Black Friday the 13th

I am among the few remaining sub-species of dinosaurs who still subscribe to a newspaper. A few years back, newspapers used to give their employees holidays off, but now, like everyone else, they call them “associates” or “team members” and force their noses to the grindstone 365 days a year. I could rant and rave about this from now until the Mayan calendar expires, but it still wouldn’t return us to those thrilling days of yesteryear, so I’ll just shut up and move on.

When I went out to the paper box yesterday morning (Thanksgiving Day), little did I know it was going to require a crane and forklift to remove it from the box and transport it into the house. The paper carrier must have forearms like Popeye the Sailor (or good medical insurance) to shove several hundred of those giant round-bales of print into tiny plastic boxes.

Yesterday’s edition consisted of 4 ½ ounces of news, sports, classifieds, etc., and 492 lbs. of advertisement. I’m sure millions of Americans spent yesterday morning devouring these ads like piranha in feeding frenzy, plotting their attacks against these poor retailers in their moment of vulnerability to snatch up bargains galore. After all, everyone is a sucker for a bargain—even the MC in today’s story.

This week’s photo is courtesy of Joyce Johnson. To read more stories, visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog, click on the little blue InLinz critter to find links to other author’s offerings.

Black Friday the 13th

Jason had camped outside the big box store with hundreds of others. Moments before the doors opened, he surveyed the crowd for potential future victims. Teenagers, old folks, and minorities were all equally represented. He smiled.

The sale paper proclaimed “below cost” pricing on chainsaws, machetes, broadaxes, and even hockey masks—all the tools of his trade.

Once inside, he headed for the hardware section. Rounding a corner, a middle-aged woman slammed her cart into his. Another grabbed the last remaining chainsaw. Four more surrounded him, their eyes like flaming embers, growling, cursing, and gnashing their teeth.

Suddenly a warm, wet spot appeared on the front of his blue jeans, and for the first time in his life Jason fully understood the meaning of the word . . . terror.

19 Comments on “Black Friday the 13th

  1. Dear Russell,
    I don’t know which made me laugh harder, your intro or your story. There’s a reason I’m staying home today, save a trip to Salvation Army to unload some clutter…I mean treasures. Poor Jason, I felt his pain. The terrorist coming face to face with true terror. Hell hath no fury like a female bargain-hunter.


  2. I’m with Rochelle (who seems to be beating me to stories and responses) in liking and laughing at your intro as much as your story, although the terror conveyed in each was vastly different. I’ve always thought that Jason would have been a better man had he had to don the hockey mask and spend a game in goal. That might have cured him. Or at least let him choose a different mask. As a confirmed hockey fan, I’d rather he used something else.

    Wunderbar! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well, despite the paper workout.


  3. The hunter is now hunted…i like your story and the connection you established with the intro…HappyBirthday, once more…my connection didn’t permit me to hola at you last week, Hope you had a nice ThanksgivingDay too…enjoy!


  4. Ah! someone who’s been to the Boxing Day sales in Oxford St. Even a mass murderer would draw the line at engaging in those battles. Nice one Russell, enjoy the holiday.


  5. Hi Russell,
    I think your intro may have been better than your story this week. I’m currently laid up in bed with a hernia after bringing in yesterday’s paper. I was hoping that Jason would wipe out a few of these idiots who worship consumatory goods, but, alas, they are more evil than he is. No surprise there. Ron


  6. I had to look twice at the top of the page to make sure it was rgayer55 writing this piece. I knew you could do it. Very nice. I guess all the comedy spilled out in the intro. That was funny, the story was fun.


  7. Hilarious! You had me absolutely horrified at what Jason is planning, to the extent that I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep reading. I’m glad I stuck around for the ending! Great work!


  8. Deaer Russell,

    Sorry it took me so long to get to this. i went out to the mailbox and it fell over on me. i was trapped for the entire weekend (thank god.) Your intro was spectacular and your story had me peeing my pants. The image of the little old lady grabbing the last chainsaw was perfect. Was probably Rochelle.




    • You’re right about the little old lady. What really terrifyied Jason was her mumbling something about circumcison when firing up the chainsaw.


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