When my sister first moved to Ohio over ten years ago, she and I began our annual trek to make fun of people shopping the day after Thanksgiving.
I didn’t even know it was called Black Friday back then.
Maybe nobody did. I think it was a retail thing. You know, because who wants to work (a) the day after Thanksgiving, (b) during massive sales, (c) at stupid-o’clock in the god damn morning? NOT IT!
So we would get dressed up in our cutest sweatpants, adorned in sweatshirts bearing fun Christmas greetings, visit a drive-through for coffee, and hit the mall. There we waited, in ice and snow, at 4am for the stores to open. Not to BUY THINGS, though. We waited because it was fun to laugh at the shoppers.
We liked to be first in line at J.C.Penney’s, because they gave out Mickey Mouse baubles with the year painted along the side.
But my favorite part was riding up and down the escalator in Sears, Elder Beerman, and Macy’s. From the top I would shout, “Holy shit! Look at those people fighting over fucking TOWELS! Can you believe this crap?”
My sister liked to make fun of people more privately, so this vocal calling-out was a pretty mortifying experience. But seriously? Fighting over TOWELS? Are you for realz?
Sadly, yes. I am ALL FOR REALZ. People were fighting over towels.
Last year we were dismayed when Black Friday began at midnight instead of 4am. Let me tell you, midnight is a bunch of BULL SHIT. We went out for a bit, but then came back and napped till noon, at which time we hauled our exhausted asses out of bed to go make fun of people at Rite Aid, Walgreen, and CVS. Honestly, those stores aren’t typically very crowded. So instead of laughing, we purchased stocking stuffers.
We agreed every year to avoid places of plague like Toys-R-Us, Best Buy, and Walmart. The crowds gathered there resemble zombies and were quite likely to bite your face off if you so much as glanced at their baskets… which lapped the store like five-krillion times because HOLY SHIT IT’S THE ONLY TIME YOU CAN GET THIS JUNK AT A DECENT PRICE!
Dude, have you not heard of Amazon Prime? For $80 per year, you get free two-day shipping, discounted prices on many items, instant streaming to several movies and programs not available on Netflix, and free Kindle books every month. Seriously, I will wait to order my shit online. Fuck standing in a three-hour queue!
This year, there were no fights.
That’s because there was no Black Friday. Retailers tried really hard to call it that, but how can Friday be ANYTHING when the sales started on Thursday? We avoided any stores which forced their employees to forgo Thanksgiving, because FUCK YOU if you don’t get why that’s shitty. I don’t want to hear about other people happy to take their job. If you’re the one saying that, you likely already HAVE a fucking job so you don’t really know what the hellz you’re talking about.
Retailers have gotten savvy to the fact that Americans are selfish hogs and will go out shopping at all hours if you entice them with enough donuts, or offer enough dollars off. But it’s going to backfire. Because retailers will continue trying to beat each other at the “who can offer Christmas sales earliest?!” game, and in doing so, will keep pushing the sales back. There is nothing special about shopping for THIS SALE on THIS DAY if I can always wait till THAT SALE on THAT DAY. They took one of the biggest shopping days of the year away from themselves. That’s just bad math, and moreover, it’s stupid.
Greed for the win!
My sister and I, brokenhearted at the lackluster sales, and therefore minimal crowds, decided not to go next year. That’s right, Black Friday. You are dead to us. Thanks for that, Corporate America. Assholes.
Here are the highlights from our final year of Black Friday:
I found an ad for Skullcandy earbuds at $4.99 a pair, and nabbed one for myself since my current cheap-o set is broken. Then I remembered my son’s earbuds are broken, too, so I grabbed him a pair as well. Oh — and we plan to give Baby Girl my iPod Shuffle for her birthday since I no longer use it (I love my Touch!) so she would also need a pair.
Yeah, fuck you, okay? I bought three sets of earbuds on Black Friday. I was a shopper. Whatever. I didn’t fight anyone. I was at OFFICE DEPOT, derp. Who shops at an office supply store on Black Friday?
Turns out, enough people shop at an office supply store on Black Friday that we spent 45 minutes in line for my $15 purchase. During which time we witnessed the most awesome line-cut in history.
There was a gap in the line where a board was set up announcing sale prices and tags for specific staff-only items. So this guy walked up and started reading the sign. The two douche-bags behind us were like, “Watch, he’s gonna do it, just watch…”
I turned around and said to them boys, “Oh no, he isn’t.”
My sister grabbed my arm and begged me to NOT make a scene.
See me right here? DEAF to that. I don’t stand for cutters on ANY day, particularly on Black Friday!
The cutter-guy pulled a tag off the sign, kept it at eye level like he was reading it, and turned as though he had been standing in that line the entire time. Which of course he HAD NOT BEEN.
“Masterfully done,” said the douche-bags behind us.
The people in front of us said nothing, which I still don’t understand. It gets weirder, though. I walked up to cutter-guy and said, “Dude, the line starts way back there.”
He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “No, I was already here.”
I’m like, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? But I didn’t say that, because I was too dumbfounded. Instead I turned to the people behind him — the people in front of us — expecting them to back me up. Nope.
“Yeah, he was already here,” they chimed in.
So apparently I was the asshole just then. Except, NO I FUCKING WASN’T, OKAY? That guy was NOT there. He totally cut. And why those idiots covered for him I will never understand. But whatever. There was nothing I could do if no one else was going to speak up. Score one for pussy Americans. And also? I hate you guys. Just sayin’.
So the douche-bags behind us were like post-college-frat-boys who were too cool for any of us. They reminded me of that guy from Scream — the first movie — the one who was the actual baddy-bad-murderer-guy. Not the boyfriend who held a grudge against the main character girl for her mother’s misdeeds. I’m talking about the guy who had zero reason to kill people except that he was more noo-noo than the boyfriend.
That guy was so “cool”. He had this way of talking out his nose and making everything dismissive. Like a rich kid who is too good for anyone or anything and can’t wait to get back to the tennis club, or who needs to pick up his krillion-dollar diver watch from the jeweler, or who is so tired of going to Europe every year for vacation because, you know, EUROPE JUST GETS SO DULL.
I hate those guys, BTW.
So I was quietly making fun of the way they talked to my sister, who was equally horrified by their snobby-ness. We giggled to ourselves and got more outspoken as it became clear they could in no way hear what we were saying since they’d have to give a shit about low-class peons like us, which clearly they did NOT. As the line progressed forward, we passed a stand upon which were displayed several older movies — the best one of which was GHOSTBUSTERS.
Let it be known, here and now, that if you are not a fan of GHOSTBUSTERS, I am not a fan of YOU. Because that is the best and most quotable movie on the planet and fuck you if you disagree.
So I picked up the movie, and in my best douche-bag, guys-behind-us, tone of voice, said, “I’m way to cool for this movie. I’m so cool, I could never watch something like, what’s this called again? Oh, GHOSTBUSTERS. Shaw.”
We laughed. That shit was funny. Maybe you had to be there. I don’t know. But that’s not even the best part.
As the douche-bags behind us arrived at that section, one of them picked up the movie and started singing the theme song, except NOT — it was like he realized one note in that he had no idea how it went. So then he sang it like this: “I kill ghosts, I kill ghosts, I make them go splat… Yeah, I think that’s the gist of it.”
See? The douche-bags were too fucking cool for GHOSTBUSTERS. Did we call that shit, or what?
At least our final Black Friday ended on a high note. Thank you, douche-bags.