You’ve heard of Black Friday, the darkest day for American capitalism; Cyber Monday, where everyone gets out their latent shopping aggression online; now there’s even Grey Thursday, as retailers open on Thanksgiving Eve to get an edge on the competition. But, friends, have you heard of Brown Friday?
On today’s day-after-Thanksgiving madness, in their frenzy to GET THOSE DEALS, shoppers will make all sorts of bad decisions when it comes to properly evacuating their bowels. In fact, stores across America are already inevitably besmirched by poop. All of which is no doubt exacerbated by the fact that the entire country has just spent the past 24 hours eating their biggest meal of the year. (For the ones who make it to the toilet, Roto-Rooter sees a “substantial uptick in calls” for service on the day after Thanksgiving, says spokesman Paul Abrams. “Usually between 47 to 51 percent.”)
It’s a phenomenon that you likely haven’t heard about unless you’ve worked in retail, but there are some scary stories out there if you know where to look.
Reddit user Dave_Versus_Volcano posted his story about working at a Best Buy one Brown Friday. When an estimated 1,500 people entered the building at 6:00 a.m., the line for the checkout snaked deep into the store, all the way into the appliance department. After responding to a customer’s complaint, the employees discovered a “turd of good size” and “solid consistency” sitting in one of the dryers. “A lady who did not want to lose her spot opened the dryer, and shat right there in front of everyone,” he reported.
Some commit their Brown Friday acts even more brazenly, says Reddit user galindafiedify, who posted a similar story of working in a department store. During a chaotic midnight opening, a man was spotted doing something suspicious. Shortly thereafter, customers rapidly lost their holiday cheer as they realized the mysterious substance collecting at the bottom of the escalator... was actually shit. “One of the managers showed up and tried calming people down. Housekeeping was called and they turned off the escalator and barricaded it off. Now, while all this was happening people had been tracking shit all over the tile floor,” galindafiedify writes. “Later I found out that the guy just dropped his pants at the bottom of the escalator and pooped.”
Some Brown Friday customers don’t even use their own feces. Old Navy employee Amanda Atkinson was cleaning up clothing under the clearance racks when the smell hit her. “Somebody had gone out of their way to stuff into the very center of the pile, not the bottom, mind you, but the dead center of the pile, a shitty diaper,” she told Raw Story. “To the point that we couldn’t do anything with the clothes, we had to throw it all out. We couldn’t even go through the clothes and see what we were throwing out because it was just too much of a biohazard. We just threw it all in trash bags and took it outside.”
Why do people do this? Pooping in stores—malls, specifically—is actually not altogether rare (just search for the videos), for the same reasons that people commit all sorts of deviant behavior in public. But while some of the Brown Friday incidents are certainly the result of what you might be able to call inconvenience—like, say, not being able to find a mall restroom when you really, really gotta go—it would appear that others are trying to take advantage of what’s already an anarchistic situation. Throwing fecal fuel on the fire, as it was.
Personally, I feel horrible for the employees working Brown Friday. Not only do they have to clean up after our ridiculous shopping spree shit, but now they have to clean up actual shit as well.
This story was first published in 2013 and has been updated.
Image: AP Photo/John Minchillo