Friday, 28 November 2014

This is not a Wal-Mart in America, people!

I noticed the other day that there were signs for Black Friday sales here in Wales. Say what? Black Friday is the big sale day after Thanksgiving (a holiday we don’t even celebrate over here! Although I never could get my East Texas grandmother to believe it) where crazy people all rush into a store in a frenzied manner and then beat the crap out of each other for bargain merchandise.

I was so cross when I saw the sign that I began a full tilt rant that caused me to swerve into an oncoming old lady for which I had to apologise profusely. Apparently I cannot be indignant and walk in a straight line at the same time. Go figure.

But my worst fears were justified as news coverage today describes near riots in several shops all over the country. According to BBC News:

 Staff handing out stock to a crowd of customers in Asda

Greater Manchester Police appealed for calm after attending seven Tesco shops, at which three men were arrested and a woman was hit by a falling television.

The force said the issues were "totally predictable" and it was "disappointed" by shop security. Tesco said only a "small number" of stores were affected.

Police were called in places including Dundee, Glasgow, Cardiff and London.
Shoppers compete to purchase retail items on "Black Friday" at an Asda superstore in Wembley
Incidents included:

  • About 200 shoppers refused to leave a store in Middleton "despite being told stock had all gone"
  • Fights broke out between shoppers in Stretford, and a woman suffered "minor injuries" after being hit by a falling television. The store was closed at 00:36 GMT
  • A man was arrested in Salford after he threatened to "smash a staff member's face in"
  • In Wigan, officers were called to reports of "several hundred people trying to enter the store". Police added: "Two men were ejected before control was regained"
  • There were reports of fighting in a store in Hattersley, where a man was arrested for a public order offence
  • A man was arrested for assault at a store in Green End

Jamie Hook was buying food at Tesco in Stretford on Thursday night when he said "the screaming started".

"I looked at the massive crowd to see people climbing over shelves and displays, staff running for cover, fights breaking out, stock flying through air, people breaking through carrying televisions - and this was before the sale had even started," he said.

"The lady on the till I was at was in tears, terrified of it all, but she was under orders to close her till to go and help crowd control."

What is wrong with us? Why are we becoming more and more like our American counterparts? Not in the good ways, but finding the worst and most savage and destructive behaviours and thinking, “Hey! I’d like to be like that!”

We’ll all be carrying guns next.  


  1. Oh, I am so sorry! This is a very state of affairs. Here it seemed the Black Friday crowds were a bit calmer than usual, and a lot of people had their Thanksgiving dinner, then went shopping later in the afternoon and evening. It seemed to dilute the crowds, as well as the fact that several stores had special sales all week, kinda like "pre-Black Friday" sales. It didn't all start with a huge rush. I was also listening to Garrison Keiller today on the radio about how the older generation of women who ruled Thanksgiving, never allowing the younger women to give a helping hand, have all died and gone, so the big family Thanksgiving is no longer the huge deal it used to be. The younger women never learned so they just have it catered, or order online, and you get what you want, not somebody's special recipe. They just check off the boxes for gluten free, vegan, pescatarian, lactose intolerant or whatever. Weird, but I think very true. Remember how the big Tyler Thanksgiving died out after all the older generation was gone. We tried that one year, but then everybody split and didn't remember that there was cleanup, because they hadn't taken part in that either. I expect Thomas's family will experience the same thing after all the aunts are gone. At any rate, it seemed a more comfortable sharing of Thanksgiving with Shopping over here this year. I am sad for the U.K. and I am actually surprised at Wales, which seems to run at a slower and more old fashioned pace.

  2. Yes, it will be a sad sad day when the British cops and population start carrying guns. I pray that day will never come.

  3. Yes, your Mom is right. It really wasn't as bad this year because of all the pre sales. Sorry that we are infectious...