It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is Thanksgiving; a day to give thanks, enjoy time with dysfunctional family and friends, unbutton the top button on your jeans, eat until you’re sick and then decide if you’re going to get up at 3am or 4am to hit those Black Friday sales.
I did a little research on Black Friday and found some interesting tidbits. The term Black Friday, used in relation to the shopping season that begins the day after Thanksgiving, dates back to at least 1966. So, what did they call the “day after Thanksgiving” before 1966? Oh wait, I know! They called it the day after Thanksgiving.
In January 1966 Black Friday was the name which the Philadelphia Police Department gave to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day because of heavy traffic. Heavy traffic is a gross understatement. It’s been said that there are people who, on Black Friday, have sat in a line of traffic for so long that when they come out on the other side they are hit with the heartbreaking news that all of their computer electronics have become obsolete.
And parking, OMG. Take 450,000 tired, aggravated people, put blinders on them and turn em loose in the mall parking lot. There will be much groaning and gnashing of teeth.
Inside, the store is a world all its own. It’s like the running of the bulls in Spain. If you are not completely encased in body armor and sporting a light saber you may never get out alive.
Once you get past the mannequins with their perfect boobs and glassy eyes, it is almost impossible to find a shopping cart. You realize maybe it’s better that way when you witness crazed shoppers throughout the store crashing into each other with alarming ferocity.
Perhaps you go into a store on Black Friday needing only one item. You convince yourself you can get in, grab the item and get back out with minimal bodily harm. (Let me know how that works out for you.)
All you need is a gift for Aunt Mary who has expressed great enthusiasm for a bright, snug-fitting orange sweater delicately adorned with purple sequins, peacock feathers and a frilly yellow collar. From across the crowded store you see it. (How could you miss it?) There is one left and it’s yours!! You run as fast as you can to the rack that’s holding this one-of-a-kind knitted masterpiece, slide to a stop, and without taking a breath reach for it; the anticipation more than you can bear.
Without warning you are blindsided by the thud of a shopping cart hitting you in the ass. You look up from the floor at a crazed shopping psychopath who rips the sweater off the hanger and then, in her quest for the next big ticket item, runs over your foot with the cart. Stunned and dazed you can’t decide if it’s time to go home or to the nearest bar. Instead you get up, walk over to the cologne counter and get a Jean Nate’ gift basket for Aunt Mary. She damn well better appreciate it.
To all you Black Friday shoppers…enjoy Thanksgiving. May your family behave, may the turkey not explode in the deep fryer because you dropped it in fully frozen (even though you were warned about this by your neighbor who is recovering from his own 2nd degree burns) and may the wine and gravy flow abundantly. May you have a blessed, peaceful day because Friday baby, all hell breaks loose.