Our Morning Roundup: The Post-Food Coma, Black Friday Edition
Morning, all (I've given up the Mike Riggs drawl; you can find it over on his Arts Desk roundups). Are you still in a food coma? Well, get up! Get over it! It's Black Friday!
Today is the day when people get trampled to death at retail outlets in America in the rush to save money on big-screen TVs and other must-have items (sometimes, there are also shootings). My mother-in-law got up at some ungodly hour one year to save a few dollars on a DVD player that wasn't even a brand name and which I'm pretty sure was busted within a few days. This seems like a good use of time to me.
The big news about Walmart, where last year's tragic trampling took place, is that the retailer decided to remain open for 24 hours so the mob that normally forms outside in the parking lot ready to bust down the doors would instead be dispersed inside, ready to form a mob once again when the really, really good prices went into effect at 5 a.m. It may seem a sad commentary on the state of society that the best way to keep people from trampling other people to death in a store is to never close the store—but whatever helps.
The Black Friday websites—BFads.net; blackfriday2009.com; PC World has a list of the top 10—have been obsessively and compulsively tracking deals just for you on everything from vacuum cleaners (a refurb Dyson DC14 Steel/White All-floor vacuum, $235.99, you save $153.95) to handguns (Gander Mountain's Ruger Semi-Automatic Pistol, $249.99, you save $150). If you've been taking this seriously, you have had these deals delivered straight to your Twitter feed. And you've already been up taking advantage of the all "Doorbuster" deals, which seems an especially good name for the whole thing, especially if we're trying to cut down on the number of fatalities involving people going from one side of a door to the other.
There are entire discussion forums on the ins and outs of Black Friday, with commentary on the hottest toys of 2009, including Zhu Zhu Pets, voted the "Holy Grail" of this year's BF by PunkyBearToys.com. "Zhu Zhu pets , jesus h christmas are they hard to find," reads the title of one post by a frustrated mrbill317: "Well the ebay hoarders have made this near impossible to find for my 7year old. My Walmart has received NO stock in 2 months of these rodents , they have had an empty shelf for so long other crap is placed in it with the tags staying the same lol."
Bigboots2007 sought advice on the optimum time to arrive at Target to secure a deal on a Sonicare toothbrush (I don't think this was my mother-in-law). Reply to bigboots: "Whatever time they open." Reply from bigboots: "Thats what I figured."
By the time of this posting, no deaths had been reported.