We talked to the first guy in line, who refused to call himself the
first guy in line until there were at least 300 people behind him.
"Until there's 300 people, there's no pride in it. It's shameful.
been doing this for years and years," he continued. "I'm old school. I
come from Wal-Mart. I could give the Russian commanders a run for their
We asked what time he had arrived to get his plum
post. He paused dramatically: "Just like a woman, I won't share my
age." (The word from others right behind him was he'd gotten there at
We thought that guy was entertaining until we got
to the third guy in line, one Senor Francisco Sorcia, an attorney from
Mexico City. If you think the local Best Buy pilgrims are fanatical, this
dude easily crushed everyone else in the Black Friday devotion
Sorcia flew up on Wednesday from Mexico just for Viernes Negro. Apparently, images of the
elbowing and pushing each other to buy, buy, buy the day after giving
thanks is televised in Mexico -- something like the Americans' take on
the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Sorcia decided this was one world
event he must take part in. This is actually Black Friday No. 5 for him,
and his first in San Francisco: "I come to buy, and then see what else
I see." He says with the import fees in Mexico, he'll be saving some
$1,200 on a laptop. He'd gotten there at 8:00 a.m., and is headed back
on Sunday -- hopefully with a cheap computer in tow.
directly behind him in line, Jorge Bazan, was amazed at the lack of
folks, which he attributed to the recession. He said last year, the
line was already curled around the building with 80 people by 11:00
a.m. Thanksgiving morning. This year, Bazan arrived at 8:00 a.m. and
was the fourth in line. His game plan was to sit in his lawn chair
until an hour before opening, and then whisk it off into his car to
prepare for the charge ahead.
By SF Weekly's count at 8:00
in the evening, there were 41 people lined up. We talked to No. 41, Roberto Muller,
who'd even brought a cot and a sleeping bag on top so his fiance could
catch some zzz's. "I came prepared." He'd brought a biography of Frida
Kahlo with him to pass the time during the freezing night until he
could hopefully make off with two cheap laptops at sunrise. Talk about physical suffering.