Black Pepper Friday?

The region of the United States I used to be from is well known for setting trends.  Folks there are the pioneers of all sorts of innovations, good and bad.  A couple of holiday seasons back, prospective customers in Palm Springs were shooting each other over the availability of some price-reduced TVs.  I’m glad to say that sort of dangerous behavior has evolved and improved since.

Last night, at a Wal-Mart in the San Fernando Valley, a woman began pepper-spraying other shoppers, including pregnant women and children, to gain favorable access to sale items.  She did it more than once, in different areas of the overcrowded megastore.  Twenty people reported injuries.  The euphemism used by the police, who have not found or arrested her yet?  “Competitive shopping.”

(Here’s the news version:

This story has everything; materialism, corporate greed, ignorance and want, PLUS the use of chemical weapons on innocent people now becoming an acceptable practice!

There’s so much irony here, I may be protected from anemia permanently.  But don’t worry.  As they explained on Fox News, “Pepper spray is essentially a food product.”


Filed under humor, Money, symbolism

21 responses to “Black Pepper Friday?

  1. The world gets weirder by the day. There is a sadness to this that I can’t find words to describe.

    • Despite being a highly opinionated person, I have a hard time finding words for it also Robyn. What kind of person desires discounted plastic crap made in China badly enough to pepper spray a child?

      I will offer that in my own experience, and in the written chronicles of history, these waves of insanity come and go. Countries and cultures all seem to have periods of moral entropy, and cycles of re-evaluation.

  2. I do not care whether it was technically “unlawful assembly.” Common sense and just being reasonable has to enter into the picture some where. You do not use violent measures in nonviolent porotests. Where is the humanity? The world does get weirder every day.

    • Yes, reason does have to enter somewhere. Perhaps it will have to enter the picture through lawsuits from innocent people who’ve been injured. There’s been a kind of gradually growing tradition of unreasonableness about when and how to use weapons. Cops that go too far give the ones who try so hard to act with proper restraint a bad name. Too many people who aren’t really trained or qualified to use weapons have too many of them. I share your feeling that it’s out of balance, Debbie.

  3. Pepper spraying others so that she could grab more discounted cheap merchandise — almost, unbelievable — sigh.

    • IF they manage to find and arrest her, I can already imagine her excuse.
      ” Hey! I didn’t shoot nobody!”

      It’s a severe distortion of values. I sure don’t know how to fix it, except in myself.

  4. LittleBro

    It appears she turned herself in, and they are talking about charging her with battery.

    Which, naturally, led me to wonder why she isn’t also being charged with “a salt”…

  5. Pie

    Charged with “a salt.” Your brother’s funny Mikey – I like it! But back to the main point.

    The moral compass of pepper spray woman has shot off to who knows where and I doubt it will ever return. Anyone who’s willing to pepper spray children to get to some cheap piece of tat has completely lost the plot and has an extreme distortion of what’s really important. The incident was mentioned here in London by a radio presenter. I may had mis-heard, because she was so shocked she was speaking faster and faster as she read out what had happened, but I believe ‘Pepper’ had her own children in tow while she was doing this. If this is true, I feel sorry for those kids. Unless there is some kind of intervention, they will be the future dysfunction that you, the American people will be paying for. As for the Fox anchor woman, I stopped listening after a while because she was talking total nonsense and it soon became white noise. I’m so glad I don’t have access to Fox news. My blood pressure would hit the roof.

    • I’ve seen enough violence up close that I tend to dissociate emotionally when it occurs. I do find it tragic that people find reasons to hurt each other, but the reasons they choose for justifying it I find absurd and perversely amusing to consider.

  6. Oh God, reading this made my stomach turn. It’s just so shocking! I work at a place like that and can’t even begin to imagine how awful it must have been for the victims. Horrible, absolutely horrible.

  7. How crazy! The sad thing though is that everyone blames the woman and she’s as much a victim of this crazy society as everyone else. There are many causes and conditions that come together to create a situation like that; it’s not all about one woman.

  8. I appreciated Sandra’s comment above. It’s so hard to tease out one factor as the cause of such behavior. But I do feel so very sad when I read about it.

    • I’m sad when people get hurt for the wrong reasons too. Maybe heightened discussion over whether or not being driven into buying frenzies should be avoided will be the silver lining in the cloud of unknowing.

  9. Deb

    I have a client with an ebay obsession, which became a serious financial problem for her. She explained that part of the attraction was getting a message “you won” which had a positive effect on her sense of self and viability in the world. The items she “won” were not ever of lasting value, but the moment where she alone was victorious in this endeavor was quite addictive. Understandable in theory, but still a stretch for me to really understand. Would love to hear others thoughts on this..

    • I’m no psychologist, but it sounds like other gambling addictions and forms of low self-esteem compensation I’ve encountered. It’s the validation of winning at anything; penny slot machines, video poker, coupon contests, carnival games, horse or dog races, sports betting. It’s collecting ribbons or trophies because you don’t love or appreciate who you are without them. The same urges underlie impulse buying, and perhaps competitive shopping as well.

  10. Pete Howorth

    What is Black Friday about? I’m English and we don’t have that over here, is it just the one day where everything is dirt cheap then back to normal prices on Saturday? What is the point of that?

    What is the point of pepper spraying someone then turning yourself in? Dizzy cow.

  11. We raise a lot of cattle here, Pete. Black Friday is a way to exploit the herd mentality of shoppers. It’s another way of saying “Big, big, SALE! You’ll never see deals like this again!” They stampede the discount megastores. The prices don’t really revert on Saturday. They stay low through New Years. Most people never notice that.

    As for turning herself in, she apparently thinks she’ll get some lenience for doing it. There were witnesses, and there was camera footage. That, plus the outrage over her action, meant it was only a matter of time before she would be caught. She’s trying to avoid having a torch-bearing mob find her first. But I’m glad you dropped by for your HOLIDAY BASKET:

    (Pete’s a right sort. He’s got attitude and edge, and if you try to pull one over on him, he’s there to sort you out, though he’d just as soon laugh about it. A working-class hero is something to be. )

    • Pete Howorth

      The woman should have worn some sort of clown mask, bound to get away then, boom.

      (:D Thanks! If you want conscience and sensitivity, you can go and visit some childs blog!)

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