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Black Friday Comes But Once A Year

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.

The Future Of Black Friday

Black Friday, an event that used to take place on a Friday, has spilled over into Thanksgiving Thursday. As companies battle to be the first store open for the holiday shopping season, we are in for some interesting twists and turns in the next few years. Let’s just use Target as an example for this speculation, because they are the type of company I can see doing the things described in the following timeline.

2012 – Target takes the next logical step, keeping their stores open all day on Thanksgiving.

2013 – A number of other companies follow suit.

2014-2019 – During these years, Thanksgiving shopping will become a standard practice. One company, probably Target, will then go all in, declaring the day after Halloween the “New Black Friday.” This will set off an entirely new retail war – Black Friday will be pushed up to the day after Columbus Day, then as far as Labor Day. Target, ever the innovator, will go as far as coining the term “Black July.” In mid June, they will begin setting up Christmas displays, to prepare their guests for the coming July holiday shopping rush. A few outsiders, maybe a small local company battling this corporate giant, will then start running Christmas ads the week before Memorial Day. Target will not take kindly to this.

2020 – Target announces that the true holiday shopping season begins on Christmas day. People will spend Christmas day shopping for Christmas presents, for next year’s Christmas.

2021 – Some people freeze to death on Christmas Eve camping outside, waiting for Target to open its doors.

2022 – In a “We are sorry about the deaths of those people, because they won’t be able to shop at Target anymore” move, Target announces “Hotel Target” will be added to all Target stores within the next two years. Hotel Target will accomodate guests who would otherwise be braving the elements in order to beat the morning shopping rush. Hotel Target is stocked with fine Target products, like soap, shampoo, Market Pantry snacks, etc., which will simply be itemized and added to your bill when you check out, and is conveniently located within walking distance of a Target store.

2025 – Getting a room at Hotel Target for the shopping season becomes nearly impossible. From Memorial Day to Christmas, rooms are booked solid. A black market for Hotel Target reservations starts. In what could be made into a whole other story, Target eventually buys out the black market, renaming it Target Market.

2027 – Target announces “Target City.” It is a completely self-sustaining environment, where people can live while they wait to shop at Target. It will be a lot like the arcologies from Sim City 2000, which look like this:

2030 – Major metropolitan areas all over the country are taken over by Target Cities.

2035 – The United States of America changes its name to Target.

2036 – Target (the store) announces that Christmas will not be recognized in Target (the country) anymore. Instead, December will be a month-long celebration of Target (the store, and the country), where people will be allowed to shower Target (the country) with gifts that they have purchased at Target (the store).

2040 – A band of outsiders get sick of only shopping at Target. They look to the past for inspiration, and decide to revive the Occupy movement. Scores of people begin Occupy Target, with the aim to take down their oppressor.

2041 – Since everyone lives and works in and at Target, the Occupy strategy goes unnoticed, and loses the small amount of momentum it had. The few remaining dissenters are pointed out by loyalists. After a brief absence, the former rebels emerge back into Target society, with large scars, which appear to be from an incision, noticeable across their foreheads. With a dead look in their eyes, they drool out the side of their mouths and proclaim in a vague, monotone voice, “I love Target.”

2045 – Earth is now Target.

2050 – Target (the planet) decides to colonize the Sun, its only real competitor. The Sun makes everything that Target does possible, and surely, it can be conquered. A brave Target (the space travel division) scientist speaks up, and says that is not possible. She is shot dead. The next scientist in line, seeing the fate of his colleague, agrees to take on the mission.

2051-2055 – After a number of failed excursions, due mostly to disintegration by extreme heat, Target (the Esteemed Chancellor, the ruler of all things Target) declares war with the Sun.

2058 – The Sun is finally defeated at a great cost of life to Target (the planet). After years of trying and trying and trying to find a substance able to withstand the extreme heat of the Sun, Target (the space travel division) hits paydirt. The sacred bones of deceased Targets (Esteemed Chancellors) past are revealed to be cold enough (even in death, the bones of a former Chancellor retain extremely low temperatures) to defy the high temperatures of the Sun. A Target (a bomb composed of the bones of the Chancellors, packed tightly together, charged with enough radioactive waste to create a catastrophic explosion) is dispatched skyward.

2060 – Having no sunlight, Target (the planet, the stores, the race, everything really) goes into deep, deep freeze, and is shattered into trillions of tiny fragments when a meteor strikes the giant ball of ice.

3,987,745 – There are now trillions of tiny Target planets, orbiting Hydra, one of Pluto’s moons, which is the largest celestial object left at this period in time. The tiny organisms that survived the meteor catastrophe have evolved into a new race of Targets. Living in this sun-less universe, they have developed glands that allow them to perform the opposite of photosynthesis, that is, nourishment comes in the form of darkness, which is bountiful. The combination of an unlimited food source and no natural predators creates a Target race more powerful than could ever be fathomed. The End.

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