"I am not above arresting nobody tonight and I certainly ain't above tasering anybody who runs through that door," hollered a police officer over a crowd of more than 100 people standing outside of Belk Thursday night for the infamous Black Friday savings.
Black Friday typically occurs the day after Thanksgiving; the first day of traditional Christmas shopping, millions of American consumers are drawn to retailers by special offers.
This year, more than a dozen major retailers actually opened their doors around 8 p.m. Thursday, right around the time everyone had just finished their Thanksgiving meals.
Although I enjoy time with family, this early opening gave me the chance to escape the awkward dinner conversations of, "You aren't 2 years old anymore?" and meet with my friends, who I was ecstatic to see after a long semester apart.
Shivering outside Belk, we waited for a solid two hours in hopes of receiving either the $1,000 gift card given randomly to one of the first 100 entering the store at 8 p.m., or one of the minor gift cards ranging from $500 to $5.
After the cop rambled his orders out, much like the directions heard before entering a roller coaster, the ride started.
A surge of adrenaline rushed through me as I shoved my way through the plethora of middle-aged woman flooding through the unhinging doors.
Upon entering Belk, I can't tell you much of what happened, perhaps because I was overwhelmed by the number of people bumping into me. All I could see was a beacon of light that read, 'Boots $19.99.'
I made my way to the island of boots and quickly went from trying to find a pair I liked to just grabbing my size off each table. I was suddenly knocked over by a woman on the floor who grabbed me by the ankles and began moaning in a zombie-like manner, "Nooo my boots!"
She refused to release me until I handed them over.
A fight broke out to the right of me as a woman screamed profanities at a little old lady in a wheel chair who unintentionally snagged a pair of boots from the stack this woman had formed for herself. I couldn't help but laugh as the elderly lady wheeled off with the boots and the flustered woman's husband had to restrain her from chasing after the senior citizen's getaway chair.
After grabbing a few pairs of boots, I made my way to the clothing section where I found an unexpectedly large amount of husbands guarding nests of stacked boots that their wives were running over to them.
I ended the night with two pairs of boots, and after applying my $10 gift card, I paid about $30. I left the mall in utter shock. Where had the polite Tennesseans I had grown accustomed to for the past seven years gone?
A Huffington post article mentions Tennessee as the absolute worst place to go on Black Friday. It was reported that Wal-Mart shopping Tennesseans "fight over everything from electronics to towels."
The promise of savings transforms these kind-hearted Southern belles from housewives to warriors willing to be tased and punched just to save a few bucks? For the middle-aged women, it's a way to get all their Christmas shopping done in one night at a bargain. Kids, do you even know what "Santa" had to go through to get you the new Xbox One? As for college kids, it's a way to buy winter clothes at a reasonable price.
Either way there's no denying the generous savings and pandemonium of Black Friday. Whether it's worth the bruises and black eyes are up to you to decide.
Kaila Curry is a freshman in English. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.