For some damn reason I woke up in a black mood. Last night I slept fairly soundly but I dreamed about being chased by a Black Taco. I guess I just feel drained, like all my energy when down a black hole. Curse my black heart!
Oh yeah, today is Black Friday. The real reason for the season. Celebrate!
As I perused Google News this morning on the topic there were, so far, no dramatic stories of Black Friday violence. Curses! But one thing was certain: Journalists and media were poised and ready just in case it happened. They don’t want to miss a thing.
Of course we’ve all been trained to know by now that right on the heels of Black Friday comes Cyber Monday, one of the biggest sales days of the year for online shopping. Holy shit I do not want to go to work on Monday. If I still have my cold I plan to cough in every single package. Just a little FYI.
So, if you are one of the herd, you are likely to load up on junk this weekend. Here’s some stuff I thought you might want to know:
- Stores take your picture. They have computers that analyze your movements. They are even using satellites orbiting high above the Earth. Yep, they are counting cars in parking lots to anticipate this year’s sales.
- Check your receipt. If you wake up a few days from now in a little place I like to call “reality” will you suffer any buyer’s remorse? Make sure you have that receipt. And, when you were dashing through the store, did you happen to study the return policy? What you don’t know could hurt you. A good receipt should contain information like a description of the item, the cash selling price, length of time that refund or exchange is allowed (if at all), applicable fees, and if the item is refundable.
- When going after the Holy Grail item of your choice, take a moment to make sure you don’t get ripped off. Check the scanned prices to match sure you’re actually getting the same deal you think you’re getting. I’ve personally seen this sort of “scanner variance” many times. My personal theory is that it is deliberate. Stores know that most people won’t check. They’ll simply satisfy the squeaky wheels that complain and enjoy the extra profits from those that don’t. Some studies have shown that even after bad scanner prices are reported to management, days later on follow-up visits they still haven’t been fixed. Let the buyer beware!
- Gift cards? Watch these like a hawk. Some places subtract a monthly fee from your unused balance. For the lift of me I can’t imagine why anyone would ever voluntarily exchange their unrestricted dollars for what is essentially a contract where the other party makes all the rules. Dumb. If you find yourself stuck with one use it as fast as you possibly can. Avoid giving these as gifts.
- Rebates? I’ve read reports about some big allegedly reputable companies that are nightmares to deal with when it comes to these sorts of things. They can be slow to pay or not pay at all. If that happens, what leverage do you have? They’ve already got your money! They also know that the submission rate will be less than 100% so that’s just more free money for them. If you do decide to go for a rebate, good luck. You’ve got to jump through some hoops and hope for the best. My advice is don’t fall for this.
- You like crushing crowds? Be sure to say, “Hello, Mr. Airborne Pathogen” for me, won’t you? Enjoy.
- Price? You think you’ll get one of those advertised deals? Is it wrong to advertise a price then bring in only 10 of that item? What are the ethics of encouraging 200+ cars in your parking lot in the wee hours of the morning for a product where you only have 10 in stock? Sure, it’s a good deal, on that very limited inventory. What then? Search the net and you’ll find stories even worse than this. It’s almost like they advertise a price they never planned to honor at all. Beware!
This year I am enjoying four days off – in a row! That is the second longest break from work I’ve had in the last 11 years or so. I shit you not. I plan to relax, spend time with my wife, relax, be calm, do some things I enjoy, relax, and, in the name of all that is holy, not go anywhere near one of these retail shitholes. I shudder to even think about it.
Got Any Stories???
If you or anyone you know decided to brave Black Friday, I’d love to hear about the experience. Were the savings worth it? What was the experience like? Did you see anything that defied understanding? Was is like storming Normandy Beach? I want to know!
Mmm. Remember the black jack taco from Taco Bell? Featuring “jack sauce?” Trust me, that sauce is hard to make! Oh, those were the good old days. Black taco, where art thou and why hast thou forsaken us?
Black taco. Say it with me. It just rolls off the tongue.
Black taco. Black taco. Black taco.
By the way, this post has absolutely nothing to do with black tacos. But I feel like I may need some black tacos soon. I’m craving black nourishment. I’m even feeling black.
The time draws near when black taco must ride again.
What could possibly have caused this blackout?
It might be the goddamn commercials on TV trying to coax shoppers under the premise that so-called “Black Friday” savings can now be purloined all fucking month long!!!
Whooo-eeee! Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen!
You mean even a loser like me can be stupid enough to give you my money? And think I’m actually getting a good deal? Because you’ve created a shopping holiday and are now trying to exploit it into a whole damn month of consumeristic frenzy?
Dear Sears. Dear Walmart. As the premium purveyors of Black Friday porn as early as October, you have earned my wrath. You’ve done a great job. I have seen your slime trails. I will not set foot in your stores no matter what.
New Blog Feature: As I See It
There are two main problems I see with the approach of trying to stretch a single fake day into more than a single fake month.
First, “Black Friday” has a time honored tradition of violence, elbow throwing, hair pulling, nail scratching, selfishness and the ever-popular trampling people to death. By stretching the holiday out so long you deprive your shoppers of the experience, and that simply isn’t “Black Friday” at all.
Secondly, it’s simply an utterly lame reason for a sale. What about all the time-honored reasons for sales?
- President’s Day
- Fourth of July
- Clinton-Lewinsky Blowjob Anniversary Day
- Inventory Blowout
- Going Out of Business (and re-opening with a new name)
- Rabid frogs ate our warehouse and we’re passing the savings on to you
- Back to School
In fact, if memory serves, there about 4,000 different types of sales and only 365 days in a year. Isn’t that enough?
I bet stores like Sears and Walmart think they are so clever. “Black Friday is out biggest shopping day of the year,” they lament. “If only there was some way to cash in on that.” It turns out there is a way. It’s called fucking Black Friday.
If you do decide to go to one of these lame ass sales, here’s some ideas to try to capture that “Black Friday” spirit of fun and adventure:
- Bring ten of your friends and wait for the store to open, pounding on the front door and repeatedly chanting, “Open, open, open!”
- When the doors open, race your friends through the store for a specific item. Only the first one to grab the item will be allowed to buy that item.
- After that has been decided, allow one of your group of shoppers to challenge the winner to a fist fight for retention of the item.
- Try to find and push over an innocent person, preferably elderly and/or in a mobility device and/or pregnant, then once they are on the ground and helpless try to jump over them. (Stampede Simulation.)
- Knock over at least one merchandise display.
- Grab a brand new Playstation 3 and go to the electronics counter and yell as loudly as you can, “I’m only paying $48.88 for this!”
- If security tries to intervene at any point, kick them in the nards.
- Have a laptop throwing contest. Longest toss wins a six-piece order of Chicken McNuggets or, for a limited time only, the holy grail of fast food, the McRib. Remember that official Olympic rules for this sport state: “The laptop is thrown from a circle with a diameter of 2.5 meters.” No cheating!
- Pat each other down and beat the shit out of anyone who isn’t packing at least one fully-loaded firearm.
- Bring along your own “security” person and try to pepper spray and tazer everyone in your group!
- Bonus idea: Hide poop around the store to sabotage other shoppers!