“Shop ‘Til You Don’t” By Chris Zito

In one of the strangest American holiday traditions we once again find people camped out in front of Best Buy for days, women passing wine flasks at 3:30 in the morning, and retail employees working ungodly hours without receiving overtime or hazardous duty pay. Black Friday has arrived.

“Three more hours and I get my ‘Total Waste of Time’ merit badge.”

People want to buy stuff for their loved ones at Christmas. They want to save money. Things cost less on Black Friday. But it’s more than that. Some folks like a mob. They like being part of the throng. They want to be able to say they survived an ordeal. They want to throw an elbow like a roller derby queen to get that last $179 Ipad.

You’d think there was an extra %10 off for getting to the checkout in under three minutes.

There’s a special breed of bargain hunter that goes out in the middle of the night to save money. But at least they don’t bother those of us that don’t. Except for the that small percentage that fall into the subset of that most annoying of holiday shoppers: people who are all done by the end of this weekend. They’ve bought and wrapped all their gifts. They’ve shipped everything and mailed out their Christmas cards. They’re sitting around just waiting. Peace on Earth my ass! If there were no risk of arrest I’d ring every neck of every “Oh, I’m already finished” pompous ass who looks down her nose at the rest of us.

Oh goody! We all get to stare at our presents for four weeks!

These are tough times and I don’t want to sound like I don’t appreciate that some of us are willing to brave difficult, even dangerous conditions to make sure we make our families holiday wishes come true. I don’t want to sound that way but that’s how I feel. These people are crazy. Or stupid. Or both. Or drunk. Or all three. Me? I shop on Boxing Day and hide everything until the next year. Then I spend days trying to remember where I put it all.

“Is that a blouse?”

We Americans love a bargain. We’re always looking for ways to cut corners, stretch a dollar, make ends meet. It almost never crosses our minds to buy fewer items in order to really save money.

“Are you people aware you’d spend even less this morning if you had just stayed home?”

Happy Black Friday to all you kooks out there that have already shopped by the time you read this. And on behalf of your families, thanks for braving the crowds so we can have presents and still pay January’s mortgage.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


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