Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday Goes Online

Last year a Minneapolis friend of mine went to his first Black Friday a.m. shopping experience. It was not planned, but both he and his wife were lying awake at four in the morning and wondering....

"Sounds like you're awake, too," she said.

"Yes I am. Wish I felt more tired."

"Well, since we're both awake, why don't we go shopping?"

And just like that, Bob was standing in front of a store with doors which were about to be opened in two minutes. A mob was pressed tight against the glass all eager and waiting. But what he noticed behind him was a small cluster of women in a huddle, planning their own strategy, a flying wedge. Yes, the old football pattern, only the aim was not a touchdown, just a smashing entrance. He'd never seen anything like it.

Sure enough, as the doors opened these young women made a brutal plunge into the mob, jarring, shoving, crashing and crushing. At least they weren't carrying guns.

For what it's worth, if you're really into finding Black Friday deals, and you're not thrilled about putting your life at risk to get them, there are an increasing number of places online where you can choose to shop from the luxury of your armchair, if you have a laptop and wireless Internet, or from your home office.

Personally, I don't get it. I suppose it gives journalists and bloggers something to write about.

The front page of today's paper lists the "best deals" of tomorrow including a $999 46" Samsung LCD HDTV and $197 HP Laptop with Celeron processor at Best Buy and $7 fleece jackets at Wal-Mart. Hey look, it's a $39 Polaroid V130 Camcorder at Target!

If you do decide to venture forth, perhaps Teddy Roosevelt's wisdom applies here... "Talk softly, and carry a big stick."

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