Too much focus has been put on the consumerism surrounding Thanksgiving week in recent years. The holiday is a time for family. For food. For fellowship. For football. No one should have to leave their gathering and go to work at eight in the evening on Thanksgiving just to get ready for a midnight Black Friday sale, unless, of course, that person works at the store selling the sick 72 inch TV I need in my garage.
Doctors work at hospitals on holidays. Pushing logically forward, this means that those in retail should always be available so that we can buy Stuff whenever we want, for without Stuff, we are nothing more than wild animals. Would you like to be a wild animal, living outdoors, biting and scratching and fighting for the scraps of a shredded rabbit carcass, or a human being, shopping inside, biting and scratching and fighting for the scraps at the bottom of a DVD bargain bin? In nature, when that carcass is gone, it’s gone, but on Black Friday, we have people who were forced to abandon their families that will replenish that dumpster full of NCIS DVDs while you push your thumb deep into a fellow Mark Harmon fan’s eye.
Police and paramedics are available every day of the year, too, so why do you think you shouldn’t have to clock in for a twelve-hour overnight shift, Mr. I-don’t-want-to-work-holidays-retail-guy-who-is-being-paid-almost-ten-dollars-an-hour? Just imagine if the police didn’t feel like working on Black Friday. Who would quell the riots that Black Friday causes?
Anyways, the first Thanksgiving was nothing more than a prelude to massive land theft and genocide. Is that what we want to celebrate? Methinks not! Erase the pain and terrible memories of Manifest Destiny by giving your money to a large corporation in the middle of the night! Exercise civility and engage in hand-to-hand combat with your fellow man (preferably of the same race) on the way into Walmart and then pay for the ensuing spoils. Time was, you would’ve given that same man a blanket dosed with smallpox and then turned his ancestral homeland into a tobacco farm. Being a part of Black Friday is being a part of the evolution of mankind.
It’s also one of those neat times where you can go plum wild, and no one can get mad at you.
For instance, on what other day of the year can I drink coffee all night and have seven hours of shopping in before the sun rises? When else is it perfectly acceptable to ram your shopping cart into the nuts of yuppies and vagrants alike, whether they’re stumbling around with a 75 lb. case of upscale dog food, or simply trying to get out of the cold? In June, why is it not OK for me to trample a seven year-old child that is standing where I want to be, but the day after Thanksgiving, people form a circle and cheer me on? On Black Friday, even people in wheelchairs aren’t off-limits, because who’s to say it’s not just a wily disguise to get preferential treatment? How can I be so thankful for what I have on Thanksgiving, but when midnight strikes, my face becomes disfigured, I let out an otherworldly howl, and I become a ravenous beast that needs to buy things that have been available every other day of the year during normal waking hours?
Hell, I don’t know. Probably some instinctual hangover from our Neanderthal days. If only those ancestors could see me now, belittling retail workers, breathing in the sweaty farts of strangers, and replacing the great sadness I feel inside with Stuff.
As you’ve probably noticed, my Facebook profile picture now has a vague blue, white and red shade over it. Why? Well, it’s just one of the many things I’m doing that is helping heal the world. Like back in June, when I saw that everyone was changing their profile pics to rainbows. I thought it was because summer was starting, and I also like rainbows, so I did it too. Turns out it was for gay marriage. Whoops. It was a happy accident, though. It made me look ultra progressive and accepting.
This time around, I was prepared. I knew the purpose behind this massively popular act, and I noticed that everyone else who did it got like, a shitload of ‘likes.’ No brainer.
What’s that? You’re attending a candle light vigil and you want me to come along? Hmmm. Where is it? St. John’s Lutheran Church? Is that the one by the McDonald’s? It’s not. Hmmm. The thing is, that’s kind of out of my way, and I really wanted to go to McDonald’s. Besides, I already changed my profile pic for France. They know I got their back.
There will be cookies and punch at the vigil, you say? I really wanted more of a meal. How about this: while I’m at McDonald’s, I’ll order extra French fries. I’ll say the ‘French’ part really loud, and see if I can get a chant going. No I won’t, I’m shy. Anyways, remember how silly it was when we were mad at France, and people were trying to call those things Freedom Fries? I think all those French flags on Facebook have buried that hatchet once and for all.
I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. You’re assembling care packages for the injured victims? When? Ooooo, that’s not going to work for me. My favorite um…..show is on at that time. What are the chances. Tell you what, write out the address for my Facebook profile on a piece of paper, make copies, and drop one into every package. Then they can go to my page and see that I have changed my picture to the French Flag. Well, I’m still the main focus of the picture, but the colors kind of distort the image and make me look really cool. I know seeing a stranger overlaid with the American flag would make me happy, sort of, I guess.
Did I hear that correctly? You’re accepting monetary donations? Um, I would, but I don’t uh, have any cash on me. Yeah, no cash. Sorry. What’s that? I can go online and donate with a debit or credit card? Shit. I mean yeah, I’ll totally do that later.
Look, before you toss out any more invites requiring me to go places or do things for France, let me point out again that I changed my Facebook profile picture to the French Flag. No further action needed. See? Holy crap! Ten ‘likes’ already! I never crack double digits. YES!!! Peace on Earth, here we come.
Did you just call me a sheep? Why? Because I blindly follow trends? Do sheep support France? Didn’t think so. BAAA. Excuse me, I coughed. BAAAAAA. BAAAAAAAAAA. Sorry, there’s something tickling my throat.
BAAAAAAAA. BAAAAAAAAA. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
I was watching a PBS documentary where a guy in a tobacco field was talking about the ingredients of dirt.
That’s not what we are here to learn today, though.
A different part of the same documentary dropped the knowledge that camels originated in North America, not the Middle East.
I remember back in 6th or 7th grade, some guy in a camper came to our school and talked to us about what we wanted to be when we grew up. After his spiel in front of the class, he took each of us out to that camper for a ‘one-on-one,’ without any later reports of molestation, which is pretty amazing. That is not the lesson here, though.
Inside, he had some sort of weird, primitive camper internet that gave printouts of information on the careers that we said we were interested in. I thought the whole thing was stupid, so I told him I wanted to be a garbageman, which I ironically sort of was a few years ago.
So, was this some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, or did that camperman overlook my lack of enthusiasm for choosing a career at age thirteen because he saw something in me, some raw, unshaped gunk that he truly believed would make a good garbageman?
I think the true lesson here is this: career counselors that live in campers know more about you than you think.
Sometimes I write little notes to myself.
And sometimes, when I want to write a little note to myself and there is no pen or paper around, I pull out my cellular telephone, a first generation LG Cosmos, and activate the “Notepad” feature.
For instance, on October 28th of last year, I recorded this: “Why aren’t there any funny tampon commercials.”
Here we are, over a year later, and I still have not witnessed a humorous feminine napkin advertisement, and I still don’t understand what tampons are actually for.
THE INTERNET—A local blogger recently published its latest article, sat back, and vibrated in excited delight.
“Yes. This will be the one,” it says, grinning at its own genius. “People magazine, here I come.”
The post is currently wafting aimlessly through the internet, where it is completely available for the top editors at every major periodical in the world to stumble across and hire the blogger once they recognize the raw talent and “outside of the box” recklessness that comes from the “writer’s” complete absence of any formal journalistic training.
Whether it was being one of the first few thousand pundits to make the astute observation that the only people who like Justin Bieber are generally preteen girls, to coining the phrase I’m more confused than Bruce or Caitlyn Jenner’s genitals!, or just having an all-around knack for “sticking it” to pop culture figures who “have it coming,” this blogger has got the stuff.
After pressing the “Publish” button, the blogger spent half an hour sorting through old Facebook photos, trying to decide which one would look good as a profile pic for the weekly column it will soon be writing for the local newspaper, which will then lead to a nationally syndicated gig.
—->you once stuck your finger in a carny’s mouth because you didn’t think he had any teeth
—->you once dug around in a carny’s mouth searching for a finger
—->you once punched a carny in the face until his teeth fell out
—->you once used a broken beer bottle to slice open the stomach of a toothless carny
—->you once brought your own nibbled-up, chewing tobacco and stomach juice-soaked finger to the hospital, where you were told it could not be reattached
—->you once were in a hospital examination room, looking at the stump that used to be your left pointer finger, while a doctor told you that you were morbidly obese
—->now you’re gluten free, because that will help, just like Atkins, essential oils, watching Dr. Phil, owning one eight pound dumbbell, and taking the top part of the bun off your Arby’s roast beef sandwich did.