Residents of Durham reportedly awakened this morning to the ground shaking. Many thought their town was experiencing an earthquake, though tremors in North Carolina, outside of "Cameron Crazies," or North Carolina basketball teams winning national championships, are non-existent.
As spectators sipped Starbucks, ate biscuits, lined up along walkways and stood on counters in large department stores, one man was injured at Northgate mall after taking part in the bull city's, annual "running of the shopper" ritual.
Ritual participant, Fernando Ruiz was taken to Durham Regional Hospital and treated for a deep puncture wound in his side after being gored by a shopper's stale croissant.
"I didn't know what hit me," Ruiz said in broken English. "First, there was a line, then wildness. Then, my wife saw blood running down my side."
A security detail at the mall said that there was very little that they could have done to prevent Mr. Ruizes injury.
"We had all our men dispatched where they needed to be," said Frank Gunn, supervisor for mall security services.
"Mr. Ruiz was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Other spectators said that after rockets went off at precisely 5 am to signal the beginning of the ritual, Mr. Ruiz was witnessed running in a crowd of shoppers and stampeding through the mall.
"It was as if the gates to purgatory swung wide open," said one shopper, "and the crowd was sucked inside."
The reveling went on for several hours as participants winded their way through mall corridors to the north entrance where everyone was herded by police and mall security units into cattle trailers parked in the mall's parking lot.
Then, they were transported to the local Consumer Credit Union for debt counseling and intermittent treatments of "sticker shock."
The croissant was reportedly purchased at Burger King as part of a value meal. Some deal.
In other news today, Michael Jackson was reported as one of this year's top-earning dead celebrities. Others included: Elvis Pressley, John Lennon, Charles Schultz, George Harrison, Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, Dr. Suess, TuPac Shamir, Marylyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, James Brown, Bob Marley and James Dean.