Credit cards, coupons . . . and pepper spray?

In what alternate universe does an item produced in mass and offered in quantity become seen as rare and coveted to the point that it propels normally sane people into acts bordering on insanity?

 

Apparently, this one, here, today — right now.

 

Yes, welcome to the Christmas shopping season of 2011, when pepper spray is an essential right there with credit cards, store coupons and pocket calculators.

 

Incidents of frenzied shopping, of elbow-throwing consumers and of sellers devising gimmicks that turn a simple act of trade into an elemental act of survival are no more new than they are novel; but this year’s embarrassments appear more frequent and troubling, partly because of the media’s appetite for them and because a few of the incidents happened here in North Carolina.

 

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