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Tips for Black Friday shoppers

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

After weeks of investigating I have discovered that Friday is actually Black Friday. And if the nearly three pounds of ads in today's paper are any indication, a day that many stores and shoppers will be taking part.

I experienced the Black Friday insanity one dark day years ago. A trip to Walmart ended with a little old lady who couldn't even see over the cart ramming me repeatedly, until my camera bag was broken and I was bloodied. As I nearly bled to death in the parking lot I remember falling to my knees screaming "Why me?!!" like Nancy Kerrigan after she was mistaken for a pinata before the 1994 Winter Olympics.

I made a decision that day to never venture into a store on Black Friday. I'd rather stay safe in the safety of my home watching football and basketball while others go into debt spending wildly on the "once in a lifetime deals."

But just because I stay away doesn't mean I don't have some solid advice for those who want adventure and "once in a lifetime deals." Because I don't want anyone to end up on their knees in a store parking lot bloodied and begging for regular prices.

Before even leaving the house, have a plan of attack. And I do mean attack. I know women who right now have elaborate plans that make army generals look unprepared. They have scouted stores, sketched out floor plans and have color-coded maps with exit strategies and contingencies. If you are not one of these people, you should be. Otherwise you leave yourself open to injury or even worse, not getting your beloved 32-inch television.

And while making your battle plan, make sure to have as many soldiers as possible. Even the worst general will tell you that the higher the number of soldiers the better chance for success. Not only do you have help carrying the large items, but you have sacrifices if needed.

With that in mind, leave your children at home. Nothing is worse than losing a child to the hands of a Black Friday mob except maybe having your child stop in the toy section and point to every toy he or she wants. Time is precious and there is no time to scold children. With that in mind, make sure to leave the whiny spouses at home, too. They will just slow you down and although they will carry all of your bags, the constant complaining will make you a target for other shoppers.

Many tips advise to wear comfortable clothes and dress in layers. I disagree. I say wear as little as possible, especially if you have the body of a bikini model. As a matter of fact, if you have that body, just wear the bikini. First you will not be accused of shoplifting, but more importantly everyone will be ogling you, giving you a distinct advantage. While they are looking, just strut right past them to the front of the line. If a man is there, bat your eyes and maybe drop your keys in extreme cases and be the first to that video game system.

Once you have your items, make sure to choose your check-out line wisely. Some stores will only have a couple check-out lines open because they want you to sit there for hours in hopes you will see something else to buy. With this in mind, choosing the correct line is crucial.

Look for a line with no young children or whiny husbands. As I have already mentioned, they can be cause for people to snap and use that 50 percent off skateboard as a weapon. Also make sure to avoid the line with the shopper that decided not to shower for days before. That is part of some plans of attack so be aware.

The best line to choose is the one with the smiling clerk. They either have everything under control or took the best drugs before coming to work. Either way, your experience will be much better with those clerks than the ones hiding under the counter crying and pleading for help.

My final piece of advice is just wait for Cyber Monday. From the comfort of my underwear in my own house I can order that new Blue-Ray player at 75 percent off clearance with free shipping. No waiting in line required and no bleeding in the parking lot.



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David Jenkins
Sarcasm De Jour by David Jenkins