"Initial contacts with the infected are extremely traumatic, causing shock, panic, disbelief and possibly denial, hampering survivors' ability to deal with hostile encounters."
That is the Wikipedia description for the Zombie Apocalypse, but it is true of Black Friday as well. Two years ago, I took my husband out on Black Friday. We went to 3 stores. We started at Toys R' Us where we stood in a line outside of the store in the freezing temperatures for over an hour, then we were literally herded like cattle into the store and out again. His eyes were wide with disbelief as a woman several aisles over from us had a complete claustrophobic breakdown. We then went on to Wal-mart. He stood in line for a GPS while I went to get in line for digital picture frames. At the appointed time, when the deals were released, there was an audible roar from the center of the store. My husband had the following exchange with a young guy next to him in the GPS line:
Guy: "What was THAT??!"
Hubby: "The women."
Guy: "What is wrong with them?"
Hubby: "They're fighting over toys."
Guy: "What??! WHY??!"
Hubby: "Because there are only so many of them and because they're on sale."
Guy: "That's CRAZY!"
Hubby: "That's Black Friday. It is not for the faint of heart."
I have compiled a list of how the 2 are similar for your education and enjoyment:
1) Large masses of "people" all in mindless pursuit of the same thing.
Zombies are often depicted as slow-moving creatures in pursuit of brains, while Black Friday shoppers are in pursuit of deals. Seriously, the next time you see the news footage from your local Toys R' Us on Black Friday, it will not be hard for you to imagine them in pursuit of brains instead of Barbies.
2) The bigger the city, the worse it is.
I realize that the Black Friday insanity has intensified over the past decade, but 12 years ago, I participated when I lived in Huntsville, AL. It was no small town, but it was nothing like what I witnessed 2 years ago here in DFW. Similarly, in a Zombie Apocalypse, things are far worse in heavily populated areas.
3) Everyone has a plan for survival, very few actually work.
In a Zombie Apocalypse, everyone has a plan to survive. Similarly, Black Friday shoppers have plans -- they map out the stores, make detailed schedules, and arm themselves with coupons and discount shopper cards. The problem is that there are thousands of other people who are attempting the same things and they don't give a crap what your plan is. They will mow you down in a heartbeat to get to that $400 big screen TV that normally retails for $1,000, and then they'l pick over the stuff you dropped.
4) The roads are all blocked.
In a Zombie Apacolypse, the military blocks roads, mass exoduses of large urban areas cause traffic jams, and lack of services like tow-trucks and police turn highways into parking lots. If you have ever tried to go out to pick up something from the grocery store on Black Friday then you are painfully aware that the traffic sucks that day. Even if you don't have to venture close to an actual mall or mega-mart, just getting to and from Kroger can be a monumental task.
5) The smell of the crowd resembles rotting flesh.
I don't know if it is the fact that they were in such a hurry to get in line that they forgot to shower and wear deodorant, or if it is the fact that they're still digesting that huge Thanksgiving meal, but Black Friday shoppers, as a general rule, REEK. When you get that many people in a confined space the smells alone are enough to induce panic.
6) There is a complete lack of intelligent thought processes.
They fact that people camp outside of stores prior to the sales is indication enough that there has been a breakdown of civilization. But should you venture out to Wal-Mart or Toys R' Us on Black Friday, you will witness things like 60 year old women climbing over displays, seemingly normal people fighting over electronics and toys, and mothers who most likely try to teach their kids to be kind, caring, individuals ready to cut someone over the last "Tickle Me Elmo."
7) The affliction is highly contagious.
Just being pushed around by the masses is enough to turn you into one of them. Zombies infect you with a bite, but Black Friday shoppers can infect you simply by touching you, pressing up against you, and shuffling you around.
8) You strongly believe that you are the only 'normal' one.
The uninfected in a Zombie Apocalypse often feel as if they are sole survivors. When they are forced to enter infested areas they are fearful because they just know that they stick out like a sore thumb. When a normal person attempts to go shop on Black Friday they have the same feeling. However, much like the Zombies who are unaware of their infection, Black Friday Shoppers are completely oblivious to the fact that their behavior is not normal.
I wish you all luck in surviving the Black Friday Zombie Apocolypse. I will be sequestering myself inside my home, eating leftover Thanksgiving food, watching football, and praying for all of those poor souls out shopping.