Black Friday by Mayank Chhaya
Black Friday is a day when hands and feet work a lot. But brain? Not so much, if any at all. Door busting hordes with their eyes glazed over by greed roam the streets in search of anything that resembles a deal and devour it with unseemly urgency. I have seen shredded remnants of deals hanging from shoppers’ mouths as they look for more through the ransacked aisles.
Deals hide behind the store display windows and under the tables in the vain hope that they would avoid getting brutalized a billion hands reaching out for them. It is a tragic day for deals soon after it is a tragic day for turkeys. Unlike deals, turkeys can at least run before they get harvested but not far because they are inside enclosures whose only exit leads them to the cone to drain their blood or the nearest tree to be strung up to and hung upside down before their neck is slit.
Incidentally, I am not one of those who believe that vegetarians are any less cruel than non-vegetarians. I do not see any difference between mounting a ripe tomato on a chopping board and slicing it and cutting through a roasted turkey. So no vegetarian sanctimony here.
The point of this post is not the vegetarian versus the non-vegetarian but the door buster versus the non-door buster. Far be it for me to judge those who stand in long lines outside giant retail stores in temperatures freezing their testicles to save some money. It is pitiable that we have created a whole ecology of fierce acquisitiveness where it takes corporations nothing more than a few deals to unleash the acquisitive monster. I have never stepped out on Black Friday or for that matter any day with the specific intention to grab a deal or two. That does not necessarily make me a better human being but merely one with no initiative, I suppose.
Zombies may or may not be real but the door busters are. They have a certain look in their eyes which tells you that the rest of the world has been expunged for the duration of the Black Friday sales. You stand in your way at your own peril. Those who engage in such shopping insist that there are genuinely great deals and bargains to be had. And I believe them. However, the sheer inelegance of standing in a line at 1.37 a.m. to buy something is beyond my comprehension. Human aesthetics collapse on a day like this. When shoppers are in that frenzy, you must leave them alone. The normal rule is non-shoppers should leave the door busters alone for several hours after they have returned home because it takes a while for the frenzy to subside.
One understands the allure of buying a 50-inch television set for $27 (literary exaggeration) which would normally go for $475. If it means spending four hours in a line for it, then so be it. The irony is that people watch new deals for next year’s Black Friday on the same TV before they set off again. It is a spell that is activated at a certain time of year. It is a dormant but annualized virus.