Hi ho, this is Alice, your raving reporter, talking to you from the front lines. Well, actually I’m now safe at home with some cocoa, but I WAS at the front lines at 7 pm Black Thursday at our local Mecca. There’s no news camera to dramatically film me in my blond wig while I squish my face up in a concerned, yet attractive way, so why not report from home?
For that matter, why not SHOP from home? Yes, I realize I’ve spoken about the pitfalls of that, but I’ll tell you one thing. There are no literal pitfalls when you shop online, versus actual pitfalls if you try to shop in person. Like getting trampled by a long line of shopping carts that wraps around the store, filled mostly with stuff they could have safely bought with a click while drinking cocoa.
I’ve decided that the best way to shop on the worst shopping days of the year is to go there with nothing to buy. It also helped to not have anything to spend either. This allowed me to better observe the people. Also to better observe the employees pushing giant dollies in my direction.
And wow, were there people. Keep in mind I waited TWO HOURS after the official sale began here, and it was still bonkers. There were people back to back with shopping carts filled to the brim for what was apparently one of maybe three lines they could check out in? I’m not sure. Anyway, there was a line of carts like a cattle drive. I wanted to say “Mooooo” but these people didn’t look very happy and some were armed with very heavy bake ware.
I did not have a cart, so I was able to weave around most of the people. A few I bumped into and politely said “excuse me” but often I did not get a response. Not a smile, not a nod, just a stiff, determined expression, like a general on his way to battle.
I love the smell of plastic in the evening.
Not all of the store was open, because apparently some of the deals didn’t start until 8 pm. A lot of rows of the store were roped off with, get this, streamers like at parties. But they were thoughtful enough to get actual policemen to guard these pathetic boundaries. Yup, law enforcement to keep people from being homicidal morons in a store right after giving thanks and breaking bread. I love my country.
Since electronics is the main draw on these shopping days, they had spread them throughout the store, thus preventing bottle necking in the actual department. Nothing like shopping for DVDs by the hamburger meat. I found a couple priced two bucks and picked them up for some reason. As if I was going to find a cash register? I think there is something wired in your brain that just commands you to grab this stuff.
I glanced at the aisles filled with cardboard containers that were rapidly emptying. By tomorrow evening, the store will look something like Atlanta after Sherman made a visit. I ended up putting down my videos. A reporter only risks so much, after all.
I made my escape through lawn and garden, ironically the place where they store all the ornaments, actual Christmas trees, etc. Who cares about that stuff? There were cheap toys and bed sheets, and PJs and TVs, and I was so above that.
Unlike them, I’d already clicked for my junk. I suddenly don’t feel so bad about the whole online thing. It certainly beats the cattle drive.
This is Alice, your faithful reporter, signing off. Have a happy Black Friday. Try not to die. 🙂
Oh, I almost forgot, I am thankful to two bloggers, Victoria of Angst Anarchy and H.E. Ellis of the blog, er, H.E. Ellis for sending me their signed books. Check out the links to find out more about these books. I won them, that’s right I WON, in that blog hop thing we had a while back. You should take part in that – you don’t have to shop if you win. Anyway, I was pretty stoked about the whole thing. I plan to read them soon.
No prizes today, but feel free to read the funny bloggers on this list. It’s safer than venturing out THERE.
These days, there are few things that employees can count on, but most can at least count on there being a place to park their car. Not if you work at a university! The rules are totally upside down here. You see, first you have to pay for a permit to park. At your own workplace. And it gets better because even then, you don’t know if you’ll find a parking spot. As I overheard one student say, you’re not buying a parking permit, but a hunting license. Good luck out there.
Now I realize that we have it better in many ways than bigger universities. Some of those guys have to pay ten times as much for the privilege of getting their cars lost in a giant parking garage of doom. But parking is supposed to be part of the appeal of a small university. Sure we don’t have a lot of the stuff the big schools do, like fame, or money, or students. But by golly, there used to be a place to park our cars! Believe it or not, this was a perk. You know, like how some people get a company car? Like that, only lamer. Observe, from our actual college paper.
And if you think this is a silly thing to get irked about, I’ll have you know that this is a major concern. People get seriously ANGRY about parking. I know because I work in archives, and this has been going on since, I kid you not, the 1930s. At first they were just cheeky about the no parking signs, and took pictures of themselves posing around them. Again, not making this up. But then by the 1950s they really starting having problems. Students would park directly behind other students, which tended, I’m assuming, to cause some STUDENT RAGE. By the 1970s, when people were protesting stuff like the Vietnam War other places, we were protesting parking. Because no one can say we don’t know what’s important here. The letters to the editor in the college newspaper were much like slower precursors to internet message boards. They would, honest to goodness, go back and forth for WEEKS arguing about who had it worst: teachers, on-campus students, or commuters. That was some hot news here.
One time this student parked in faculty parking back in the 70s, so the professor parked directly behind him so he couldn’t get out. I thought that was awesome. They took a picture of it for the paper. Again, I am not making this stuff up. Later, in the 80s and 90s, students started parking at local businesses. The businesses weren’t especially happy about it, especially one business that I will not name but hint it starts with Wal and ends in Mart. Anyway, they tried all sorts of stuff to prevent student parking. They posted signs. Students ignored them. They posted people in the parking lot. Students tried to run them over. Finally, they stuck carts upside down in every parking place. I wonder which employee got that great job assignment. How do I know about this? Yeah, the campus paper took a picture of that too.
But we must not say that the school does not understand the concerns of its employees and students. They have been especially helpful in this regard by building new buildings over existing limited parking. And there is always, always construction that takes up even more parking. Also, they have steadily raised the price of a permit to park nowhere year by year. Talk about a morale booster!
Right now, students are returning to campus. Understandably, parents have no idea where to park on campus, so they’re parking everywhere. Even places that are not designated for parking, but instead for pesky things like leaving room for emergency vehicles. So until the students settle in and they start ticketing, we just deal with it. By claiming our territory like predatory bears. Once you get in a parking spot, you don’t move. Ever. I’d personally like to plant a flag and claim my spot in the name of Texas. Hey, they used to get away with that crap.
But I bet you’re still thinking we’re making a mountain out of a molehill, right? If only we could! We could put parking on it! Pave some of that paradise people, and put in a parking lot! And for your own safety, keep the heck out of my parking place!