Black Friday Follies: I Do Not Buy What I Do Not Want.

It might have been Lily Tomlin who said “The trouble with the rat race is even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

The other thing is the other rats keep getting faster and the maze we’re in never gets any easier to get out of.

Black Friday is a masterpiece of marketing and advertising and the conquest of common sense.  Why do I need to be up long before the sun is shivering in the cold with the other idiots to buy a Black and Decker multipurpose power tool I might use three times a year?   Because I’m a good little consumer and I follow my programming without hesitation or question.

All year long I buy what I need when I need it.  Why get sucked in by the hype of National Go Buy Stuff Day?   I keep my ass at home on Black Friday.  Do I really need to get up at 4:00 a.m. to stand in line to buy a toaster with 25 temperatures and  spinning rims?

I am not a snobby elitist who detests standing in line with the masses.  Nor am I some anti-Capitalist desiring to send a message to the money-grubbing exploiters of the working classes that I will not take part in their bourgeois orgy of materialism and greed.    If Black Friday is to the hardcore shopper what Super Bowl Sunday is to the football fan, knock yourself out.   I’d be the last guy to get between someone and their compulsive need to buy another flat screen TV they don’t need.

The thing is Super Bowl Sunday is rarely when the best game of the year is played.   It’s just the day that’s most hyped as the best game even though it usually isn’t.   Well, this truth holds for Black Friday doorbusters bargains.   You can set the alarm to get up at an ungodly hour so you can stand around a Macy’s or Wal-Mart at 5:00 a.m., if that’s how you roll,  but don’t expect to get the best bargains of the year because you won’t.

MYTH: Everything on Sale on Black Friday Is at Its Lowest Price of the Year Although many Black Friday deals offer the lowest prices of the year, you should probably wait to buy toys, brand name HDTVs, and winter apparel. Toys see the deepest discounts right before Christmas; brand name HDTVs sink in price between December and February; and winter apparel sales are best after Christmas.   What’s more, retailers often sprinkle in mediocre discounts with their doorbuster deals, in the hopes that shoppers trying to bang out all of their holiday shopping will bite on high-profit items.

Perhaps there’s some small entertainment that comes with joining in with hundreds of other shoppers convinced they’re making out like bandits by being the first one to rush inside like the zombies invading the mall in Dawn of the Dead.   I’ve even done it once when my wife convinced me to go with her and the kids to Target.    For what exactly, who knows?   I do recall once was enough for me.  The high point was going to breakfast after the low point of pushing, elbowing and jockeying for position to buy something now long forgotten.

Buy! Consume! Spend! BRAINS!!!!

If you run a store that opens on Thanksgiving and denies your employers a day off so they can enjoy the day with their families you’re pretty vile and if you go shopping on Thanksgiving and justify these asshole bosses screwing their workers you’re an asshole too.   Or don’t you think those cashiers want to be home with their families eating turkey and watching parades and football games too?

Black Friday always features the inevitable news stories of old people having heart attacks and dying on the floor while others step over the bodies,  good Christian folks cursing like angry drunks and punching each other out over some worthless trinket, or the smart shopper who gets jacked in the parking lot by someone who wants what they got and wasn’t about to stand in line for two hours to get it.  Yeah, that’s a lot of fun.

It’s a paradox.  On Thanksgiving we appreciate what we have.  The next day we max out our credit cards to buy the stuff we want right now.

In America, “delayed gratification” is the time spent between waiting for Wal-Mart to unlock the doors to how long it takes to get to the check-out lane.

Go forth, gladiators.   I am content to stay home all warm and cozy in my bathrobe sipping of orange juice as I shop within my means from the convenience of my laptop.   I’m too bad-tempered to find any pleasure from going to war over an I-Phone I can’t afford or yet another appliance I do not need.    If by chance Black Friday earns the name for being Day Zero of the zombie apocalypse I’d prefer to observe the chaos from a safe distance.

Let’s go SHOPPING!!!!