Saturday, November 29, 2008
Black Friday, indeed.
The news story yesterday that a Long Island Wal Mart stock clerk had been knocked down and trampled to death by crowds breaking down the doors in their eagerness to save a few bucks is deeply disturbing.
I understand that for a lot of folks, hitting all the sales on the day after Thanksgiving is a kind of a sport -- scoring the latest electronic goodies at a big discount, getting a new TV that will cover a wall, loading up on all the trophies that make one an outstanding consumer. Others probably feel that it's their only chance to give their kids a Really Big Christmas -- the kind the TV commercials have them conditioned to expect.
For the merchants, especially in these dismal financial times, pre-Christmas sales may be the difference between solvency and Chapter 11.
But really -- a greed so overwhelming that people don't notice frail human flesh underfoot as they race for the plasma TVs?
Mob mentality -- a fever that takes hold and reduces a group to its lowest common denominator. It's frightening.
Later in the day, my spirits were lifted, I have to admit, when I received an email from a family member who shall be nameless, telling me that her husband had just served up some 'steaming bowels of turkey gumbo.'
Made me laugh out loud. If I'd been drinking coffee, it would have come out my nose.