November 24, 2000
There are times when I wonder why I do the things I do. I guess it is my way of compromising in a marriage. The day after Thanksgiving has become known as the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year. Each year, Trina drags me out of my warm bed well before the sun comes up in order to stand in line with some of the most bizarre collection of human beings ever assembled. This year, we were up before 5:00 AM so that we could be at the stores before 6:00 AM. Trina had mapped out a route with the precision of a field commander. Our first stop was Frys Marketplace for socks and cars. Next we made our way Mervyns for teddy bears and ties. This was to be followed by Target for toys then Best Buy for electronics and music. On paper, the plan looked flawless. Unfortunately, these things never go quite as planned. First, I was late getting out of the house causing a near panic as we missed the opening at Frys. That led to us missing some sock purchases. At that point, I was to head directly to Mervyns but somehow forgot to get gas in the Camaro causing a longer delay. We had to run to the store to make sure we got the bears. I felt like Batman running to see Commissioner Gordon. All of this paled when compared to what happened at Target. When we arrived, the doors were opened and people began to rush in. The best way I can think of to describe the scene would be to picture the running of the bulls in Spain but with shopping carts. It was frightening to see grown people beating each other about the head and shoulders in order to obtain a stereo system or a scooter. I overheard an employee say they had 15 cases of scooters and they were gone within 120 seconds. I do believe that the shelves were laid bare in less time than it takes a school of parana to devour a cow. The sight of this still causes me to shudder. At Best Buy, things did not go much better as I went in to purchase the DVD version of A Charlie Brown Christmas. I had planned on this taking 10 minutes maximum. Instead, I was forced from line to line like cattle to the slaughter. When I finally made it to a check stand and paid for my purchase, I looked at my watch to find that 3 hours had elapsed. I cannot account for the lost time, perhaps this is what really happens to those people who think they have been abducted by a UFO. Instead, they have just been subjected to alien Christmas shopping. By midday, we finally made it home. I was tired and visibly shaken. I am not sure I can deal with much more of this. I think I will do the rest of my shopping through the Internet.