I have been through one Black Friday in my life. It was two or three years ago when I decided that I needed to get some “extra credit” at home and told my wife that I would go shopping with her.
So, after a day of spending time at almost every family member’s home, eating plenty of good food, watching a little football and cozying in for the night, I did what anyone else would who had a long weekend in front of them — set my alarm for 2 a.m., which came about four hours after I set it.
Then it was off to the mall, where we parked in an already crowded lot and made our way to the front of the store. Then all the way to the side of the store. Then all the way to the back of the store. Then a little ways behind the store (mind you, this is outside the store at 3 a.m. in the morning — and not with the mild weather we are having this year).
Once the store opened after what seemed to be another hour of waiting, the shopping experience actually was not that bad. I was never tripped, ran over, maced, pepper sprayed or tazed.
But then came the line. It wrapped around three corners of the store and almost put you back where you came in. This was when I decided I needed a bathroom break, opting to use the bathroom that was the farthest away from where I was in the mall so I could enjoy a “short walk.” My wife was a little concerned that it took me an hour to go to the rest room and back, but at least she had gotten halfway to the checkout counter.
Eventually, we found our way out of that store and went to a couple of others, where the lines were much shorter because everyone had already made it through the initial surge.
This year, I was reminded that I had said at that point that we might do it every other year or something like that.
My initial thought was to siphon the gas tanks in the cars and bury my wallet.
Keith Lobdell is the editor of the Valley News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org