Black Friday Blues

November 30, 2009 | Leave a Comment

I’m not going to bore you with my qualifications — what kind of huge shopping fan I am or how many years in a row I’ve been up early enough to wake the rooster getting those shopping deals that you only dream of.  I’ve bagged every single treasure worth getting before you’ve even finished your first cup of coffee.  But this isn’t a brag-post for Tammy.  That’ll have to wait for another day.

No, this is to explain what happened last Friday while I was out doing what I do third-best in the world.  There I was at Macy’s, at the very front (and yes, of course I mean the very front) of the line to get in at five.  I knew the optimal path through the store, and I had planned out every route and every out-of-stock contingency.  I was prepared physically and mentally.  I had stretched and was wearing my lucky shopping sweats.  And I was ready to push, pull, scratch, and bite whatever and whomever I had to in order to get to the bottom of my holiday shopping list.

So that’s where I was at 4:59 as the manager approached the door to unlock it.  The final seconds ticked away, and I wiped a rare bead of nervous sweat from my perfectly sculpted eyebrow.  Five.  The key is in the lock.  Four.  The key begins turning.  Three.  The key turns over.  Two.  The bolt slides free.  One.  The manager turns and runs for cover while I shift my weight back onto my heels for a running start.  Zero.

I’m through the door like a sneeze through cheap kleenex.  I round the first corner ahead of the pack, and I see a pile of heated blankets with built-in hoodies in my sights.  And that’s when it happens.  I feel a shove in the middle of my back, and I start to lose control.  I waver, then I wobble, then I careen.  I see a big concrete post coming at me, and I think to myself “why push me — there was a whole stack of those things?” right before everything goes black.

When I awoke, it was hours later.  The paramedics had taken me to the hospital as a precaution, and I had missed the entire sale.  Apparently I’d been pushed from behind, stumbled into the column and knocked myself out.

Later, I was sitting at home with my ankle wrapped up and a bandage on my head, and the call came from the department store.  Apparently they looked up the tape from the security camera when my “accident” occurred, but the cameras in just that part of the store had somehow been turned off at just that time and came back on a few minutes later.  And they didn’t have any video of my accident or the perpetrator. They apologized profusely, but I didn’t want to hear it.  I honestly wasn’t interested.

I knew what happened to the security cameras.  I’d been played by someone else — someone even more serious about Black Friday shopping than me.  But I know also that revenge is a dish best served with a side order of smackdown, and that the shopping season has just begun.

Whoever you are out there, you know it’s on like Donkey Kong.

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