Yesterday was Thanksgiving, a day of peace, joy, and gratitude.
Today is Black Friday, a day on which it is socially acceptable to punch a stranger in the throat to save two bucks on a Snuggie™.
I’m always fascinated by the irony of it. One day you’re sharing hugs and pumpkin pie, the next you’re elbowing strangers in the teeth to get the last Mangroomer™.
Several years ago I watched a woman try to cut in line at an electronics store. From the crowd’s reaction you would have thought she’d dismembered a baby harp seal in the parking lot. I learned several new curse words and then watched the mob break into joyful applause when the line-cutter was ceremoniously escorted from the store.
I love a bargain as much as the next person, but my enthusiasm for Black Friday shopping tends to wane once I’ve made my ritual 5 a.m. appearance at Fred Meyer to gorge myself on donut holes and buy enough half-price socks to outfit a small Arctic village.
Then I like to people watch. I’ve occasionally driven around town just to get a glimpse at the crazy lines and the weary shoppers hunched in freezing rain as they teeter under the weight of eight Elmo dolls.
I’ll admit I’ve participated in the madness before. I once maneuvered through an unwieldy mob by crawling on the floor to nab a $10 DVD player. For the most part though, I’d rather be a spectator rather than a participant. There’s really no better source of material for a comedy writer than watching someone steal reindeer boxer shorts from someone else’s shopping cart.
Do you participate in the Black Friday madness? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever witnessed? Please share.
I have to go kick someone in the kneecap to get a pair of cashmere socks.