Friday, November 28, 2008

Paint it "Black"

I think I'd much prefer dental surgery or a procedure in the "family jewels" area to taking part in the annual running of the sheep known as Black Friday. For the uninitiated, that's the day (today) when people get up at the crack of dawn (actually well before it) in order to avail themselves of "great holiday bargains" offered by retailers. Some stores open at midnight, others in the wee hours of the morning, and crowds of people press their noses against the windows waiting to get in. To me, it's a lot like the bread lines in Russia during the old Soviet days. I'm sure there are some savings to be had and some hard-to-get gifts to obtain, but it's just not worth it to me. If I can't afford to buy something without the early-bird discount, I'll just pass. If some "hot" gift is sold out, I'll get something else. Seems to me that when I do my shopping late, the retailers are usually in a panicky mood and are offering good deals then, as well. But if all this hysteria is your idea of fun, enjoy. I also have a bone to pick with the people at Kohl's. They've been running a TV ad - incessantly, it seems to me - touting their 4 a.m. opening today. But the ad tells people to set their alarms for 4 a.m. so they can get to the big sale. If the sale starts at 4, shouldn't they be setting their alarms a bit earlier? Better yet, just stay up and knock back a few until it's time to go. A couple of stiff drinks sure couldn't hurt.



Blogger Roger said...

Blogs and reader response pages are filled with these stories, "... why would anybody want to venture into the retail frenzy on Black Friday?"

If there are so many who have disdain for the practice, how are the stores full of people? In other words, "everybody" seems to think the madness is stupid, yet "everybody" is at the stores shopping?

There must be an abundance of "everybody." Or, one "everybody" many times over, ..." I don't know.

November 28, 2008 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

A couple of items from Black Friday:
In California, a couple of women get into a fight in a crowded Toys "R" Us store, and their signficant others end up shooting each other to death.
In New York, a mob waiting to get into a Wal-Mart busts down the doors and fatally tramples a store employee.
These are just two more signs of the decline of U.S. civilization.

November 28, 2008 at 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the Walmart at Trinity Point in Washington Co. had people who were pushing and BITING each other.
I figure if I had to assault someone to get something, I surely don't need it that bad.
I do my Christmas shopping in October.

November 30, 2008 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I do all of my Christmas shopping online...and NOT on Black Monday, the cyber equivalent of Black Friday. I wait until the second week of December and I have never had a gift arrive late yet.

The whole "shopping early" thing is just another of those things that Americans seem to like to be part of, no matter how much complaining they do. It's kind of like everyone bitching about the stress of the holidays, how Christmas is too commercialized, and yet the advertising and displays now are up almost simultaneously with Halloween decorations. It's no wonder people are fed up with the whole thing by the time it arrives. What should have been a "season" of about 20 days or so has turned into almost a quarter of the entire year. Yikes!

I refuse to listen, watch or do anything related to Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving, and even then, I prefer to keep the whole season from the second week of December through January 2. It's much easier.

November 30, 2008 at 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Wal-Mart incident is just more proof of how far down the evolutionary chain man his slid. We have no sense of priorities. Gotta get me that big-screen TV so's I kin enjoy unemployment.

November 30, 2008 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I am seriously considering, after the first of the year, telling everyone with whom I exchange gifts that I am getting off the hamster wheel of out-of-control commercialism and, next year, will not be buying or accepting holiday gifts. I will make donations to charity in the names of those close to me. Getting gifts is nice, but there is nothing - absolutely nothing - that I really need. Enough is enough.

November 30, 2008 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brant: be careful about the charities you may consider donating to, remember George Costanza's Human Fund didn't quite work out the way he hoped it would.

December 1, 2008 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I missed that one. Working at night, I don't get to watch much TV. Can you enlighten me about the Seinfield episode?

December 1, 2008 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

George didn't want to spend the money or time on Christmas presents. So, he decided to start a bogus charity, The Human Fund - "Money For People."

When someone gave him a gift (one was a bottle of wine, another a box of cigars), he responded by giving them a card stating that a donation had been made in that person's name to the Human Fund. Eventually, George's boss gave him a check for about $20,000, but then found out that it was a bogus charity. Classic stuff.

December 1, 2008 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wikipedia describes the character as follows, “George Costanza is Jerry's best friend since high school. He is cheap, dishonest, petty and often jealous of others' achievements.” In the episode I referenced, George decides that in lieu of Christmas cards or gifts, he will give friends and co-workers cards indicating he had made a contribution to a certain charity in their name. In George’s inimitable fashion, he of course has no intention of donating money to any organization and so he made up a charity called the “Human Fund”. His boss is so impressed he decides to send a large corporate donation to the Human Fund and quickly finds out there is no such charity. When confronted about the deception, George feigns embarrassment but, true to his character, is really not the slightest bit concerned.

December 1, 2008 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Brant. No more gifts. Or maybe something I made by hand, although I'm terrible with tools. But ... it IS the thought that counts, right?

December 1, 2008 at 10:40 PM  

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