Black Friday, I’m In Love

Posted by admin - 25/11/11 at 04:11 pm

If your Christmas involves living in Walmart, you should change religions.

Since the social experience we’ve come to know as “Black Friday” now begins on Thursday night, I revisited my earlier pledge to never go back out and subject myself to the angry, desperate, bargain-hungry mob.

We started a little bit before midnight at Walmart, which I’ll admit isn’t a good idea even on a normal day. As expected, it was packed. However, Walmart actually had a good gameplan, although I doubt it was on purpose. To start with, they split their sales into three different time slots for toys, computers, and other electronics, which divided the crazy shoppers into different shifts.

Of course, that also meant people were waiting around, hanging out until the next round of items went on sale. I found several families who seemed to have set up camp and were bedding down for the long haul.

From there, Walmart went to the extra step of spreading the sale items all over the store. That meant when you came in looking for a television, for example, the TVs were actually hiding in the automotive section. The cell phones? Look by the paint samples. Need a laptop? Check the mulch. And none of the employees seemed to know where anything was, either. When people would ask the employees where an item was, it was like the zombie apocalypse. They’d pick up their walkie-talkies and ask for help, and there was never an answer.

When you entered the store, you had no idea what direction to turn so no one knew where to form the crowds. It was like shopping in a foreign country. Walmart actually made things easier by making them impossible to find.

The line to check out was tremendous, which it usually is in Walmart anyway. The oddest thing of the evening? The overwhelming smell of skunk in the check-out lines. At first, I thought someone had smoked weed.  Then it got stronger, and I suspected someone was still smoking it while shopping. Then it got so overwhelming, I thought someone was actually sitting behind me smoking weed with a family full of skunks in some kind of Disney-meets-Cheech-and-Chong movie.

From there, it was on to Best Buy. And then, right past Best Buy. At one a.m. Best Buy still had a line that stretched for most of the block. They were only letting a few people in as others left, so there was a real “velvet rope” feel to it. It was like waiting to get into the hottest nightclub in town, where you could also buy a portable hard drive and a Call of Duty.

Kohls. I think some of those people will still be there on Christmas.

After not bothering to stop at Best Buy, we decided to check at Kohls. After sitting dead still in the parking lot for five minutes watching a double-decker truck execute a forty-one point turn to score a tiny parking space, we walked in the store with no crowds out front.

I’d like to speak candidly to the management of the store for a moment.

Kohls, I don’t know what the Hell you did wrong, but your store looked like the DMV.

Kohls had three check-out lines inside that ran the entire interior perimeter of the store. It was absolutely incredible. Perhaps they were requiring full-body scans as identification for check writers. I’ve known people who didn’t wait that long for a kidney. We found two things we’d like to buy, then just gave up, threw them down, and fled the scene completely.

It was about 1:45 when we drove past Best Buy, with a line still up the block. High tech geeks still waiting to get into the hottest show in town.

— Reid Kerr needs a little Christmas, right this very minute.


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