John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Warning: Ahead lies profanity, chair throwing and INSANE DEALS!
Working retail sucks for a lot of reasons. Chief among them is Black Friday, the occasion when employees exchange their family time for a full-on, spittle-spraying encounter with America's hordes of bargain-crazed shoppers.
In terms of despair-for-humanity antics, the Black Friday of 2012 did not disappoint. Stores kicked off sales even earlier this year, on Thanksgiving evening, guaranteeing a marathon of pushing, shoving, passing out, chair throwing, lung-splitting screeching, angry police interventions and general crowd madness. Below are a few of the more arresting scenes we encountered, though please note that much of this footage contains profanity as well as plain bad behavior.
This rowdy video was shot early Friday morning inside a mall in Mesquite, Texas, near Dallas. Reports WFAA: "Mall spokesman Chad Hastings said the incident in the mall was handled swiftly by in-house security and the Mesquite Police Department. While some witnesses reported hearing gunshots, Hastings denied that, saying that sound was furniture being thrown."
A Walmart in Moultrie, Georgia, becomes the Thunderdome. Look at that woman grabbing her package like the Fascists are trying to snatch her baby away:
"BACK UP!" "GET BACK!!!" Here are shoppers trying to purchase phones at a store in Moline, Illinois. One bald guy in the center frame gets so overwhelmed he appears to lose consciousness around 1:05:
A fan compilation of Black Friday highlights. Head to 4:10 for the seething masses of price-cut-sensing flesh:
This guy tried trolling shoppers waiting in line at night, though I would suggest he wasted Thanksgiving driving around alone so he probably just trolled himself: