Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday. Revisited.

Do you know why they call it "Black Friday?" It has nothing to do with "Black Tuesday." No, it is called "Black Friday" because it is the "official" start of the Christmas shopping season, which is the time which allows retailers to end their fiscal year in the black.

I heard it on Fox News, so it must be true. Fox News isn't allowed to say anything that isn't true, right? Unless it is "fair and balanced," I guess, in which it can be any old crap they feel like saying.

Where was I? Oh, right. Black Friday. Perhaps I have been a bit harsh about after Thanksgiving shopping in the past. Perhaps? Slightly harsh? Who, me?

Well, it turns out that 4 a.m. was not the most heinous opening time for retailing this morning. No, some stores opened at 12:01 a.m. Because it's hard to be thankful for a full 24 hours unless you have immediate shopping prospects, I guess.

Could that be it? It's merely pent up shopping demand? You know, like anytime you are trying to be perfectly still, and suddenly your nose itches, or your back, or you need to sneeze or something. It happens all the time in detective novels and prison break stories. You are facing immediate discovery, and you have to stay perfectly still so the Bad Guy/Prison Guard don't find you, and suddenly, you have an uncontrollable need to twitch. You never need to scratch unless you can't. And you never need to shop the way you need to on a day when all the stores are closed.

Why do they do that, anyway? Close the stores, I mean. Wouldn't you think that grocery stores might do well to stay open until about, oh maybe 2 p.m., so when you find out the turkey is still frozen, or you burned the potatoes, or your main fuse blew and now the oven won't turn on, you can still recover? Shouldn't liquor stores stay open so when Uncle Morty knocks the shiraz bottle off the counter and it shatters on the floor, you can get another one?

Shouldn't fast food places on major highways stay open so that people who are travelling on Thanksgiving can get something to eat during their seven hour car ride? Actually, I was surprised to find that even McDonald's was closed on Thanksgiving. Even some of the truck stops were closed on Thanksgiving, which is really unbelievable. Truckers don't stop for any sissy holiday like Thanksgiving--they just switch from trucking turkeys to trucking cattle and pigs. Trust me, I know--we shared the highway with many venerable livestock drivers, and none of us were able to stop to eat at McDonald's anywhere from Twin Cities to Kansas City. And we checked!

But, back to Black Friday. Maybe it's just a reaction--people who are denied their Constitutional right to shop because the stores are closed, just need to get out and start buying things. Credit cards need their exercise too, you know.

Me? As predicted, I slept in. A lot. L-tryptophan was my friend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From a seasoned holiday traveler: hospital cafeterias are almost always open, even on thanksgiving.