Black Friday redux

Two years ago I chronicled my virginal Black Friday experience. Yet despite that poor initial experience and the fact that Black Friday stands for almost everything I’m against… I caved and went again this year.

I rationalized it thusly:
1. Like 2 years ago, I was already awake. I didn’t get up for Black Friday.
2. I only planned on purchasing items I already intended on buying and even now will probably end up getting eventually. That is, no buying something simply because it’s deeply discounted.
3. It’s a tradition, it’s American, it’s vaguely family-oriented. Nevermind the fact I was alone.
Etc.

I intended, in other words, to attend the orgy but keep my clothes on.

God/Circuit City rebuffed me. To punish my backsliding ways, I spent x hours (too embarassing to admit how many) pursuing my decadent aims only to be turned away within mere feet of my goal. SOLD OUT. Me and the products.

It was a long drive home. I had intended to soothe my conscience with new gadgets, gizmos, and gee-haws. Instead I had to own up to how disgusting and revolting Black Friday is. I was repulsed by the obscenity of the crowds, the rush, the madness, the greed — and shamed by my own complicity in the process. A process repeatedly endlessly every day really, but concentrated more vulgarly on one morning.

A morning, I should note, that was beyond brilliant. It was snowing. It was bright out, it was gorgeous. Nobody noticed.

Black Friday Confession

It’s -3 degrees out (with wind chill) and all good patriots are out shopping in the traditional post-Thanksgiving orgy. See somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that the day after Turkeyfest stores opened at like 5 or 6am, but I guess I always thought that was a gimmick. Surely no one seriously shops before sunrise.

Shows you what a n00b I am. I think Target built an extra parking lot or two just in anticipation of the hordes ready to buy buy buy. You had to walk half-a-mile from your car just to get inside the building. See now I’ve only been in America for four years so I’m always looking for opportunities to enrich by cultural education. But this morning was out of control, even more baffling than my last encounter with the true face of freedom: drunken hockey fans chanting Sponge!Bob!Square!Pants! Target was mobbed with so many people – families, clans, tribes – that there were lines to just to get into an aisle. Except in Office Supplies. Spiral-bound notebooks are so not in this year.

I quickly realized that coming to Target was a mistake, apart from the sociological gems I was acquiring. As for acquiring actual merchandise, I had to set aside my $8.88 copy of Crash in light of the 2-hour wait for a cashier. It became pretty apparent to me that I was way out of my league. This was a whole different class of shoppers. I came to browse, and that is like so amateurish. I had neither shopping list, store ad, nor building blueprint. Come on man, get with the program. You need a plan, you need objectives, you need strike zones, targets of attack, methods of insertion and withdrawal. But seriously, what was I thinking: I was there a half-hour after opening, everything was picked over. It’s 6.30am. People are on their cellphones because really now who wouldn’t up at 6.30am maxing out their credit cards? I know I’m here just to listen in on the holiday cheer: “Mommy buy me more sh*t! No, the good kind!” and “B*tch gimme back the Limited Edition Harry Potter Tupperware set you stole from my cart.” I should tell you I hit up Best Buy too because I’m a glutton for punishment and who can pass up $6 DVD players (with rebate, please wait 10-15 weeks)? I mean for a year’s wages of the Chinese kid who assembled it, I can get one high high quality tele-vision to watch my favorite infomercials on. They also had some special bargain where you could get like 295 CD-R’s for $1.25 but I decided to save my money for later. To buy french fries at McDonald’s. Where the lines don’t extend around the building.

It’s the holidays USA: spend, spend, spend – this is the reason this country exists! Do it for our boys in Iraq! Come on comrades, raise your middle fingers to our economic recession and stock up on iPod’s before 8am arives.