Black Friday: Consummerism Gone Crazy

I need an Alka-Seltzer right about now.

After a Thanksgiving evening of food, discourse, more food, tv, more food, nap, more food, etc, I am a prime candidate for that Chinese diet tea that makes things move, if you know what I mean. The menu consisted of 2 turkeys (one baked, one fried) and an array of delicious and very rich side dishes and desserts. At about 10pm, I hit a food coma that kept me out of commission until it was time to go home in 33 degree weather–not fun.

So here I am, with a boiler full of Thanksgiving and ready to hit the sack. If I play my cards right, I can get 4 hours of sleep and still make it in time to catch some Black Friday deals at some of my favorite stores–NOT.

The Black Friday phenomenon is now ingrained in our American culture.  Many stores open before 7am to lure countless poor saps.  Hell, many stores open at midnight. I remember working retail as a young man and having to open the store at 6am for this “special” day.  I remember people waiting outside in the cold for the doors to open, thinking: What the hell is wrong with them?

What makes folks get up so early in the morning after a Thanksgiving celebration? A whopping 20% off certain items? Really? And now, most stores are taking full advantage of the American consummer’s gullibility and itch for that ever elusive deal. They bank whole campaigns around this Black Friday concept.

Not me.

I refuse to participate in this madness. Keep your 20%, I’ll go to the store when the lines die down, when my stomach is no longer pissed at me, when I’m good and ready. 

I wonder when this madness started?  Early 90s? Mid 80s?  I certaily don’t recall anything like Black Friday prior to this, then again, kids don’t remember this kind of stuff, usually.  And yes, it is madness, right up there with the popular Keeping Up With The Joneses and the Fill Out This 26% Interest Credit Card, Get A Free T-shirt phenomenons.  Besides, Black Friday certainly doesn’t need me–it is doing quite well on its own.  There may come a day when Thanksgiving becomes more synonimous with Black Friday than with turkey, or even, well, giving thanks.

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