Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

Black Friday, Red Saturday, Death Monday

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Dec• 01•19

Doesn’t this Nintendo Switch sign just call out to you to buy it for me?

Like most people, every Black Friday I’m forced to make major life decisions. I scrounge through the sales ads and ponder whether I should pay my rent or throw caution to the wind and get a Nintendo Switch and the new Apple Watch I’ve always wanted. Some may argue that these items aren’t necessities, but to those people, I respectfully say, mind your business, grandmas!

Just when you think you have everything you could ever need in life, you see an ad for a pink fluffy robe with matching slippers on sale, and, by golly, you’ve got to have them! You may have never cooked a thing in your life, but then you see a .02% discount on an Instant Pot, and you realize your true calling was to be a chef all along. If I had one, maybe I wouldn’t be living solely off Oodles of Noodles and oatmeal. I’ve had visions of me one day correcting Rachel Ray on her cooking show while we laugh and sling chili or deviled eggs at each other.

Whenever I participate in the Black Friday madness, I’ve been known to go a little overboard. While some stragglers choose to line up right before the store opens, I’ve been known to arrive several days before the big event. I took the first spot in line last year on the Tuesday before because I’d gotten an early scoop that comforters would finally be on sale with $2 off. That deal alone was worth me sitting outside for three days. And before you start judging, I’ll have you know that I also bought a box of staples as well.

50% off EVERYTHING! Yes, sign me up!

Now, there are many reasons why I should never shop on Black Friday. As you may know, I’ve been banned from all US Walmart stores on that day because of a slight stampeding incident that I may or may not have been involved in a few years ago. If you ask me, it wasn’t my fault. The shelves looked really low on coffee, so I couldn’t risk missing out. When the doors opened, I made a run for it, which seemed smart and reasonable at the time.

Apparently, I was not the only one who wanted to stock up on a nice House Blend that morning. All 5,000 of us customers ran right past the flat-screen TVs and Tonka trucks, and a Kill Bill style struggle ensued right there on aisle 6. Perhaps I was wrong for snatching up a Nerf gun as a defense method, but it was overkill for Walmart security to tase me without warning. Although I’m banned, I have a great team of lawyers who negotiated a reasonable workaround. If I want to go to Walmart on Black Friday, I simply have to go to Botswana to do it.

It’s worth mentioning, that there were a few years where I forgot to observe Black Friday clothing restrictions. While we know there are some areas where you shouldn’t wear blue or red ever, we should probably add Target and Best Buy to that list too. Because you have free will, dear readers, I understand if you want to go rogue and test this theory, but you do so at your own peril.

One year I had the unfortunate fate of wearing a red polo and khakis to Target’s sale event. I was bombarded with several customer questions before I even entered the store. Where do we park? Are Glade air fresheners in stock? How does baby powder work? When I’d politely explain that I didn’t work there, most customers didn’t care. They needed AA batteries and were insistent that I’d help them find some.

Actually, helping the Target customers wasn’t that bad. At least I earned a few brownie points for doing some form of good in society. The problem arose when a manager asked me to stock shelves and refused to take no for an answer. I couldn’t risk being written up, so I did as I was asked. When an actual worker later showed up with a pallet full of items and told me I had 15 minutes to finish, I knew I was in trouble.

Despite my best efforts, I got fired at the end of my shift anyway. Apparently, I wasn’t wearing a nametag and it’s required. “How will customers know who you are?” the manager barked. I learned my lesson. Rules are rules for a reason. Just because I didn’t work there didn’t mean that I shouldn’t have read the employee handbook and governed myself accordingly. I’d never even gotten a chance to ask about benefits.

My last view at Target as I was being escorted out of the building.

If I’d been born with any level of common sense, I would have learned not to participate in the Black Friday shenanigans years ago. Back in 1771, I remember seeing an ad for a VCR that I just had to have. I don’t know about your VCR, but this one allowed you to rewind and fast forward. It even had a remote! With that VCR, I wouldn’t just be keeping up with the Joneses. I’d be running circles around them as if I were Usain Bolt of Flo-Jo.

Landing a VCR that would elevate my social status didn’t come easily. I had to fight and elbow several grandmas and toddlers to claim my glorious prize. Although I left several bodies in my wake, some of the grandmas had great form, so I considered them to be formidable opponents. It just wasn’t their time. As the saying goes, what’s meant for me is for me.

As I stepped over a few people and strutted to the register to hand over my Discover credit card, I smiled gleefully. I had no idea that Discover would charge me a 1,039% interest rate on that purchase. I wouldn’t have believed that 20 years later, I would still owe $643 on that $59.99 VCR. In the end, the Joneses never came over to see my VCR. However, if they had, they would have been shaking in their Black Friday boots.

Now that I’m getting older, I’m starting to feel the weight of society’s expectations for me to be more responsible. Allegedly, when you’re middle-aged, you’re supposed to think about your future. While I still see myself as a backup singer and dancer for Beyoncé or Britney Spears down the line, I guess I’m also supposed to focus on retirement and my credit score. Unfortunately, this year there were no Black Friday ads on 401(k) accounts. I know because I searched for them on GrubHub and Groupon.

If I’m honest, the decision to shop or not shop was not really in my control this year. After doing my budget, I found that I would only have $2.34 to my name after my past-due bills were paid. Somehow, I was supposed to make that last for two weeks. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. Not participating in all the sales this year isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world. I mean, at least I won’t have to wonder where to sneakily go potty while I wait in line for three days.

Michael Rochelle
Humor blog: www.humormike.com
Facebook: michael.rochelle1
Instagram: humor_mike_
Twitter: @mikeyllo

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