Once upon a time, Black Friday was a magical, mysterious night, a yearly tradition that landed somewhere between trick-or-treating and midnight mass. For shoppers with a mercenary bent, it offered a hint of danger, the thrill of the hunt, and the chance to save a few bucks on Christmas shopping.
Over the last few years, however, the late-night lineup to the shopping season has transformed from a playfully combative evening into a full-bore retail hellscape, a "Mad Shopper Beyond Thunderdome" free-for-all, complete with cuts, scrapes, stabbings, arrests and the occasional fatality.
Tales of retail danger notwithstanding, Black Friday doesn't seem to be going anywhere. As we head into this year's bout of retail combat, we wanted to reflect on where it came from, and recap some of the worst tales to come out of the annual shopping frenzy. With that in mind, we offer our Black Friday Pop Quiz. Think you're an expert on America's biggest retail holiday? Take a peek!
Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.