Big lines, bad gums and Black Friday


Black Friday leaves me befuddled.

Getting up at 0-Dark-30. Standing out in the cold. In long lines. Just to buy a flat-screen TV that’s as big as Delaware or whatever the hot gift is this year.

I just don’t get it.

That’s not to say I didn’t participate along with everyone else. At least as much as you can participate when you don’t leave the house until 9 a.m., take a Starbucks break at around 10:30, stop for lunch at noon and make it home in time for the 2:30 Iowa-Nebraska kickoff, which we didn’t get to see anyway. Thanks, ABC, for sticking in Chicago with the Houston-Memphis game until the bitter end. Is it any wonder no one likes the mainstream media? Whatever that is.

But I digress. Let’s get back to Black Friday.

I had fun carrying the bags and watching others in our shopping party cross-referencing armloads of sale circulars and marking off items on their lists. It was time well spent because it gave me an opportunity to reach the following conclusions:

  • Employees at the suburban Chicago Dick’s Sporting Goods, where I took the above photo, could have planned the D-Day invasion. At 11 a.m., when I shot the photo, I was standing smack in the middle of what looked like an endless line. I had been there for five to 10 minutes. At 11:08, I paid for a couple of purchases and was herded out the front doors. The line seemed to pick up speed the closer to the front you moved. It was pretty impressive.
  • From one of the old-guy arm chairs set out in the front window at a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, I used my trusty iPhone to pick the most-important gift I will buy this Christmas while my Black Friday partners shopped for shoes the old-fashioned way. I maintain my selection qualifies as a Black Friday purchase even though I could have made it today or any day next week from the familiar comfort of my living room. I was inspired by the crowd to pick a really great gift.
  • There is a good chance my mother is reading this and I hope she is sitting down, because it’s not even December and I have already purchased a Christmas gift for her. I don’t think this has ever happened before, but I didn’t even have to be reminded and I essentially picked it out myself with confirmation from Macy that it was a good gift. And Black Friday shopping is one of the many things that Macy is much better at than I ever will be.
  • Lunch at a California Pizza Kitchen was a highlight of the day. Well, that and Iowa’s dominance over the hated Huskers, but that’s a topic for another day.

black-2I even bought one item for myself on Black Friday – well, actually, on Thursday evening at Target: An electric tooth brush. Yeah, I know. I’m a wild and crazy guy, as Steve Martin used to say.

Earlier in November, I had the six-month cleaning for my teeth. The hygienist worked me over hard, pointing out in great detail that there was far too much plaque built up under the gum line of my bottom front teeth. “You need to buy an electric toothbrush,” she said.

Not being a big fan of pain and bleeding gums, I took her advice in hope of avoiding a repeat performance next spring. How could I say no? They had such a great deal at Target that I had to buy the toothbrush.

Only time will tell if it improves the hygienist’s opinion of my lower gums. But I’ve used the new toothbrush four times and it seems pretty obvious I’m doing a much better job of brushing.

Here’s to whiter teeth and Black Friday.


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