I have a confession to make. Come close. No closer. I had never been shopping on Black Friday. Never. I swear. I just didn’t see the point in it. Think about it. You get to Wal*Mart at 0:darkthirty and camp out in front of the store in your beach chair wrapped in 14 Snuggies. You huddle under the wrap of fleece and squint trying to watch The Office on your I-Phone.
Your left ear bud pops out just as Pam says something and you get it plugged back in just as Michael says “that’s what she said.” WHAT is what she said? You search the crowd looking for someone who might of heard what Pam said only to be shushed by the 300 pound Samoan watching football in the group next to you and a 55” big screen T.V. he has lugged out there along with a tent, generator, satellite dish, full camp stove and electric blanket. You look longingly at his bag of freshly popped microwave popcorn and wonder once again why you are sitting outside in the freezing weather waiting for a store full of things you really don’t need or want. The poor store is getting ready to be ransacked by a group of eager shoppers thinking they are getting a good deal.
Finally the magic hour arrives and a skinny 16 year old boy who volunteered for duty because he was promised hazardous duty pay sneaks to the door. The crowd pulses like the Tell Tale Heart.
You make your way past the injured and dying and work your way toward the small home appliances with dreams of snagging that espresso machine that you really don’t need. You step over ripped boxes of Rubbermaid Containers and broken Corel Dishes. There is a crowd of people hovering over the one and only Mr. Espresso left on the shelf. A man in a striped shirt and hockey mask blows his whistle and the game begins. There are elbows flying and kicks landing.
You push your way past the toys and head toward what you hope will get you out of the building. You strain and push until you clear the garden department. You stand in the empty aisle looking for the exit when you realize it’s a dead end. You must push back through the maddening crowd and try to escape this aberration.
You see the exit ahead and continue on in your pursuit of freedom. You find yourself throwing elbows and stepping on toes. You no longer say “pardon me” or “excuse me”. All manners are out the window; this is a fight for your life. You in fact begin enjoying hearing the crunch of toes and the smack of flesh meeting your boney appendages.
Once there you pull out your journal. You turn to the last page that is labeled BUCKET LIST. You find it half way down the page in capital letters BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING. Sighing you take the lid off your black Sharpie marker and mark through it so many times the page tears. You pull down the mirror and take a look at your busted lip, black eye and ask yourself “what was I thinking?”