Every year, Black Friday brings us tales of people getting egregiously injured while pursuing rock-bottom bargains that may not actually exist. But the truth is, boring old lines transform normal people into maniacs 365 days of the year. Here are four times people just lost their shit queuing up.
#4. Men Pretend to Be Cops to Skip GTA V Line
On the eve of the release of the beloved tea sandwich simulator Grand Theft Auto V, three guys from Staten Island devised a scheme to cut the 100-person-deep line at their local Best Buy: They would impersonate police officers working security.
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Customers thought something was off when they kept threatening to charge people with stars.
That's right -- rather than standing around and futzing with their phones for a few hours, these guys decided to commit a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and pretend to do work in order to buy the game literally tens of minutes earlier.
Their ruse involved an undercover cop car bought at a police auction and a fake police shield. And they would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for those pesky, uh, actual police, who arrested them after pulling them over for a traffic offense as they drove away. Hey, at least they now own a game where they can enact all the virtual revenge they want.
#3. A-Hole Recruits Homeless People to Wait for iPhones
If Apple released 365 separate products a year, every day would be Black Friday. So what do you do when you are a simple businessman who wants to buy a bunch of iPhone 5s but doesn't want to stand in line? You treat some Americans almost as crappily as the overseas laborers who made the damn phones.
This past September, a Pasadena man went to a Los Angeles homeless shelter and filled a van up with destitute people to whom he offered $40 to stand in line in front of an Apple store overnight. When other people in line realized what was happening, they mobbed the entrepreneur, along with his homeless recruits.
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"Where are we as a society when you can't trust your bum-minions not to betray you?"
Police escorted him away, but couldn't arrest the guy, since "acting like a dick" isn't illegal (and most of us would be screwed if this was so). And while his brilliant plan failed, it was worse for his homeless "employees," who not only didn't get paid for standing in line all night, but were also out of a ride.
#2. Souls of the Damned Camp Out for Black Friday (11 Days Ahead of Time)
This year, people started lining up outside a particular Best Buy in Ohio a full week and a half before Black Friday. All of the unbelievably early birds have tents, some complete with microwaves, televisions, and heaters. Most have been doing this for a couple years, but one family has been at it for more than a decade.
"I wanted to stop three or four years ago, and my kids make me do it because they like coming down.
We usually have Thanksgiving dinner brought to the tent ..." -Actual quote
The craziest part of all this is that these parking lot Bedouins started camping out before Best Buy released its Black Friday specials. If we lived in a universe of excessive cosmic cruelty, Best Buy would randomly decide to only discount a limited stock of typewriters, Betamaxes, and abacuses.
#1. Attempted Homicides Don't Deter Sneaker Line
The stereotype is that women love shoes, but in reality, men take theirs even more seriously. And no matter what Chris Rock tried to teach them, some guys are willing to risk life and limb for foot coverings.
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You guys know Like Mike was fictional, right?
In October, a dozen people lined up outside a Delaware store before dawn in hopes of securing the newest Air Jordan sneakers. Two of the men in line got into an argument (probably about Michael Jordan's efficacy as an outfielder for the Birmingham Barons). The next thing anybody knew, both guys had gunshot wounds.
The police were called, and medical services carted both men off to the hospital, but everyone else chose to stay in line. (The shoes still managed to sell out in 15 minutes.) We're not saying that a third person in the group must have instigated the argument just so he could move up two spots. No, we're simply asking "Who the fuck stays in a line when there's a chance they might die?"
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"Counterpoint: Guy in front of me dies, and *BOOM* I move up a spot."