Family camps out for Black Friday sale nine days early

Last year the Black Friday sale line wrapped around the whole building at Best Buy. Photo via NowPublic.comLast year the Black Friday sale line wrapped around the whole building at Best Buy. Photo via NowPublic.comAnd the award for most horrifying display of consumerism goes to... the Davenport family of St. Petersburg, Florida. They've been camping outside of the Best Buy at Tyrone Square since 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, making them the first family in the country to line up for Black Friday sales. They have ten family members taking turns waiting and two tents set up in front of the opening doors.

"We're here really early this year because we've always been second, third and fourth and down the line," Lorie Davenport told WTSP news. "We're tired of not being first and we figured we've put in six years, we want to be first." The family has been camping out for six straight years to land the best deals. Last year they saved $1,000 on a TV and this year they have their eyes on another TV and some laptop computers.

The manager of the Tyrone Square Best Buy plans to join the Davenports on Friday to present them with an award and give them a special gift for being the "First Family of Black Friday." Is this the type of behavior that warrants an award and a prize these days? Camping outside of a store in a tent for nine days in order to land a great deal? What about living your lives, going to work, and celebrating Thanksgiving with your loved ones? This family is going to spend Thanksgiving in the cold outside a retail giant to get a cheap TV.

In recent years, Black Friday sales have become increasingly competitive and intense, with stores offering outrageous discount, but only at certain times, and opening their doors at unreasonable hours of the night-gestures that have created riots and even stampedes. In 2008, a mob of shoppers outside the Valley Stream, Long Island Wal-Mart smashed through the front doors and trampled 34-year-old employee Jdimytai Damour to death. Four other shoppers, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, were injured in the riot, while others climbed vending machines to avoid the chaos.

Consumerism to this extreme degree is horrifying. With post-Thanksgiving sales in our futures, perhaps we should take time to give thanks for what we already have and not put our lives at risk for a TV, Xbox, Tickle-Me-Elmo, or Zhu Zhu Pets. Let's remember we are still in a period of recession. Yes, we are looking to save money, but you can buy gifts at bargain prices every day of the year, and you can also shop online (yay, Cyber Monday) to avoid the mob scene. Let's think about how far we're willing to go to get a present we may not even really need. You know what we plan on consuming on Black Friday? Leftovers!