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Black Friday Insanity

by Donald Mehl  
11/26/2010 / Humor

Well, they say that today is "Black Friday". The warnings that it was coming have been "out there" for several days. The news media would almost have us believe that it is an un-declared national holiday.

The relentless reminders of the "big day" reached a peak yesterday. After walking out to our newspaper box by the street curb, I quickly realized that along with our newspaper, there were also a zillion pounds of advertising brochures, single-sheet fliers, and expensive magazines printed in eye-catching colors. It was obvious that the optimistic retailers had spent tons of money on materials designed to cause shoppers to reach for their credit cards.

Next year I must remember to drive a forklift truck out to the curb. By doing that, it would be so much easier to haul all of that stuff over to my recycle bin.

For reasons that escape me, hordes of people blindly respond, and are drawn-in by the "call to shop". Many, wrapped in blankets, will sit in the snow during the night in 10 degree weather while alert and waiting to hear the clicking sound of doors being unlocked. Then, when the "come on in" command is given, the human stampede toward the store entrance will commence with vengeance. From that moment on, life and limbs are in serious peril.

The news media is there to film the event, too. It always seems to be the day's breaking news story. The world could be fully engaged in a nuclear war, volcanoes may be exploding everywhere, and California could be sliding into the ocean, but the wild Black Friday shopping frenzy would have the top news priority.

The madness of the Black Friday shopping spree is surely a opportunity to max-out credit uncontrollable urge to purchase things not needed. It might also be a clear example of the financially fatal "shop 'till you drop" mentality - all in the name of alleged discounted prices. However, the only known cure is a dose of common sense, but that is a rarity these days.

For a brief moment last night, I considered setting my alarm clock to wake me at 3:00am. That horrible hour would have allowed me to get "out there among 'em" in plenty of time to find a good deal or two.

But then, thankfully, common sense took over. I'm not that desperate to buy something, and I don't really want anything, either. Besides, my nice warm bed feels pretty good at 3:00am on wintry mornings.

Perhaps I will join the crazy Black Friday crowd next year, but I doubt it.

During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!

Donald Mehl

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