I went Black Friday shopping last night. I’m moving so I need a television and gaming console so I can pretend I’m still drinking beer and playing video games in the same room as my friends. (Thank you, Internet!) I woke up on Thanksgiving and started examining the flyers.
This year, the sales began on Thursday night instead of at 5am Friday morning. After having done it both ways, I have to say that the Thursday night thing is far superior. For one, you don’t have to wake up at 3am just to have an outside chance at getting one of the less popular big ticket items. For another, it makes much more sense to start drinking at 9pm than 4am.
Since the XBox I decided on went on sale at Walmart at 10pm, I left the house at 8 so I could drive by Walmart [wally-wally-wally-wally-wally world] and Target and scope out the lines. They were both manageable so I went to a nearby bar to watch the Ravens – Niners game and have some beers. I headed back to Walmart around 9:20, walked in the store, got in line and waited for my XBox. I was out of the store by 10:15. The worst part of the trip was deciding what podcast to listen to while I was waiting. It was basically the best Black Friday shopping trip of all-time, which is more than you can say for many of the maniacs who were out roaming parking lots last night.
One woman broke out the pepper spray in the line for the discounted XBox 360. There was a fight that sent two women to the hospital and landed one man in jail in Rome, New York. Obviously there was an incident in Florida. Violence has been a common theme all over the country as record crows are turning out. One California man was shot walking to his car in an armed robbery. A similar shooting took place in South Carolina. It’s awful and stupid, but I have to ask – Why not just rob someone when the item is full priced?
The pointlessness doesn’t begin with the insane bargain hunters though. It actually begins with the people in charge of this dark American “holiday” who keep opening earlier and earlier. Why not just open at regular hours? Don’t you owe that to your minimum wage employees? People will line up outside your store no matter what time you open. What does opening at 5 or midnight accomplish that opening at a regular hour would accomplish?