(South Bend, IN) — Paul Burnheim planned on doing some Christmas shopping early this Cyber Monday. “I waited in line at a computer for seven hours, just waiting for the clock to strike midnight,” said Paul, 59. “I mean, I wanted to get all the good deals like: 50 cent beanie babies and Chinese produced toys made from quality lead paint.”
I inform Paul that he didn’t have to wait at his computer to keep his place in line for Cyber Monday deals. “Oh sure, that’s what they all say! You were probably waiting for me to leave my computer so you can all the good deals for yourself,” rants Paul who then follows it with a hardy laugh. “You’re not fooling me, pal!”
Paul, who is now in a full-sized body cast, sits suspended above his hospital bed from a series of nylon wires. He proudly boasts that they are similar wires to that of the ones used in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Paul does his best to make eye contact with me while not having the ability to move his neck due to the body cast that encapsulates him. Paul takes a second to get his composure and tells the tale of his Cyber Monday trampling.
“It all happened so quick,” reflects Paul. “So I head to a department store like anybody does their online shopping,” he continues in a matter-of-fact tone. I ask him why he doesn’t shop from home on his own computer. “Well, the people at Macy’s have always let me use their kiosk at the front of the store to order items when they didn’t have them in-stock. I’ve just grown accustomed to it I guess.” My confusion starts to build at this point. “Plus, I don’t own a computer – that’s how the government tracks you. Everyone knows that,” Paul concludes.
“I see this whole line of people outside the department store. I figured they must be in line for some rock concert tickets going on sale or something,” said Paul. The interview takes a brief delay as Paul reaches for his juice drink box on the hospital night stand and falls from his suspended wires, onto the floor. Paul picks himself up and sits himself back onto his bed.
“So, the front of the store is locked, but I am able to jimmy a window in the back and show myself in,” states Paul in a nonchalant manner. “I’m just minding my business, doing some shopping at the front kiosk, then 30 minutes later the doors open and I get run over by the crazy mob that was waiting outside!”
I ask Paul if he may have snuck into the store early Friday morning instead of Monday and that the crowd may have been the Black Friday Crowd. “No, I’m positive it was Monday… Wait a second,” Paul stops mid sentence. “My Uno League meets every Sunday night, but this week we had to meet on Thanksgiving night instead. That’s what threw me off and made me think it was Monday! Guess I was there Friday morning. Oh man… Goddamnit!”
Paul emphasized the fact that it doesn’t matter if he broke into a department store and tried to shop on a computer during Black Friday. “What people need to remember is the fact that I got trampled. I blame the department stores. First they started opening their doors earlier and earlier. Then they started staying open later to compete with Cyber Monday. People are just idiots…”