Black Thursday

So I haven’t been to Black Friday in forever. We used to go when the reward was something like a snow globe. The stakes at Wal-Mart were high, vacuums, computers, bedding etc.
We ventured out as a reconnaissance mission for the next day. The ACTUAL Black Friday that falls on…Friday. There was one item I had noticed 3 or 4 days prior and decided to pop in pick it up and leave. Easy easy.. I had not counted on Wal-Mart Vampires.
As we approached Wal-Mart the first thing that caught our attention, we had just come from Kmart.. which had not a soul in sight. As we pulled into the lot we noted there were 5 police vehicles parked outside in the cart holding area. Hmmm. Interesting.. we parked and began our walk to the lair of shopping hell.
We entered the store and the first thing to catch my eye is the caution tape securing the safe zone around the cashiers, that we were forbidden to enter and the police positioned there let us know this was non-negotiable.
As we began the perimeter walk of the store out of fear and understanding out surroundings, something that goes back to my military training. There were bin after bin of items listed in the Black Friday flyer all strategically placed in the center aisles. Shopping vampires were standing at the ready with empty carts…strategically placed next to the appropriate bins. It was like night of the living dead. They all looked like zombies who were strategically zoned in on a particular item of choice. The following message blared over the loudspeakers “shoppers do not handle the merchandise before the 6pm start of Black Friday” Only.. it’s Thursday.
The entire store held a feeling of foreboding like Dusk till Dawn when they first enter the vampire bar unbeknown to them. But we decided to go for it, our items were at the front of the store and we had brought our secret weapon, a 13 year- old, who loves this excitement. She would ensure we grabbed our bounty. I accidentally touched an item and was reprimanded by not just my daughter ( I didn’t know the rules of Black Thursday and feared for my life. ) but also the nice woman who explained the no touching rule. Silly but there is a culture to this nightmare.
At the witching hour (6pm) the full fledge melee began. The grabbing, the shoving, the utter chaos and complete lack of shopping etiquette and human civility. As we began the walk to the beginning of the cashier line, we were following directions, we hear and see a breach of the rules. I thought Alabama would go off with red lights surrounding the offending shopper. The set up for corralling those wishing to venture into the arena of actual purchasing began half way through the store indicated with a balloon overhead, far too high for an average person to see.. so of course everyone was going in the wrong direction. Think traffic jam . And when they realize they must turn around and access the line… chaos. Rudeness to follow.
We will focus our analysis on the two women with an overflowing cart and self important attitude. When they realized they have gone the wrong way, they turned around their cart and proceed to announce to the crowd “ If you don’t want to get hit, get out of my way” Really? And they proceed to push their cart under the yellow caution tape that is set up for makeshift aisles.. sort of . Unbelievably unrefined. I know it is Wal-Mart.
As we are anxiously waiting to pay for our purchase and get out of Dodge safely , Wild West Reference.. the sweet woman behind us admires our choices and we offer up the 13 year- old who is anxious to hurl herself into the river of customers the wrong way ( think salmon swimming upstream) to retrieve another item for our new retail buddy.
As we watch anxiously for her return to safety, the 15 seconds she is gone are agonizing, sure she has been swallowed by the shopping frenzy.. when suddenly she appears around the corner, bounty held high..when the aforementioned self – serving women hit her with their carts… Wrong move.. She flips around her waist length hair and gives her the look of death.. We quickly grab her under the yellow tape to safety. She is a feisty one.
Soon we are summoned to the the assigned bouncer who shares, “my second year, still not fun”. we are nearly to safety , joy fills our hearts. We pay and move quickly out into the cold night air, feeling as if I should be wearing a sticker that says “ I survived Wal-Mart!”

Until Next Time,



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