My first, and likely only, Black Friday experience was post-Thanksgiving dinner, 2013. I naively wandered my way back to the Xbox 360 display at my local – wait for it – Wal-Mart, where I managed to snag a coveted game console. I then watched in disbelief as shoppers descended like locusts, narrowly keeping the peace under the watchful eye of gun-toting law enforcement officers. After taking a soft elbow to the ribs and scurrying away, I made haste for the less chaotic areas of the store.
My experience paled in comparison to the 20 or so Los Angeles shoppers in 2011, who were actually pepper-sprayed by a fellow Xbox-seeker. Several of them were injured in the ensuing melee [source: D'Innocenzio and Anderson]. Incredibly, the perpetrator paid for her Xbox and left the store, only to turn herself in to authorities the following day [source: The Week staff]. Talk about a serious case of buyer's remorse.