait and switch.  I gave the guy an expletive-free tirade and went home to go back to bed. 

But, that's just one reason I don't do the Black Friday thing.  Today, when I was out an about I stopped at Dunham's to find everything I had interest in was still available at Noon.  What amazes me about people who make Friday an unofficial shopping holiday, is they're willing to ruin the real holiday of Thanksgiving to do it.  If you're serious about getting that deal when the doors open, you have to spend time Thursday preparing with coupon hunting, packing for your wait in line, and going to bed early for your 2 a.m. wake-up call.  Or in some cases-- camping out.  I saw one woman say on our newscast last night she started her camp out at 6 p.m. last year and got stuck around the corner, so this year she got her tent set up at 2 p.m.  Are. You. Serious?  You just officially ended your Thanksgiving at 1 o'clock.  Family is just settling in.  Kids haven't even started running their fingers through the pumpkin pie.  The Lions aren't even out of the game yet-- that's how early you're ending arguably the best holiday of the year.  And was there really any deal good enough to get you to wake up at 2 a.m., let alone camp out 14-15 hours before the store opens?

I'm not judging.  This is America where we're all free to do whatever we want.  But read that article above and tell me it's not time to pull the reigns on this Black Friday phenomenon. 

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Tammy Location: watching the 5 am show on Dec 3, 2008 at 02:38 AM
    For once Jason, I actually agree with you! Black Friday should be banned. Or the retailers should only be allowed to offer the deals on the internet.
  • by Janet Location: Okemos on Nov 28, 2008 at 04:34 PM
    Jason, MSNBC is reporting that the lady who was pregnant was taken to the hospital and she and the baby are ok. What a terrible thing just to save a few bucks.
  • by kevin Location: brooklyn on Nov 28, 2008 at 12:45 PM
    Terrible thing that happened in Long Island just to buy a bunch of cheap Chinese crap, once all the people were in they should have put the doors back on their hinges, brought in the police and charged Wal-Mart management and all the customers with homocide.
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