Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crapshoot


We used to go to Las Vegas once in awhile-more when my in laws had a winter home there. This is my husband's favorite place to visit. Oddly, it's not the gambling he likes best, it's just the desert, overall action and people watching. At least I think that's what he likes. People in this environment are fairly amazing creatures and make for great study material.

We were at the Mirage one night, getting ready to go out for dinner, when a man at the craps table keeled over. I didn't see him collapse but did see EMS doing CPR. The man was purple from the chest up. Suffice it to say, things did not look so good for this guy. The most amazing thing was that the play around him slowed but never really stopped. Fellow players at the craps table looked antsy waiting for play to resume. Tables around this dramatic human spectacle didn't stop their games. People at slot machines kept feeding their one armed bandits looking for an ultimate payoff and occasionally glancing at the drama unfolding on the casino floor. Maybe they were hoping for a different payoff than the craps player got. Pit bosses looked annoyed and not in the least compassionate-as though this event was cutting into profit. They should have considered taking odds on his survival. Craps man's face was still purple when EMS loaded him onto a gurney and whisked him away. Dead. I'll always remember the dead guy at the craps table, more importantly, I'll never forget the human behavior surrounding him.

What triggered this memory is the event that happened at a Wal-Mart store in Long Island Friday. An employee was trampled to death when a crazed crowd broke down the door to get in to begin their holiday shopping spree. What a horrible way for this young man to die. The worst of the story is that after the tragedy, shoppers were angry they had to leave when police closed the store down. After all, hadn't they waited on line for hours for this place to open? This is why I stay home on Black Friday. Bad tempered and ill mannered people are not something I look forward to during the holidays. Were the freebies and discounts worth the life of a 34 year old man? I think not.



8 comments:

Miss 376 said...

Makes you wonder with some people. Many years ago, I worked in a shop. The fire alarm sounded and we practically had to drag people out. One women said is there really a fire! I wasn't going to wait to find out. Is a few pounds of groceries worth risking a life for

flydragon said...

I am constantly amazed when I hear about the "me first, me only" mentality of some people although I shouldn't be anymore after watching the news everyday. Something like this leaves me totally disgusted, depressed and wanting to move out to the middle of nowhere to get away from people altogether. So sad.

Flutterby said...

Just wondering, were most of these crazed, mad, idiotic black Friday shoppers women? Scary, scary thought.

laurie said...

it's a truly appalling story, yet somehow not particularly surprising.
which makes it all the more appalling, i think.

Rositta said...

When people around the world see the spectacle that is "black Friday" is it any wonder that respect for Americans is diminished? This story has made the blogosphere thruout Europe and the comments aren't pretty. America is the country that is being held responsible for the financial meltdown yet people still stand in line for hours to spend money they don't have. Trampling a human being to death, what the heck, not a big deal if we need to get to those bargains. It is a sad time for the world and for humanity...ciao

Rudee said...

Rositta, I think greed knows no boundaries. Plenty of Canadians cross our border to take advantage of deep discounts and crowd our markets. This event was very sad but I fail to see why it would whet the appetite for more America bashing.

Brenda said...

Your story reminded me of a story my friend told me about one of the first few hockey games she went to with her husband. It was years ago, before they had the Plexiglas shields all around. The puck hit a lady in the head and knocked her out and she lay there bleeding while everyone else around her kept watching the game. I sometimes wonder if some of us have some type of denial thing that goes off that refuses to believe what is happening at the time. That may explain some things but it is sad to think that people are just that insensitive or cruel.

Betty Flocken said...

What a horrible story! I remember years ago, a fire broke out in a casino and many died because they wouldn't leave! I can't put together "CHRISTMAS" and trampling a man... Maybe it's the M.S. still; but it's just too confusing. It's good to see your posts again!