Online shopping stampede kills 8, injures dozens
Maggie Sims recalls the horrific moment when she walked into the living room, only to find her husband’s lifeless body slumped over the computer keyboard.
“I’ll never get that image out of my head. I used to love the holidays, but now they’re only a reminder of how ugly mankind is. Neil didn’t deserve this.”
She frantically called 911, desperate for paramedics to provide the slightest hope of resuscitation.
“He was covered in bruises. He had multiple bone fractures. His clothes were torn and his throat had been slit open. There was blood everywhere, even on the reindeer antler headband he was wearing… I’m at loss for words. I can’t do it.”
Maggie’s husband, Neil Sims, had fallen victim to Cyber Monday, the annual sales event that takes place online. Cyber Monday is the follow-up event to Black Friday — both days offering hot products at super-low one-day prices. Unfortunately, that type of competitive pricing causes holiday shoppers to stoop to their animal nature, creating a ‘survival of the fittest’ customer demographic.
Despite a high mortality rate, the introduction of Cyber Monday has become a huge hit for retailers. It’s not unusual for shoppers to camp out in front of their computers as early as Friday evening, so that they can be first in line when the clock strikes twelve on Monday morning. Some cyber shoppers have been known to speak nonstop at Thanksgiving dinner about how smart they are for choosing to save online, as opposed to paying full price for in-store items. In fact, Maggie Sims said Neil bragged earlier this week that he found a mariachi themed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer yard statue for 50% off. He also alluded to the possibility of buying a discounted 80” TV set — the same one his older brother was killed over during last year’s Black Friday fiasco at Walmart.
However, Neil and his brother are only two of many holiday casualties. Fellow resident Nancy Armen recalls her own Cyber Monday nightmare: “I remember staying up all night on Sunday. I kept alert, waiting for the online stores to open. I even knocked on the computer screen a couple of times to remind clerks that I was ready to come in. Then, all of a sudden, I blacked out. When I came to, I had a black eye, a bloody lip, and my purse was missing. I also suffered short-term amnesia. I really don’t know how it all happened.”
Eventually, Nancy found her purse in the driveway. But dread set in after she reached for her car keys and found bloody printouts of purchase confirmation emails. “This year I stayed away. I don’t want to be a part of the problem,” she said, holding back sniffles and tears.
Regardless of the gruesome attributes given to the new sales day, some are eager to maintain their holiday dignity, like tree farmer, John Meek, who plans to offer free hot chocolate to Christmas tree buyers. “We should be spreading comfort and joy, not death. If people want a holiday filled with bloodshed, then they should wait for Easter,” says Meek. “The three Wise Men didn’t have Cyber Monday, and yet they still got their gifts to Jesus on time. They didn’t have computers, or Santa, or FedEx.”
The recent Cyber Monday attacks have compelled conservative groups to offer old-fashioned gift services to the public. One of these groups is an Amish community that plans to promote Woodworker Wednesday, where the finest Amish carpenters handcraft personalized gifts and toys, only asking for a modest donation in return. Their aim is to create a safe and relaxing exchange that provides Yuletide glee and mitigates customer carnage.
Some major retailers criticize Woodworker Wednesday, calling it “a milquetoast move; one that chops away at the adrenaline rush shoppers kill for.”
When asked about her overall feeling on the topic, Maggie Sims replied, “Ultimately, the lowest price will cost you your life.”
Keep in mind, Sims has reluctantly set up a GoFundMe account, but would rather receive donations in person to cover her husband’s funeral expenses. Additional details to follow.