Posted by: laughs4dads | November 26, 2010

The Day in Black

The black plague. Blackbeard the pirate. Black hats in cowboy movies. Black widow spiders.

In our culture, black often denotes something bad, something you wouldn’t go out of your way to participate in or meet up with.

How, then, to explain the insanity that occurs on Black Friday?

You’ve seen the commercials for a week now, each store trying to outdo the others, not by having bigger sales, but by opening earlier. “Black Friday sales start at 4 am!” “Doors open at 3:30 am!” “12:01 am–we can’t start any earlier than that!” “Our Black Friday starts on Halloween!”

And if you shill it, they will come. Morons standing out in the cold, lined up outside the mall at some ungodly hour of the morning, stuffed and drowsy from Thanksgiving dinner, with the glazed looks in their eyes that indicates some sort of mass hypnosis. Meanwhile, tired-looking news reporters stand by, ready to interview the idiots (“Oh, I do this every year, so I can get the best deals and get everything I want before it’s sold out, and get away from the 30 family members who invaded my home yesterday.”)

Why?

Are the prices really that much better than they’ll be tomorrow or next week? Is it something like a cult mentality, with everyone having been brainwashed into showing up at Sears in the middle of the night? Or is it the simple thrill of being in JCPenney at three o’clock in the morning? I mean, who knows, maybe all the toys do come to life at night and now we’ll surprise them!)

As for me, well, for as long as I can remember, I’ve done all my holiday shopping by mail order, first by catalog and now, of course, online. Amazon and I go so far back they actually used to send me little gifts like coffee mugs to thank me for my business. Really. I may have started using Amazon before Jeff Bezos was even born!

Because I am a sane person. And from November to January, I avoid malls like the, well, like the plague.

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