Theory #1 why people shop on Black Friday.
Black Friday has been turned into a competition. Americans love competition. There are so few opportunities for some people to feel like they’ve won - they’ve been successful - that besting your neighbor for that great deal is a can’t miss opportunity. Braving the crowds, shoving, and scouring for that sought after item becomes a game. There’s an adrenaline rush, an urgency, sometimes even a sense of danger that the daily 9 to 5 can’t come close to providing.
We’re bullied into participating. We’re not offered an opportunity to save money; we’re goaded into it with advertisements, news reports, friends and family. Americans feel like they have to participate in this pseudo-holiday or they’re not American - they’re not participating in the American economy, they’re not part if the tradition, not part of the culture.
People really are that poor and status obsessed that saving a little money on an a infinitesimal increase in quality of living is not an option but a real, tangible necessity.
Dear Flintstones Chewable Vitamins,
I demand to know what psychopath is responsible for introducing peach flavored vitamins and then proceeding to color them only a barely distinguishable shade lighter than the cherry ones, so that I never know whether I’m about to get a delicious nutritional supplement or a poisonous death pill that makes me consider scouring my tongue with a Brillo pad.
A grumpy old man
Last night my friends and I went to the bar (a couple of them actually). We see a girl we know, and she has her cousin with her. They’re the only girls we talked to all night. Believe it or not, not many people are looking to party on Thanksgiving night, and the ones who are are dudes. All my friends have talked about all night is getting laid, and one of my friends is determined to bring the cousin home with us. You should have seen this girl; 5’4, brown hair pulled back, big floppy multi-colored sack of a dress, pushing 200, orders a Dr. Pepper at the bar. Pretty soon she starts talking about Jesus and being a Christian and wanting help people be closer to the Lord. Her friend’s talking about praying for her boyfriend to see the Light and be closer to Jesus. Not to be deterred, my friend jumps in and tells them about his strict Southern Baptist heritage and going to church with his ex-old lady. I couldn’t take anymore; I had walk away. A few minutes later, he walks over to me and says, “Well, looks like I’m going to church on Sunday.”
We left the bar after that, and when I dropped my friends off they had just called a Mexican drug dealer to see if they could bum some blow off of him.
If it takes a song and dance like that to get some action, I’ll be going home alone for the rest of my life.
Ever get the feeling that your whole life, your whole world is just hanging on by the tiniest of threads? It could come collapsing down in an instant and you would be powerless to stop it - not just because you’re incapable but because you feel like you wouldn’t know how to stop it, like you’re in someone else’s body and you don’t know how to work the limbs. Do you ever feel like your life isn’t yours anymore?
New Old (Pierre Clementi, 1978)