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Friday, January 15, 2016



     Black Friday is a colloquial term that describes the chaos and mayhem that ensues when stores across this country open their doors and allow bargain-starved maniacs to storm their inventory. I survived Black Friday by sitting in a very comfortable chair, turning on the television and eating my twelfth turkey sandwich. Incidentally, the safest place to be on Black Friday is anyplace that sells turkey sandwiches. If you stand any place else in the continental United States on the Friday after Thanksgiving, you are likely to be stampeded, or used as a human battering ram.

     No one is sure how Black Friday got its name, but one theory suggests that businesses that operated at a loss, or "in the red," for most of the year enjoyed so much success the day after Thanksgiving that it put them "in the black." My own theory suggests that if you wear black on that day and I happen to get trampled to death standing outside of a Walmart, you will be properly dressed for my funeral.

     Now that Black Friday begins on Thanksgiving Thursday, the people infiltrating the stores are now both crazy AND hungry, making the situation even more potentially dangerous.

     Walking into a department store is scary enough on a normal day. I feel my blood pressure rising so I follow it up on the escalator. When I get to the top floor, dizzy from lack of oxygen, I go over to the Information Desk so they can tell me how to get back out of the store.

"Where can I get garden hose?" I inquire. "Would that be in Hosiery?"
"If it's for inside it would be in Housewares, if it's for outside it would be in Hosewares, and if it's for your basement it would be in Underwares."
"I was unaware that there even was an Underwares. So I can basically get a hose Anywares?"

     But on Black Friday the experience is ramped up to a fever pitch because of the sales. I pick up a fondue set, for instance. I HATE fondue, but the damn thing was 70% OFF! At the clothing department, a pair of pants was half-off, so it was just one pant. I get a lot of stuff that I don't need which doesn't fit, but the bargains were incredible. Plus it was an extra 20% off when I signed up for the store credit card, and by the time they added everything up they owed me about a hundred and twenty bucks.

     I prefer to do my shopping away from the crowds, but some things you need to see in person, or to try on for size. For instance, does this video game controller make me look fat? Is this pair of pants a regular 36-inch waist, or a Walmart 36-inch waist, where they add a few extra inches to the number "36" to make you feel better about whatever you overate on Thanksgiving?

     If I'm buying a television, I like to see what the picture looks like in real life, assuming I have a real life. Plus, since I am too cheap to get Showtime, I binge-watch the first two seasons of Homeland at Best Buy.

     When my wife goes shopping, I notice that she approaches clothing items she is interested in and touches each one, sometimes pets them like a dog. Come to think of it, she used the same technique when she shopped for our dog.

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