Black Friday: A Cart Full of Muppets and Rage

So okay, guys. Black Friday.

What the heck happened!?

When did THIS become the “holiday” of choice? You’re hopping and bopping because Black Friday’s coming up, so that you can storm into Target like a behemoth and grab sixteen Rockstar Elmo toys, three iPads, and a ream of One Direction coloring books. You’re shouting down the cashier with what I can only assume is a mouthful of Big League Chew, based on the incoherence and the spittle. It sounds something like “bluh bluh bluh MY CHILD bluh bluh PERFECT CHRISTMAS bluh bluh bluh GET OUT OF MY WAY.”

Oh wait, your child is standing right behind you, mortified. I guess this year Santa is actually a screaming, belligerent woman in a red windbreaker with a shopping cart full of muppets.

But SERIOUSLY, people, Black Friday has evolved in the short span of a few years from a day when families would go shopping together for Christmas presents, bringing solid profits to businesses, to something that looks more like the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. The media coverage really only portrayed two (accurate) stages of the spectacle – a bunch of goofy, waving “shoppers” excited to be on camera for doing absolutely nothing except frantically spending money, and then those same people going all Walking Dead on the old grandma next in line, or pulling a gun on a toddler, or… raising fisticuffs against the kindly haberdasher in Men’s Wearhouse.

Some people were even lining up at 8:00pm the night before, which happens to be right in the middle of another holiday we call Thanksgiving. I imagine several Thanksgiving dinners cut short by one family out of the bunch making a big scene about their exit, hauling up the giant tent they insisted on bringing inside the house and weaving it dangerously through the kitchen, donning their thick coats and fuzzy earmuffs and ironic knit beard hats. They’re saying things like, “Okay guys, wish us luck!” and “It’s little Thurman Edward’s first Black Friday!” and the poor kid looks like the little brother from A Christmas Story, delirious and wisely afraid.

What ever happened to enjoying a nice, friendly dinner with family, waking up at a reasonable time the next day, going out shopping like a rational human being, and then coming home and reading a book with a mug of hot cider or cocoa? The contrast is almost so extreme it makes me laugh, but I’m serious. What happened to those days?

Reality TV, probably.

Regardless, it’s over now (thank God) so if you did go out… well, I hope you didn’t kill or maim anyone for a Spongebob LEGO set or a box of pumpkin scented candles. If you stayed at home and spent some quality time with family, good for you. If you spent some quality time with family beating a stranger with aluminum bats and stealing his 26 pairs of Nike shoes, I will be calling the police in just a moment. You’re crazy.

Anyways, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, full of love, family and (here’s a shocker) thanksgiving. ‘Tis the season, you know? And then let’s try to keep that momentum going and make every season the season of thanksgiving, goodwill, charity, and love. That way we can generally avoid every day looking like Black Friday.

“It’s little Thurman Edward’s first day of school!” his parents say, as the teacher holds him by the ankles and shakes the change out of his pockets and Bobby Stanko steals all the dry-erase markers and stuffs them in his pants.

Let’s really try not to get to that point.

Take care, God bless, and keep the faith!

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