by Blake Schnitker
It’s late November, which, for some of us, marks the commencement of our months-long hibernation period that could last until mid-to-late March. But before we start cozying up to the fireplace, before we realize that, once again, we neglected to take down last year’s Christmas lights, there’s one more special event that we must prepare for. No, not Thanksgiving, I’m talking about Black Friday, America’s shopping spree on steroids, when thousands of savings-obsessed lunatics flock (aggressively) to the nearest corporate retail stores with dreams of discovering the most highly-desired discounts that consumerism can offer. Black Friday and all that it encompasses, is a dog-eat-dog world, and as the saying goes, “only the strong survive.” But really, it doesn’t have to be that way. And that’s what I’m here for: to make sure everyone has a successful, hazard-free experience.
Step 1: Preparation
One of the most important things to remember about Black Friday is that it occurs on a Friday – crazy I know. But it’s not just any Friday, this American spectacle takes place on the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving, otherwise known as National Nap-In-The-Recliner Day. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Thanksgiving? Turkeys and pilgrims? Wrong. Thanksgiving, at its core, is about football, overeating to the point of bloating, and celebrating your right as an American to take what is (not rightfully) yours. But as we all know, even the best engines won’t run without the proper fuel. So what’s the correct way to answer your family-appointed chef when he or she asks the inevitable question: dark meat or white meat? Well, nutrition isn’t exactly my strong suit, but from the five minutes I just spent searching the internet, apparently there isn’t much of a difference, at least as far as we’re concerned. Bottom line: eat what you want, it’s Thanksgiving. But if you’re serious about your bargain hunting, you’ll need a reliable source of energy, probably a thorough stretching routine, and most importantly, the heart of a champion.
Step 2: Plan(s) of Attack
Before heading out to your Black Friday destination of choice, it’s paramount that you’ve done your homework, which amounts to knowing the best deals, knowing which items are most important to you, and finally, figuring out the safest, yet quickest route to the section containing said items. Trust me, you don’t want to be the person who comes for the half-priced TV set only to find yourself wondering through the home furniture section. Be sure to have an accurate blue print of your store and study it thoroughly. For example: when your original route gets clogged up by opposing shoppers, you’ll know that a quick left turn through the men’s clothing section will lead you directly to electronics. Never mind that pair of socks you just knocked off the shelf, keep your eyes on the prize.
Step 3: Bring it Home
Assuming that your preparation and execution is flawless up to this point, you’ve likely closed in on your item of choice in an efficient, hassle-free manner. Now the only thing that stands between you and the deal of your dreams is a store full of jealous customers. Here, with item(s) in hand, you’ll want to avoid eye-contact with other patrons at all costs – in the heat of battle, these tardy onlookers have now resorted back to primal instincts and animalistic behavior, incapable of rational thought and normal human interaction. They will pounce at any glimmer of weakness or insecurity. But you’ve prepared for this moment all year – perhaps your whole life even – and now you’re mere feet away from the register. Barring any monetary or credit card issues, you’ll be bringing home that item you’ve been longing for all year.