Thanks to everyone for your nice comments on yesterday's post. They're always greatly appreciated. And now...
In the spirit of those brave war correspondents who put themselves in harm way to report while bombs explode only a few yards away, my courageous daughter Annie risked life and limb and entered that demilitarized zone called Black Friday. Here is her heroic report, with additional material from her writing partner, Jon Emerson.
Can you believe it's that time of year already? A time for families to come together, give thanks, and huddle up for warmth outside the City Target.
For the second year in a row, my mother and I decided to brave Black Friday. Two Jews looking for a good bargain. Anything to reinforce a stereotype! My dad said he would come with us just as soon as he finished changing every single aspect of his personality. Then he asked us to get him sweaters.
It seemed like people were lining up sooner than ever this year, some as early as Monday. Hey, eleventh guy in line? The store is only giving away ten TVs. Maybe pick up a calculator while you're inside.
When we got to the mall, there was an enormous line at Guest Services. I guess people are so hungry for a good deal, they'll wait in line three hours for free information.
A rather ingenious homeless man arrived and started hitting everybody up for spare change. It's hard to pretend you don't have any money when you're sorting through your Visa cards on the pavement. I was going to cave and give him ten bucks, but I knew he'd just go spend it on blender attachments.
Everybody was incredibly cordial and friendly. At one point we all grabbed hands and sang Kumbaya. Then the doors opened and suddenly it was The Lord of the Flies.
The most savage group of the night were the all hipster tweens outside H&M. Picture the zombies from The Walking Dead, but with less brainwaves. I guess detached irony goes out the window when woolen caps are two for a dollar.
The Westside Pavilion Barnes and Noble went out of business, but the one by my house was packed with people looking for things to download on their Kindles. (Quick, Dad! Mention your book!)
Contrary to popular belief, Black Friday isn't even the busiest shopping day of the year. That distinction goes to the Saturday before Christmas, a day commemorating when the Three Wise Men realized it was too late to buy their gifts online and had to go grab something from the nearest CVS.
Guys, if you're looking to get a date, stop buy a jewelry store on Black Friday. Buy one ring get a desperate woman free.
Least successful Black Friday sale? Hot Dog on a Stick. I guess after a dinner of turkey, rolls, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, green bean casserole, Jell-O mold, salad, yams, pumpkin pie and wine, there just isn't room for a corn dog.
My mom and I had the greatest success at Macy's. We made quite the team. Me body-checking elderly women out of the way while my mom price-checked to make sure this crap wasn't cheaper on Amazon.
The ads for Macy's always boast that this is the place all the celebrities hang out. No, I did not see Martha Stewart folding towels or Justin Bieber trying out electronics. I did, however, see Donald Trump shoulders-deep in the bargain bin, looking for his dignity. He went home empty-handed.
We called it a night ourselves around two in the morning. We were exhausted, we were bleary-eyed, and we were twenty minutes late for the door busters sale across town.
All in all the trip was a resounding success. Nobody was trampled to death and I got pajama pants for under five bucks.
See you all the Saturday before Christmas!
Thanks, Annie & Jon. But you never said -- did you get me any sweaters?
Tomorrow: If I ran NBC.