I survived Walmart the day after Thanksgiving.
But it was harrowing.
The wife and her mom wanted to go shopping, but being in a rural area, the only thing within a 3 hour drive was the Walmart (WM). So with a list in her hand, we headed into the store at 9pm, with hopes of buying stuff at 10. She bravely went to the video game area (by the veggies) for gifts for the niece and nephew, I headed to the bed sheet area (near the frozen food) for new sheets for our new bedroom in the loft, the MIL went for board games (garden center) for gifts for the niece and nephew, and FIL went to electronics for a BluRay player for us. In place and waiting by 9:05. We walked past the local PD officer (just one. And I think he knew he was screwed when the rioting started).
9:15 at the sheets. There are several stocking carts of sheets and comforters. Several patrons have punched through the plastic wrap to put their hands in the handles of the comforter bag. They will not let go, and give stinky looks to anyone who eyes them. Other soccer moms have ripped the other plastic wrap on the sheets and are moving their selections to the bottom rack of the cart so they can easily grab in 45 minutes. I'm situated within 2 feet of the sheets with my shopping cart. The soccer moms have started to do the Black Friday math: they are counting the number of sheet sets, calculating how many they can grab, and who, surrounding them, will be out of luck and may get desperate.
It's sheets, people. Sheets. If I miss out, I won't shed a tear over it. It's sheets.
9:30 still at the sheets. The look on the people surrounding me at the sheets is seriously starting to scare me. I start to assess the situation and am seriously thinking exit strategies. I text my wife, letting her know that when SHTF, this is what it will look like. Finally, the woman in front of me (who pushed me out of the way 20 minutes ago to get up against the sheets) asked me what I needed. I told her K&Q sets, and if they were to fall off the cart and was kicked towards me, I would no longer block her exit (I needed to get out of there, my exits were starting to be blocked). She kicked me the sheets, I hid them under my coats in the basket and got the hell out of there. My wife is telling me that they are about to flash mob the video games and she was 2 feet from the games, and was unable to escape.
9:45 in the men's section, near the $9 jeans (I go through a lot, and raw sewage has a tendency to stain.). It's more of a spread out area, and a nice collection of older men are standing around. By now, you can taste the tension in the air, and it's getting worse. There was a screaming noise from the sheets and I can see workers cutting the plastic wrap and people running to it and from it. It seems to be that they were preparing for 10pm, but it was useless. Some frantic employee screamed over the PA about how we cannot touch the merchandise until 10pm. The workers came over and unwrapped the jeans. We helped them with all intentions of helping ourselves when we were done. I was the youngest (35) out of the maybe 8 people over there. This.... woman that looked like she never missed a buffet grabs me and screams at me that we are not to touch the stuff until 10. I came about a half a second from removing her hand from me, when I told her we were helping her employee. She backed off for a minute. We helped them finish, so they can go on to the next warzone.
I reached over to grab my 2 pairs of jeans, then she came running over, grabbing me again (I must be so studly that women can't keep their hands off of me). As she yelled at me again, I informed her that if she touches me again, I will break that hand, and grabbing me like that was assault. She finally backed off. As the spokesman for the jeans people, I told her if we have to put our stuff off, then everyone else that passed by with 10pm deals had put theirs back. And good luck with that. She finally left, and even the old Spanish man thought he was unfairly harassing me. Oh, well. As soon as she ran off, screaming at some random person who had whatever in their basket, I grabbed my jeans (we all did) and moved on.
9:55pm. My poor wife. The mob has really deteriorated by now. One of the employees (teenager) is standing on the pallets of games screaming at them. The mob is shaking the pallets getting more and more frenzied. I'm 50 feet away, standing on the shopping cart to try to see the wife. No luck. The employee is threatening to shut the whole operation down, the cop is just standing there, probably wondering what to do, and the crowd is starting to rip through the plastic, grabbing what they want, and running. My wife reported that people were just grabbing 10 games or videos (all the same title) and running. I did the math: 500 games, 500 people = 400 people will get shafted and will riot harder. She comes over, with a handful of games, all different titles, but none of the ones she wanted. We head across the store to find the MIL and FIL. MIL got into a fight over Candyland with some other person (we were surprised she wasn't arrested), but made it out with a ton of loot. My FIL found us as we checked out, with the 10pm special BluRay and the 12am special BluRay. He somehow got the cheaper, better one and I didn't ask questions.
Thankfully, we were out of the store by 10:15. My wife said "never again."
The sheeple were clawing over each other for sheets. Imagine if it had been the last can of spam?
Oh, and by the way, my sister spawned her offspring Friday. Her water broke in Home Depot. But not to worry, she still got the grill that she got there early to fight over for a sale. And she was on bedrest for a low placenta or something (very dangerous for her to walk around), but needed to go to sales. 3 weeks early. Yup, that's my really smart sister. Dumbass.