Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday? No, Thank you... Is There Any Pie Left?

Big Fun (NOT) at Wal-Mart on Black Friday

Over the years, the day after Thanksgiving has been one of the biggest retail shopping days of the year. The idea was that it ended the red in on the ledgers and put businesses "into the black" as people began to shop for the 4th quarter holidays - i.e. Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. The title of biggest shopping day was passed to December 26th some years back; what you in the UK would call Boxing Day. People here go for enormous quantities of half-off merchandise on the 26th.

Risking life and limb to save $5.00

As more and more money was to be made, the boundaries began to be stretched, and somewhere along the line the whole idea mutated like an uncontrolled and untreated tumor. The stores began to open earlier and earlier on Friday morning, and the lines outside at 0-dark-30 began to stretch around the building.

Then the lines became queues and crushes, and then people started to die in the rush to get through the doors when they finally opened at 05:00 or whenever the floodgates were opened. Some stores this year were actually open on Thanksgiving.

No, I was here first. Gimme.

I stood in line seven or eight years ago - when things were foolish but not dangerous - for a PC monitor - and saved nearly 70% off of the regular price - but nothing since then. It was unpleasant... and needless, really. Twenty years ago I used to get up early (that's normal for me, anyway), find a bench in a large mall to sit in and just watch the hordes hurry from store to store, free from the need to participate. THAT was fun. Now I'd have to check to make sure my insurance covered such folly.

For those of you who will be out shopping this weekend - good luck! Today I slept in a couple of hours later than usual, and have nothing whatsoever planned. I'm staying in, watching a few movies I've had lined up to see and grazing on leftovers from yesterdays bacchanalia.

By the way, today's images were all pulled from the internet. See you again on Monday!

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