Soon, very soon, Black Friday will be upon us. A day which began as a way to honor the birth of Arthur C. Woolworth and has since mutated into an unholy orgy of commercialism. How far we’ve come, Mr. W. How far we’ve come, indeed.
In all likelihood at least a few of you will be heading out into that madness in an ill-fated attempt to get a good deal on a television or an Xbox. In reality, you have a better chance of getting an excellent deal on an elbow to the temple or a knee to the groin. What you won’t get is an Xbox. But still, I’m sure you’ll try. I know that I can’t talk you out of going out on Black Friday. Not any more than I can talk fish out of swimming. What I can do is offer you a few tried and true survival tips, tips which are based on my own experiences and musings. Follow these, my friends, and my blog traffic may not dip significantly come December.
Because you’ll still be alive. See what I did there?
Anyway, here are those tips:
- Say “Hi!” to every dog you meet. Now, in all likelihood, you will encounter very few dogs on Black Friday. As a species, they’ve developed a strong aversion to materialistic pursuits. If you do see one, give him or her a friendly smile and wave. He or she will remember this kindness and, if the shit hits the fans, you may just be able to count on him or her having your back.
- Stay within walking distance of your home. For one thing, you’re more likely to end up shopping alongside people you know and people you know are scientifically-proven to be 13% less likely to strangle you with your own entrails over a PS4. Always play the odds. Even better, say you indulge a little too heavily on Thanksgiving. This allows you to get your shopping in, burn a few calories and not risk driving in a drunken, food-addled state.
- Think before you act. Last year the wife and I went out on Black Friday because we had a coupon to save $5 on hockey tape. This coupon was only good at one store and so we went there. It just so happens that this one store is located within the confines of the largest mall on the Eastern seaboard. The blood of many innocents was spilled that day, if such things exist on Black Friday. Sure, we got our discounted hockey tape. But at what cost? Nothing on the coupon compelled us to go there on that day. We could have gone on any Regular Day and gotten the same discount. We did not think and we ended up in a feeding frenzy. Know what you’re doing before you do it. Structure is the key to survival. Your instincts must not be trusted on that day.
- Go against the grain. Everyone will flock to the Wal-Marts and the Best Buys of the world the second they finish their Thanksgiving meal. It is from these stores that all of the day’s viral videos of fistfights and chaos will emerge. If you must go shopping, shop against the grain. Research deals in unexpected places. Is the local, family-owned cigar store selling something on the cheap? Go there. Buy all that you can. Don’t smoke? Are there no smokers on your list? Don’t let that get in the way of a good deal. They can learn to enjoy it.
- Remember those who have come before. No truly great Black Friday shopper has hands that are blood-free. Many have fallen in pursuit of a hot deal. Many have likely fallen directly as a result of you punching a fist through their torso. Remember them. Before you leave your home, pour out a few pennies on the sidewalk in their honor. Perhaps if the requisite number of pennies are left, their spirits will elect to watch over you that day and see you to safety. Or so you should pray.