Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I See... Why Black Friday?

Every Thanksgiving some of my brothers and sisters and their families manage to find the time and the money to get together for Thanksgiving. The last two years in Chicago and Hampstead we've initiated Black Friday activities into the mix of traditions, and plans were on track to participate again in Nashville. Imagine my dismay when I received this short note from my brother Robert flying in from Las Vegas, declaring his intentions:

"I need to be inspired by Richard to participate in the black Friday ritual. Black Friday for me means black seen by my retinas as I sleep in until 10am."
Now, read my passionate reply:

"Robert, Robert, Robert, (you know you are in trouble when someone repeats your name three times)

"Your request for me to inspire you to participate in the family Black Friday ritual has been granted.

"I think the reason why you are struggling with this is that you are allowing your immense intellect and vast reservoirs of common sense (he's a really smart doctor) to overwhelm innate, yet random and mindless bonding urges that Tait brothers have been gifted with from their maker. In order to understand the satisfaction generated by infiltrating a raucous crowd of bargain hunters excitedly waiting in front of a poorly-organized Wal-Mart in zub-zero temperatures at insanely early hours of the morning, prepared to rush the front door with reckless abandon and trample over those who dare to get in between them and a $300 laptop, it is critical to put a blindfold over your natural, logical eyes and "trust the force." The only adequate path to achieving a fullness of comprehension of Black Friday and its attendant glories is via an analogy I call "the thrill of the hunt."

"If we want a really good steak to grill and consume in the comforts of our own home, we merely saunter down to the meat section of the nearest supermarket and pick out an inviting glowing red slab of carrion, neatly packaged in shiny cellophane wrapping. Life is easy. Why then, do some manly men strap on the orange vests, grab their finely-tuned killing machines, and spend hours in desolate wilderness waiting for that opportune moment to bring down Bambi's mother?

"It is... the thrill of the hunt.

"And so it is with Black Friday. No doubt we could buy whatever we are seeking with much more ease, and a just little more money, in the comfort of our own homes in front of a computer screen on Amazon.com or Ebay. However, nothing makes stronger memories than listening to a professional Black Friday consumer directly behind you in line, on an early, frigid November morning, instructing a one-legged man and his fiance, holding a newborn babe in swaddling clothes, on the finer points of rushing a crowd and trampling the competition on their way to a $200 LCD TV. I myself will never forget the pride I felt at fighting a big, bouncy African-American woman in front of me for a treasured spot at checkout stand no. 1 to buy one of the 24 available laptops, only to see my own son Brian several spots in front of me!

"Thursday night we'll lay out the Black Friday ads on the kitchen table, and map out an attack strategy. Precision, planning, and a loud alarm clock for Bill (my younger brother) is critical for success. We will then descend on the Best Buy or Wal-Mart that is lucky enough to have us, and enjoy the building anticipation while we wait for the glass doors to open. Our veins will surge with expectations and adrenaline, the "thrill of the hunt," as we slither past some people, then unceremoniously trample over others, in our quest to grab the last 79.99 all-in-one Vista-capable printer. It is legal, sanctioned chaos at is finest.

"Do not deny your destiny. Who needs sleep? Let go of your retinas and feel the force. Join us on Friday morning.



1 comment:

  1. Okay, so you have inspired me. I am going to look over all of the ads tomorrow and decide if there is anything that we NEED, or could use for the business or our home.