Twas the day after Thanksgiving and all through the place, not a person was present there, stuffing their face.
The car wasn’t there, empty was the drive. Within the neighborhood, nothing seemed alive.
Where were the people who had spent their previous day, thanking the universe in their own special way?
They thanked and thanked and thanked until sore, but it does appear they’re not thankful anymore…
I cannot be the only one who appreciates the irony behind Black Friday. We spend the day of America’s favorite meal focusing on being happy with what we have. We thank our loved ones, thank our God, and thank ourselves, but the day immediately after, we leave home and all of those mushy emotions behind. We then go from Montezuma to Tripoli finding all of the best deals of the season, buying things that we more often than not just want and don’t need.
courtesy of fiesta.oasisandfiestalanes.com
This whole Black Friday craze is indeed a great opportunity for businesses to “go into the black” as they say in the biz, but it is as well one of the most dangerous days of the year. In order to appreciate the way Black Friday is carried out now, it is instructive to go back in time.
In the United States, football has always been among America’s favorite pastimes. Back in the “golden years” of our fair nation, between 1950-1969, this was truer than ever. In Philadelphia, the annual Army-Navy football game was regularly held the weekend of Thanksgiving. During this time as well, some retailers began to offer instant deals the day after Thanksgiving.
These two things together caused Philadelphia Policemen to colloquially call this day “Black Friday” because of the massive hordes of people who rushed in for the game, for Thanksgiving, and for these few and far between deals. It was a time rife with disarray, vandalism and robbery. This chaos was the beginnings of Black Friday.
Eventually, more retailers ended up catching on to this opportunity to make some sales and they even tried renaming the thing “Big Friday”. Obviously it didn’t catch on. In the 1980’s retailers and the media somehow managed to remove all the immediately negative connotations to this day and managed to reinvent it as the biggest shopping opportunity all year.
Fast forward to today and all we hear about really are 1. GREAT DEALS! FOR THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES ONLY, EVERYTHING’S 99% OFF! or 2. Six injured at Walmart Black Friday opening. I have been a bit of a follower myself to the Death Count which shows the number of deaths and injuries on this day between 2006 and 2014. Which shows 7 dead and 98 injured since 2014.
Among these deaths and injuries is Bentley White getting shot down for a flat screen TV. At least he survived and the would-be robbers couldn’t fit the TV in their getaway car. A Cpl Phillip Duggan, a Marine was also stabbed in the back by a man who tried stealing a laptop. Again, Duggan survived and the man didn’t go home with the laptop.
This chaos only inspires more chaos. Mob mentality is a real problem and can happen to even the best of us. Many retailers have been increasing security detail around this time of year to help quell these things. That is indeed a step in the right direction.
Listen, my dear friends everything is going to be fine. As long as you do what I do and just do your shopping online.
So remember, remember this Thanksgiving night, you can still get good deals even if you don’t fight.
Featured image courtesy of usnews.com
-Loren Riddle WR 121-19