Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday


Now here’s your American holiday.

Nothing says the US of A like the shoppingest day of the year. It’s grown much bigger in my lifetime, going from the beginning of the holiday shopping season to the entire holiday season. It’s so big that economists worry of we’ll spend enough.

I blame the Cabbage Patch Kids. Those things ruined Christmas in 1983, turning it into a nightly newscast of parents punching one another in the head. I watched in horror. These people had lost their minds and were in danger of keeping my parents from buying me a G.I. Joe SkyStriker. This would not do. And can we all admit that Cabbage Patch Kids were ugly? The only use for them I ever found was that their head could plug up a mimosa pitcher. I thank Aunt Monica for proving it to us.

Ever year after that, companies looked for another reason for parents to hurt one another. None of it affected me much as I entered high school. All I wanted were Beatle records and DC Comics and both were readily available. The year I graduated college Buzz Lightyear caused a minor storm, but that blew over quickly.

Then came Tickle Me Elmo.

Most people of my generation hate Elmo. He’s seen as an act of desperation by the Children’s Television Workshop, rudderless without Henson and feeling the flames of Barney at their heels. So we really didn’t need another reason to hate him. But I worked in a JC Penney’s that year and we saw it coming in November. First a few came through. Then a lot. Then none. Orders were being sent away. People were getting angrier. The only one laughing was Elmo. And screw him.

Since then I do all my holiday shopping on Amazon. I truly believe my friends and family don’t own enough books or dvds so it benefits everyone. Guys on the action figure message boards get all excited, hoping a rare figure will be put on the shelves. Me? I stay the hell away from a store today and when we’re in town we spend the day helping my father in law with his Christmas wreath business.

And man, is that cold.

1 comment:

Harry Nutzag said...

I thought "Black Friday" was the other guy from "Robinson Carusoe"?