Tuesday, November 30, 2010


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.

The pimply faced lad flips the lock and opens the door and runs like his ass is on fire toward the back of the store. The crowd surges like the tsunami waves hitting the beaches in Indonesia. It spills over the threshold and pounds through the aisles flooding the store with the insanity of frenzied shoppers trying to get their hand on the one and only $198.00 big screen television. Seven hundred people converge on the one box trampling small children and squashing little old ladies. A fight ensues which would make Ultimate Fighters seem like sissies. There is hair pulling, clothes tearing and name calling and that is just by the store employees. Finally a winner is declared and the 85 year old lady with the walker wins. As she drags the tattered box toward the checkout counter she leaves a wake of bloody bodies with tennis ball impressions pressed into their foreheads.

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 dodge left to avoid the woman in the stilettos shin scrape only to meet the soccer mom’s right elbow with your bottom lip. Next thing you know your lip is swelling up bigger than a basketball and you look around for the foul. The woman looks at you and declares “oh that will heal up before Christmas, get back in there.” You reach for the box and your fingers touch it. You try and grip it only to have it yanked from your hand by the large Samoan from the outside queue. You realize your nose is situated at an inconvenient height with his rearage. Just as you stretch for the box he lets loose with a bout of flatulence that would singe the quills off a porcupine. You retreat trying to catch a whiff of fresh air only to run smack into a large hairy person’s arm pit. You mumble scuze me and run for the exit.

The store is so full it’s impossible to maneuver through the aisle. You have to just go with the flow of traffic and hope that it will eventually eddy and spit you out at the door. It swirls and circles and finally you are caught in a rip tide of activity. You realize somehow you have been sucked into the toy department and there are thousands of over stimulated children under the age of 12 who have been dragged out after midnight to shop for their own Christmas presents.

They are glassy eyed and cranky. You bump into one of these Children of the Corn and jump back at the electric shock he puts off. His face crinkles up in a smile as he moves through the crowd rubbing his feet on the carpet and lighting others up with static. You can only hope he doesn’t meet up with the large Samoan.

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.

You march forward to reach the door and out into the cold dark night. Happy to finally be outside you draw in a deep breath only to find you are in the middle of the crowd who escaped to smoke. You cough and sputter as you walk the 37 miles through the parking lot to your vehicle.

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?”


Barb said...

That is hilarious!!! I can soooo relate - and I haven't even done the Black Friday thing! Thanks for the laugh.

Miss Marie said...

OMG G this one made me laugh til I cried....loved it!!!!! See you soon :)

Ms Martyr said...

Great story! This was on your bucket list for real?
When did Black Friday become part of our culture? I don't remember hearing about it until 10-15 years ago. I like a bargain as well as the next person but waking up at the asscrack of dawn to stand in line to save a few bucks just isn't worth it to me. I prefer the year-end sales when the stores are trying to dump their inventories.

Tracy said...

I've never been Black Friday shopping either. I don't believe I'll go now! Well I may someday but only for the ...ahem...fun of it!
I'm an online shopper.