by John Breneman
Despite scattered reports of violence, U.S. shoppers sustained minimal
casualties during the first few days of the holiday shopping blitz that
began last Friday.
But rampant consumerism turned deadly at a Wal-Mart in Kentucky yesterday
when two shoppers were slain by a heavily armed Robosapien, a remote-control
robot that is one of this year’s hottest gifts. Police are trying to
determine whether the toy acted alone or was operated by a disgruntled
The death toll now stands at three — a Texas tot was crushed by a giant
SpongeBob SquarePants — but analysts say it could climb as determined
consumers battle for coveted items under the pressure of a Dec. 25 deadline.
The annual battle to purchase material goods for Jesus’s birthday began the
day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday) with a coordinated pre-dawn
assault on the nation’s retailers.
Bargain-hunting consumers coast-to-coast mobbed the nearest Wal-Mart and
mauled their local malls, displaying a fierce Toys R Us vs. Them mentality
while doing an estimated $80 billion in damage to their bank accounts.
Authorities say some of the heaviest skirmishes took place at strife-torn
Other injuries sustained during the barrage of transactions:
— A Pennsylvania woman took some plastic shrapnel from two shopping carts
involved in a high-speed crash at Sears.
— Six shoppers were flattened while trying to grab the last $139
flat-screen TV at a New Jersey electronics store. One lost a lot of blood
and needed a transfusion of fresh high-density plasma.