I Fought the Mall and the Mall Won

Black Friday has a lot in common with circumcision. In both cases, they generally occur whether you like it or not. And I am not a fan of things in which I have no say-so. Both of them also inflict sensations ranging from mild discomfort to outright pain. Although, women don't seem to mind it as much as men. One key difference between Black Friday and circumcision is that after Black Friday, at least you have a new TV.

Another difference is that whereas circumcision is carried out in private, on private parts, Black Friday is very much a public event held in public areas. In fact, Black Friday is a bona fide, genuine, big deal. It marks the start of the holiday shopping season and has become institutionalized in our culture. Black Friday, along with Cyber Monday, are the mothers of all coercive marketing schemes. They are not invitations; they are mandates. You must participate; they are civic duties. If you do not partake of Black Friday, it is possible that you are a bad person.

Generally, I am not tempted by Black Friday deals. I am one of those guys who thinks himself impervious to any kind of advertising. What simpleton would see an ad for oatmeal, then rush to the store to buy oatmeal? I am told that we are subjected to 20 million advertisements every day. Actually, I forget what the exact number is, but it's a big one. In spite of that, I do not spend a lot of money. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty.

So, it was partly out of guilt, and partly out of hubris, that I set out. Confident that the temptations of consumerism would be ineffective against me, that my credit cards were as if coated with Teflon, I found myself strolling through the mall on Black Friday. Actually, strolling is not the right word here; it was more like fighting my way through a solid wall of Bengal Tigers (average weight of males: 487 pounds) who missed breakfast which, after all, is the most important meal of the day. I don't want to appear to belittle the courage and bravery of lion tamers because that would cause the internet to be outraged. But in all honesty, walking through the mall was a lot tougher.

But there I was, staring into the maws of ferocious today-only deals, one hour-only deals, hot deals, flashing blue light specials, early bird specials, blow outs, super sales, biggest sale ever sales, holiday to remember sales and, of course, door busters, which in some cases induce people to actually bust doors. Video game consoles, laptops, desktops, tablets, smart speakers, dumb speakers, soundbars, stereos, televisions, headphones, earbuds, cell phones, smart watches, activity trackers, webcams, you name it.

I laughed out loud as I fought my way through the hoards of people desperate to save 20% off a smart doorbell. Black Friday. What kind of weak-minded, compliant, pusillanimous person would fall for such flim-flam?

In any case, Black Friday is over, at least for another year. I am told that the mild discomfort I am experiencing will gradually diminish, and that I should be able to resume normal physical activities within a few days. Until then, I'll just sit here, and watch my new TV. Man, those colors are sharp.

utopianemo's picture

I took advantage of this Black Friday by taking my wife out on a lunch date at our favorite Thai Restaurant. Usually requiring a reservation, on this very special Friday we had our choice of tables in the house.

prerich45's picture

Love it!!!!! Hope you enjoyed it!!!