I recall with shock and awe the first day I arrived in Texas for the Fall Season only to find the Christmas decorations and wrapping paper already on the shelves. This was the first of October, mind you, and Halloween hadn't even made its own scary appearance.
It used to be people went out and got a few bags of candy for the Trick-or-Treaters and called it good. Nowadays, there are huge yard displays of every type and imagination including giant inflatable haunted houses and spooks.
But the rush past that and onto the Christmas Season seems to be coming earlier each year and I fully expect it to start earlier and earlier until the sales offered today are for the Christmas a year and a half later.
Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, was always the time my mom and sisters would go shopping and us men go hunting for the day. It all worked out perfectly for both parties. In today's world of ultimate political correctness I am surprised there isn’t a move to change the name to Profitable Friday as that’s the real meaning anyway.
Now however, Black Friday has bled over into Turkey Day and the sales start at 6 p.m. Thursday with a mad rush to the local big box store.
Not one to be left out of the certain excitement and watching looney tunes make complete idiots out of themselves, I decided to visit the local Wal-Mart and see just exactly what was happening on the designated day and time. I had to park illegally a half mile away and when I got inside people were packed so tight they could barely move.
Stacks and stacks of shrink wrapped pallets lined every aisle and the presence of box cutters in the hands of shoppers told me that the TSA had not screened this crowd. They were not going to wait for some employee to cut the wrap, no sir. They were due the merchandise and by golly they were going to get it.
So sometime around 6 p.m. a woman screamed, men cursed and a low murmur moved throughout the crowd. Small children were sacrificed to the god of mammon in the push for more stuff and their cries were heard coursing throughout the store.
50” televisions were being offered for $218 and in the push to get a fourth set for the bathroom, boxes flew and language spoken would have made a sailor turn blue. One man told me they were going to get four TV's and resell them on Craigslist the next day. Now that is some crazy stuff there.
I maneuvered my way clear of the worst of the crowds and was able to get a Shop Vac for an amazingly low $19. Once I had it in my cart the next challenge came in getting it to the register and out the door in one piece.
An old man in a ride around scooter accosted me as I was about to make good my escape and tried to take my Vac. A battle ensued and the old codger about had the best of me until I was able to step on his oxygen line and then it was just a matter of time. Slowly his face turned blue and his hands relaxed their death grip on my box and he sat back down at which point I swiped my card and was out the door.
Friday brought about an unexpected need to return to the same store and although I feared for my own safety at this point, it appeared that the shopping lunacy had exhausted itself and I was in and out in a flash. Of course, who is going to fight you over five apples?