Black Friday: A Horror Story

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Please note that this is a fictional account and it is not a depiction of any real life events.

I was dispatched to cover holiday shopping after Thanksgiving.

These are dark times my friend.

It the time of year where the rules go out and it’s every man, woman, and child on their own. It’s a time that transgresses my delicate midwestern sensibility.

People forego the shelter that for much of the year they deem absolutely necessary in order to stand in line for items that have probably be cheaper online.

I have seen them. I moved among them and chronicled their actions. It was a wild journey among the darker elements of elements of post-industrial consumerism.

First, I went to your nearest monument to materialistic capitalism. They aren’t hard to find. If you navigate the urban sprawl then you’ll find an enormous, soulless box store with a somnambulistic hoarder out front. They’ll be looking at their phones and murmuring in a low voice, “Sales. Sales. Sales.”

Do not let the placid state fool you. As soon as the store opens the doors, something awakens, a deep yearning for discount goods that only ripping a PlayStation 4 from a mother of two. They rise with a new ferocity as they move through the store. They can smell deals, and fear.

Christmas music plays while a maniacal mob swarms the overwhelmed as they try to keep the band from tearing the shelves down.

There’s a large midwestern woman shouting at a teenage manager because the coupon she has says that the tv she just bought is 75 percent off, but the store says 70 percent. Her children will be running around and tearing things apart. She yells till her face is red. The manager may or may not cry and call his mom.

There will be a guy trying to buy seven new game systems so that he can later sell them on eBay for twice the price.

Two people that for most of the year are happy, capable, and otherwise decent people will get into a fight in the kitchenware aisle; because they both want the same gravy boat so that their holiday table will be the perfect Pinterest post.

Inevitably, they will be a toy. This toy for some reason will be important to children. There will be 27 of these toys available in the store. Unfortunately, there are 340 people that want said toy. There will be one minimum wage employee there to corral the mayhem. Eventually, he will have one toy left and there will be a pack of desperate parents surrounding him. They back him down to the back wall. They close in on him like the velociraptors from Jurassic World, but this time there’s no Chris Pratt to jump down and save him. He will be missed.

I would be less afraid among a horde from The Walking Dead.

I may or may not have seen a woman throwing iPhones like throwing stars to keeps the masses at bay while she made a break for it with the last Macbook.

I’m surprised the doors even hold the crowd. I’d half expect them to break through the wall like the Kool-Aid man.

I would barely get out to report the state of holiday shopping. It’s a crazy world.

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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