Black Friday Shopping

With Halloween securely in the rear-view mirror, the retail industry has declared Christmas Bombardment Season officially open. Apparently it’s “old school” to actually enjoy one holiday before moving on to the next.

Veteran’s Day is Saturday, but I’m not seeing ads for discounts on flags or restaurants offering free meals to those who’ve served our country. That means it’s up to us. If you know a Vet (and who doesn’t?), march right up to them, shake their hand, and thank them for their service. Don’t let this holiday get swept under the rug without acknowledging it.  

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, our workshop is ran by Ma Keebler Wisoff-Fields, who serves up the prompts as part of her work-release program. To learn how to submit your tale to the weekly collection, zip over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.


copyright – Marie Gail Stratford

The day after Thanksgiving should be called something else. Black Friday doesn’t do it justice. People who never get up before 10am roll out of bed three hours before daylight, guzzle a gallon of coffee, and prepare to storm the stores.

Some women drag their husbands along as pack mules. I tried it once with Brad, but he’s harder to keep track of than a four-year-old at Chucky Cheese.

The concept of retail warfare flies over his head. It’s like trying to explain lip-gloss to a walrus. He nods like a bobble-head, but it just goes in one ear and out the other.

* the above is an excerpt from Black Friday Shopping Tips

67 Comments on “Black Friday Shopping

  1. I thought Amazon had taken over shopping by now. I do remember about thirty years ago being at a local toy store before Christmas waiting with other parents for a truck to arrive and passing toys hand to hand until we got the desired one for our child. Ah, the memories. Funny stuff, Russell. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • We live in a society where everyone wants instant gratification. Brick & mortar stores still have that going for them. And, for some people Black Friday shopping has become a tradition. I went once with Connie, but it’s far too crazy for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Brad,

    Of course Santa’s elves are Jewish. So were the Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers. What does that tell you? Comedy and enterprise R Us. No doubt some Jewish entrepreneur developed the concept of Black Friday. While we’re home by the fire sipping mulled Magen David, you Wonder Bread Shmagaygees are out battling for bargains. L’chaim.

    Shalom and holiday cheer,

    Ma Keebler W(T)F

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ma Keebler W(T)F,

      It’s no surprise that the Jews are behind all this entrepreneural activitiy. I would list my entire lineage back to Adam and Eve, but that’s a lot of “begats” especially when we get into the Ethiopian side of the family.

      BTW – you wouldn’t know where a guy could find a bargain on Whoopie Cushions and Joy Buzzers, would you?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Are you trying to suggest that walruses lack pride in their appearance?
    Most of them in my circle apply eye shadow and rouge with some abandon.
    Otherwise quite amusing.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Here’s another cheery and upbeat post from you to start my day with a smile. 🙂

    I do think Black Friday is the perfect name for the U-turn after Thanksgiving. Just as a fresh blanket of snow will cover all the impurities of the days before, even so the snow job of Black Friday marketing paves over all those cash-flow-choking fuzzies of gratitude and contentment that spring up around Thanksgiving. As we know, marketers find contentment nauseating.

    As for free stuff linked to Veteran’s Day, I found a site yesterday offering interesting books for women for only 99¢ each. It’s the “Freedom to Read Veteran’s Day Book Sale.” I guess this is marketing, too, but I’m all for celebrating the freedom to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Selecting gifts for those you love should be a pleasurable experience and not kill-or-be-killed battlefield. What I hate is when the store advertises an item (with fine print that reads, “while supplies last”) and only has three in stock. That can make you want to kill a clerk or store manager.

      I like the idea of freedom to read to. Remember the movie, Fahrenheit 451?

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think stores do that deliberately to get the crowds out early and enthused (about trampling without mercy.) Because our Thanksgiving comes in mid-October, we don’t have this sudden change-over to Christmas stuff. I’m glad our Boxing Day sales don’t start until after Christmas, when half the population is too broke for insane buying sprees.

        Re: the freedom to read. I really like that thought. We do take a lot of these things for granted. Canada celebrates Nov 11th—Remembrance Day, your Veteran’s Day—with a Thanksgiving air, but with much more sobriety. A day of giving thanks for our freedom, remembering the price it cost to win and preserve that. I do hope the younger generation never forgets; it’s probably up to us grandparents to keep reminding.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Actually the term “Black Friday” just means it’s the day the financial books for most retail outfits go from being in the red to being in the black (profitability).

    As far as Veteran’s Day goes, on the way into work this morning, I heard on the radio that a local car wash place will be giving free car washes to vets and active duty personnel. Generally businesses in my community offer deals to vets to show appreciation for their service.

    I hide as much as possible on Black Friday.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great message about recognizing Veteran’s Day. And a fantastic comparison of getting Brad to understand retail warfare to explaining lip gloss to a walrus.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love the idea of trying to explain lipstick to a walrus – so funny! It is madness and sadly, a trend that’s spreading here to the UK – some of the scenes in the shops over recent years have been truly shameful! Nicely done, Russell

    Liked by 1 person

    • The complete story features battle-preparedness tips and will be in my upcoming book. I was hoping it would be ready for release by the holidays, but the publisher is running behind schedule.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too. The Fayetteville Public Library has 2nd Sunday Local Author Day each month and I’m scheduled for February 11th. Hopefully, I’ll have some books to sell when that date rolls around.


  8. I have wondered about the origin of ‘Black Friday’ too. The very memory of those midnight queues makes me giddy.
    Great character, Brad! Wonder why is it so hard to keep track of him?
    Thanks for the laughter. Humor at its best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure Jesus would concentrate his efforts on feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and offering love and compassion to widows and orphans. He set a great example, we just have a hard time following it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re not missing much (other than a few cuts, bruises, and broken bones), Alicia. People pay for those bargains in more ways than one.


      • Russell,

        Like Nan said – – You crack us up! Love you wittiness. We laughing every time we read something of yours. Keep up the good work, and perhaps I’ll introduce you to the rest of my family.

        Junior Jr.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I can heartily endorse your comments about Vets Day. One of the most delightful characteristics of my grandchildren, (and there are too many to list here) is that they know what it’s all about and why. Black Friday? Not my circus, not my monkeys.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kudos to your grandchildren, and to their parents and grandparents for instilling the importance of Veteran’s Day on impressionable young minds.

      On Black Friday, I prefer to stay home and watch videos of the chaos on the nightly news.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Russell et al, I have the perfect solution to everyone’s troubles. You can all come out to Australia until you fry to a crisp some time in January. We barely celebrate halloween and there’s no Thanksgiving or Black friday. You won’t know yourselves. However, knowing human nature, you could well complain about us not celebrating all of the above and even try to convert us to the madness. No thanks. I’ll take my chances with the Boxing Day sales instead.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enjoy the celebrating part, it’s just the way they’ve commercialized everything that’s taken the joy out of the holidays. Part of the fun (especially as a child) is the anticipation. Mom would never let me put the tree up until the 20th, then on the 26th, out it went. Christmas didn’t last three months. You had to wait, and wait, and wait. Now day, you’re tired of it long before December 25th and can’t wait until it’s over.

      I’ve always been curious about Boxing Day. Does everyone don their favorite Boxer shorts and package things in cardboard containers?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sad to say, in el-cheapo stores here, Christmas dec’s go up when the Halloween ones come down. Christmas lights are going on sooner (end of Nov) than when I was young, but a few days into the New Year almost everyone shuts the holiday down, put away trees & dec’s, and faces the invoices.

        Boxing Day has changed completely from what it started out as: a day to package up goodies for the poor and shut-ins. But It’s probably better as a sales holiday (Boxing WEEK now) seeing the dynamics of poverty have changed and no one wants to be publicly identified as “the poor.” One teacher said on his blog that his inner city kids stole food and such so they could afford to buy the more well guarded designer clothes and electronics.


  11. Loved you story but liked your monologue even more. There should be a law – no Christmas decoration, or ads before Nov 11th.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they should let us get Thanksgiving behind us before the Christmas ads start pounding us day and night. They’re almost as bad as the political ads that last for eight months every-other year.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m with you on Veterans Day (or Remembrance Day here in Canada). There should be way more things going on for them. And bloody hell, could they not instill some rule that NO Christmas dreck goes up until the 12th? But no… we are a consumer-driven people and have lost touch with the important things.

    Would you believe your bloody Black Friday has rubbed off up here in Canada? And our Thanksgiving is on a Monday in October! But no… come November, the Yank in all biz people comes out…. You could not pay me to go out there on that day. Ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For some reason those walrus’ just don’t get it. They always want to go with a peach shade, which is not very flattering with their facial color.


    • I can’t wait until they create Decrepit Old Men Day. Then people can thank you and I for what we bring to make America great.


  13. I’m with Brad. The thought of squeezing through doorways and fighting people over goods makes me think I’ll go at the end of the week and pick over what they’ve left behind. Now, lip gloss on a walrus, that’s something else entirely 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I have more in common with Brad than his wife … I also don’t put lip gloss on walruses! Oops, I think I might’ve got something mixed up. But seriously, I only shop out of necessity, and cringe at the concept of ‘retail warfare’.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You nailed this one! I hate Black Friday! The name, the concept, everything about it. I did it once probably 15-20 years ago. Once was enough. I don’t like rubbing elbows with strangers or watching grown-ass adults act like vultures over a damn toy. Talk about teaching moments, God, help us if this is supposed to be one of them. Who was the brains (I use that term loosely) who came up with this idea of a new tradition: Get up before dawn, or camp out all night, learn to use your elbow like weapons, wear tennis shoes for running, and fight to the death to save a few bucks. Wow! No thanks. I’m surprised in this greedy, selfish, sensitive atmosphere; we haven’t seen protest over the very name of Black Friday! The nerve!


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