Recipe for violence on Black Friday
Easy Does It
So how bright was your Black Friday? This casual question put to a good friend a few days after Thanksgiving brought forth a horror story that had all the ingredients of ending badly in violence and injury.
Fortunately the chance meeting of two women in a Lower Makefield supermarket parking yard ended with a wise retreat by the elderly lady who backed her car out of a handicapped parking space unaware someone else was backing out of the opposite lane on a near-miss collision course that would end in bitter confrontation.
Meanwhile, congratulations to all the lucky survivors of Black Friday. I hope you came away from the turmoil of your after-midnight shopping spree at the mall and elsewhere without a scratch. May all the buttons on your coat and electronic devices still be attached as a bonus to survival mode.
Loyal reader and friend Pat (not her real name) is a witness to meltdown madness in a “what’s going on here?” moment.
Why do so many people welcome the opportunity to be combatants in these early holiday shopping wars at Toys Are Us or Bruises for the Asking or Stampedes for Fun and Profit?
They do it because of the bragging rights of successfully surviving the early holiday mayhem to meet the challenge of victory in the gift-buying combat zone. Now for that moment of truth, when victory depends on survival over adversity, whatever the purchase, with circumstances spinning out of control in lines too long and patience too short.
Here’s the scenario Pat witnessed in the parking lot that unfolded before many witnesses. It all began with the simple act of parking two cars, then escalating into a verbal confrontation between good and evil, a human drama worthy of all the suspense and mystery of a TV thriller turned real, and rapidly escalating into threats and the very real danger of violence.
Wars usually begin over a simple thing. A threat that carries weight but no substance, spoken when tensions are running high and stretch to the breaking point, and reaching combustion at an unreasonable level.
Here’s what Pat witnessed in that supermarket parking yard. An older woman in a car in a handicapped parking spot slowly backed her car out never noticing a younger woman in a regular space directly opposite the handicapped area throwing her gear into reverse at the same time.
The older woman continued in reverse. Suddenly noticing that she was going to be hit by the younger woman, she leaned on the horn. Realizing she was going to be hit, she shot forward, returning back to her spot. Brakes squealed outside and yelling and cursing from Miss Young.
Confused by the continued horn blowing, the handicapped older woman stopped her car in the middle of the island and just sat there not knowing what to do.
The young driver threw open her door in an uncontrolled rage and began yelling profanities as she advanced toward the older woman’s car.
Onlookers yelled at the young woman, telling her “it wasn’t cool doing that,” and she “had better stop and get control of herself.”
The woman with the mouth finally gave up, after remarking loudly that “the handicapped woman should stay off the road.” Still mumbling to herself, she returned to her car. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
It seemed to Pat and the other observers “Miss Young was the one who should stay off the road.”
Someone observed, “She’s known in the store to have a bad temper.”
“The irony was in her rush to get away from the store,” Pat said, “leading to rude and crude manners and ranting and raving that didn’t save her any time at all.”
The young woman’s strident voice carried all the way to the store where two market employees looked up from their duties.
“What’s happening?” one of them asked his buddy.
“Yeah, what’s going on?” the other wanted to know.
Pat filled them in. “These two employees should have told their manager to calm the situation,” she said. “If that didn’t work, then call the police to break up such a silly and needless display of temper. It was obviously abuse of the elderly.” What would you have done?