ELK RIVER, MN – Little Susie Wilper threw herself on the ground and banged her fists, crying and screaming for a new dolly. The tantrum was done in preparation for the upcoming holiday shopping season.“Did you know there are already Black Friday sales going on?” Susie asked. “I’m way behind on my technique!”
Every year the Christmas shopping season starts earlier and earlier, much to the chagrin of store personnel and parents everywhere. But for Susie, the extra time means more opportunities.
Susie recorded her fit using her webcam, a gift she got for her birthday after much pleading and yelling. After reviewing the playback, Susie noticed she had areas that needed improvement.
“I think my scream can be more high-pitched,” she said. “And here,” she pointed to her flailing legs, “I should really try and cover as much space as possible, hitting anything in reach.”
Mrs. Wilper noted that Susie’s episodes are the stuff of legend. “When we go into malls or department stores, the staff immediately know we’re there,” Mrs. Wilper said. “I think they have a picture of Susie in the back room,” she added. “They mostly try to avoid us and—did you hear something? Is Susie crying? Oh God, what does she want now?”
Derek Rattigan, the manager of a local Toys R’ Us, knows Susie very well. “She’s elevated the tantrum into an art form,” Derek said. “She really gets into it: her face goes red, she stops breathing. She’ll bite if you get too close. Christ, why don’t her parents just shop online?”
For Susie, the gifts aren’t why she reduces herself, and others, to tears. “I don’t really care about the presents,” Susie admitted. According to her parents, Susie plays with her new toys for an estimated two days then promptly discards them. “It’s really about power,” Susie said. “I’m just softening up my parents for when I’m 16 and want a car. That’s where the real action is.”