My Accidental Black Friday on Thanksgiving
This year the spirit of the American consumer paid me a visit on Thanksgiving, it tried to turn me into a hypocrite because I am one of those stubborn old school Americans who feels that Black Friday should not start at 6 pm on Thanksgiving.
My 2017 Thanksgiving was normal at first. The Lions lost, my mom arranged for Thanksgiving dinner to start at 1:30 pm, right in the middle of the Lions game so that I would have to run from the dining room table to the living room every time I heard something positive happening for the Lions. I did not have to get up often this year but it was ok because Lions fans are used to disappointment.
At around 5 pm I felt that I had digested enough of my early dinner to start moving again and that it was time to go home, but I could not leave without leftovers. As I went to pack up my car with the spoils of Thanksgiving dinner, I hit the unlock button and saw that the headlight on the passenger side of my car was out. I stood there for five minutes, Thanksgiving leftover in hand, clicking the unlock button on my keys watching the headlight fail to illuminate.
After accepting the fact that my headlight was out, as I put the leftovers into the car I analyzed the situation:
I am going to get pulled over for having the headlight out on the way home or on the way to work, or both. Either way, I had to take action immediately to prevent those possible outcomes, so I went inside and broke the news to my Dad.
My Dad is an infamous amateur auto mechanic because he does not trust mechanics at any garage. I was hoping that he had an extra headlight stashed away somewhere that would fit my car. We found one headlight that did not fit, it took us a while to remove the headlight casing in the dark and then the dust cover that the previous owner glued shut for some reason, so by the time we came to the realization that the only way to resolve this problem was to brave the insane crowd of rabid shoppers at the local Walmart.
We arrived shortly after the initial blitz and parked far away from the doors but the place was still buzzing with holiday shoppers. Besides the fact that this was after 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day everything looked like your average crowd of holiday shoppers at a Walmart, from the outside. On the inside it looked like a militarized shopping zone, the entire area in front of the cashiers was zoned off and an army of Walmart employees stood around the area directing traffic, they wore color-coded vests to indicate what their rank and roll.
My father and I navigated through the mob of shoppers who had their carts full of whatever was on sale, we had to wait in line to move from the front of the store to the back to the auto center that was completely empty. We had to dodge frantic shoppers grabbing at things and stuff between the aisles and avoid the strange looks from holiday shoppers who did not seem to understand why we were headed to that particular area of the Walmart.
Once we found the bulb that we needed, we had to wait in line again just to get from the back to the front, I noticed that we seemed to be invisible to the other shoppers who had their carts loaded with whatever was on sale, almost as if they could only see their own frantic shopping friends pushing their loaded carts in herds through the isles.
As we approached the zoned off area where you had to wait for a Walmart employee to determine which cashier you would go to, I approached one of the lower level vest wearing employees who seemed to be on watch duty.
“Excuse me? There is not a single item line is there?” I said, thinking that my question was worded in a way that would let him know that I already knew the answer.
“No…” He smirked, “Not on Black Friday.”
Suddenly I did not feel bad for that guy for having to work on Thanksgiving.
It took twenty minutes for us to get cashed out for the headlight, the cashier was confused at first and attempted to scan the items from the woman behind us. We had to explain to her twice that we are just buying one headlight bulb.
We made our purchase and left easily without any incidents in the parking lot.
Although the adventure was not bad, it was not good, I have always been against the idea of Black Friday starting on Thanksgiving but I have never been a part of it until 2017.
I used to say that Squanto did not show us how to use the land so that we can go shopping, then I changed my tune because Americans are the worlds leading consumers, it’s our greatest export, I started saying that Squanto did show us how to use the land to go shopping.
After being in the belly of the beast I have come to a new conclusion, Squanto showed us how to use the land and it did not make a difference.