Friday, December 02, 2011

Door: Busted!!

Look how happy he is!
Sometimes I like to pretend I'm a real human being and participate in activities that real human beings find popular. Similar to the way a chimp in captivity will eventually start to mimic human behavior. Especially around the holidays, it's hard not to want to get caught up in all the fervor and activity like everybody else. So I get involved as much as I can. I drink hot cocoa. I listen to Christmas music. This year, I even attended Thanksgiving dinnerS (plural, as in two of them!) with actual real human beings!  One thing, I've never done is the whole "Black Friday" thing. Oh sure, I'm sure I've shopped on the day after Thanksgiving. If you abandon any false hope whatsoever that you're going to be able to move about freely in any way, shape or form, it can be a tremendously rewarding people watching experience. But I've never arrived early at a store to take advantage of crazy markdowns on merchandise. I don't need anything and I don't have any money anyway. It just seems like one of those real human being activities that I've missed out on.
I have a friend who works for Ikea here in Tampa who told me all about the stuffed toys they're offering this holiday season. They're inexpensive at regular price but would be on sale at 50% off for a holiday special. And for every one they sell (plus children's books and kid's meals) between November 1 and December 24th, Ikea will donate one Euro (which is about $1.35) to UNICEF and Save The Children to support quality education. She showed me some pictures and I was intrigued by the broccoli guy you see pictured here. For one thing, I've never seen such a happy vegetable. For another, he would only be about $4 with Ikea donating more than 25% of that to a good cause. I now had a valid reason to camp out at a store!
"Oh. Um, well, you don't need to do that. We don't really do 'doorbusters' like other stores. The toys are on special but we have plenty of them."
"Yeah, but it will be fun to write about. I'll live blog the whole experience right from the Ikea parking lot!"
"We don't really encourage that. Like I said, there's really no incentive. You'd be the only one there."
"Even better! It'll be hilarious!"
"What's...hilarious about that?"
"I don't know. I'll think of something."
"I really wish you wouldn't..."
"Too late. I'm doing it. This is the kind of gonzo comedy journalism my readers expect! I'm like Hunter S. Thompson or Lester Bangs. You can't stop me. As soon as I finish Thanksgiving dinner, I'm heading over to Ikea with a comfy chair, a blanket and some rain gear. And the next morning, I will be the first one in line, whether or not there is a line, long before the crack of dawn. This is real, and this is happening."

When I woke up in my warm, comfy bed at home on Friday morning, having forgotten my commitment to gonzo comedy journalism in a turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie-induced haze, it was almost 9:30. I barely had enough time to drive to the store for breakfast in their restaurant ($1.99!). After my second refill of coffee, I picked up a broccoli guy from the bin right outside the restaurant, made my purchase and headed home.

Final assessment: Black Friday is vastly overrated.

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