Lured by the promise of cheap electronics, Semitough joined the throngs of early shoppers engaging in this uniquely American madness called Black Friday. Setting his alarm for 4 am, he arose promptly at 5:40 am and headed out into a rare North Texas fog. Turned out in his jeans, Old Navy t-shirt and a cap, Semitough donned a Members Only jacket to ward off the chill of the 55 degree temperatures.
What he encountered was a feeding frenzy of consumption. The electronics store had been picked clean of anything resembling a deal, yet dozens stood in line with blank sharklike eyes hoping against hope that they too would be the beneficiary of one of Black Friday’s mythical “deals”. As Semitough left he noticed long lines, perhaps 150 people, queuing up at the Office Depot next door.
The depot apparently had a $299 laptop (after $300) rebate advertised. Small print reveals that they only guarantee 3 per store, meaning 147 people will go home empty handed. One can only imagine the shame as they drive home in their luxury SUVs and Honda Accords, pull into the driveways of their 5,000 square foot homes, press the automatic garage door opener, and have to face the sad electronics hungry faces of their children as they enter sans laptop. Their disappointment apparent as they grab their iPod Nanos and RAZR cell phones and seclude themselves in their rooms to update their MySpace on last year’s desktop computer and tell their friends how lame their parents are.