The Mountain Times

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Black Friday and other misnomers

My wife, Donna, and I decided to venture out for what everyone calls Black Friday. That is the sadistic shopping day right after Thanksgiving. This was my first exposure to this masochist bargain hunting ritual and I learned first hand that its name is a bit of a misnomer. It really should be called "Black and Blue Friday" because that is how you feel when you finish.

Now, don't get me wrong; I like a good deal just as much as anybody. I'm just not willing to risk my life for it. And that is about what I found myself doing. I found myself in a store with people who were running about like crazed, stampeding buffalos.

I will admit that I am not always the brightest light on the tree, but when I see a full shopping cart sitting in the middle of the aisle, and no one is around, I just assume it has been put there by the store staff and is meant to be looked through. So I got all excited when I found such a cart full of all of the things on sale, and I didn't have to hunt all over the store for them. But in the middle of looking through what was in the shopping cart, someone came along and she was madder than a grizzly bear mother when you mess with her cub. I was just glad we weren't in the hunting section of the store or she might have considered it open season on me.

And all of this was after the work of finding a store that actually had something left.

Once we were able to track down something worth purchasing, Donna and I found the checkout line. It started at the checkout stands, went across the front of the store to the farthest side aisle, all the way to the back aisle of the store, and then back to the middle of the store again. Someone in line informed us that it was a two hour wait to checkout. I told Donna that there is nothing in this world that I want or need bad enough to wait in line for two hours.

To me, it just didn't compute. Spend two hours in a line to save twelve dollars on a purchase. That's six bucks an hour, which is lower than minimum wage. I just told her I'd work two more hours and pay the regular price.

We decided to leave the store, but we needed to put the items back. On the way to the appropriate aisle, we found the again-unattended cart of the pit bull of a woman who had chewed on me before. I almost left the items in her cart as a gesture of good will and peace on earth, but Donna thought it probably wouldn't foster either.

Donna wanted us to go to another store to try to find the items she was looking for. I suggested that maybe I ought to try to do something a little less dangerous, like stick my finger in a 220 volt electric socket, but, nonetheless, I soon found myself with her in the mall. That is when I decided that the name of that place is also totally misspelled this time of year. I think it is supposed to be spelled 'Maul' not 'Mall'.

In this time of holly, jolly merriment, I felt I somehow had inadvertently wandered into the land of Scrooge and Bah-Humbug. I didn't see anyone smiling. I thought I would change that by trying to spread some Christmas cheer like you see people do on the Hallmark television specials. Waving, saying hi, and acting nice just made people stare at me suspiciously. Donna thought it might be a good idea if I waited in the car. I, of course, was very happy to oblige. That was exactly what I wanted to do anyway. How she enjoyed the experience, I'll never know. Regardless, I think I was successfully un-invited to future Black Friday excursions.
Daris Howard, award-winning, syndicated columnist, playwright, and author.

Tagged: Black Friday, Misnomers