|Inmates shopping on Black Friday|
"Wal-Mart is like Dante's Inferno," says Jordan Weddington, a 19-year-old college student who's been shopping on Black Friday since he could walk. Everyone I consulted echoed this sentiment: Rookies think of Wal-Mart as the ne plus ultra of Black Friday, the epicenter of the American low-price shopping experience. But the smartest B.F.ers know to limit their exposure—they either avoid Wal-Mart entirely or, if they see some unavoidable deal, devise a scheme to get in and out as quickly as possible.
But veterans say there's a culture of desperation at Wal-Mart that you don't see at other stores. People go crazy when the doors open, and once they get inside the store, it's a scene from Lord of the Flies.
While it's unlikely that you'll get injured, savvy Black Friday shoppers say there's a good chance you'll be scared for your safety. The deals you'll get—if you manage to outwit the crowds—won't be worth it.
Actually my shopping phobia started about fifty years ago, when on Christmas Eve my high primal spouse dispatched me to a store called Shoppers Fair (the forerunner to today's Wal-Mart type big box stores) to pick up a gift she had bought for our first born son. The gift was a covered wagon pulled by a horse. Unfortunately the wagon was one you could ride in and the horsepower was in the form of pedals. Fortunately she had paid to have the contraption assembled. Unfortunately I had to get the damn thing out of an overcrowded store. Everyone was in the $Xmas$ spirit looking for bargains. Their motto was not Merry Christmas but "get the hell out of my way". What really got my blood pressure up as I made my way out of the store with the contraption balanced over my head, was the jerk who shouted out, " why don't you ride it". I got the covered wagon home, put it under the tree and was assured by my high primal thinker that the kid would love it. Christmas morning, the kid rushes to the covered wagon , takes one look, pats the horse, turns away and starts playing with Godzilla the monster. The covered wagon and horse was a total flop and I blamed it all on the trauma it must have endured getting out of a store filled with crazy shoppers.
Its unfair of me to blame Black Friday or Christmas Eve shopping for my shopping phobia, but until something better comes along , they will do.