Friday, November 25, 2005

Shop of Fools

To those of you who got up in the middle of the night to hit the stores for the best after-Thanksgiving-Day deals, I say,

You greedy, materialistic fools!

And also,

Stop shoving! I was here first!

Okay, so I was among the heathen venturing out this morning at 0-dark-30. But I was on assignment for the boone box. Make that Mrs. boone box and the boone box estate.

I pulled up to Best Buy at 4:55 a.m., five minutes prior to the doors opening. It was 40 degrees outside. I can't give you an exact count of how many people were already in line, but I can report that toward the back they had collected precious metals, melted them, and fashioned the bullion into a golden calf. (If you hurry, you can get the calf now for 75% off.)

From inside my truck, I waited the line out a good five minutes before searching for a bit of sanity, namely Starbucks, which had mercifully opened a half-hour early to caffeinate the living dead. From there, it was off to Wal-Mart where the rest of Abilene had surfaced.

Let me pause for a moment to recap the sartorial state of affairs. Most folks hadn't bothered to make themselves especially presentable. In their defense, it's tough to find clothes that match in the dark. There were a few of the female persuasion, however, that clearly had put some effort into their look. Which means they would've had to get up around dinner time the night before to get ready.

I should use this occasion to point out that no article of clothing signifies the give-up more than the visor, which yours truly was jocularly sporting. Wearing no headgear would indicate a lack of interest in what anyone thought of my appearance. The visor was actually flaunting my indifference. My hair - as I discovered from the reflection off a car window en route to join the Israelites - had a disturbing likeness to an electrocuted Chia pet. But somehow, in my pre-dawn cognition, I'd come to believe the visor was propitiation, covering over a multitude of misplaced hair, like a pated panacea. Not only was no one impressed with my effort, one lady actually gave me a quarter and wished me happy holidays.

Having finally gained entry into Best Buy, the salesman struggled to suppress his laughter when I asked if they still had any of the items I was after. They had just sold out...about 2 hours before.

Me: That's 4:30. I thought you weren't open 'til 5.

Sales guy: We weren't. But we handed out tickets to people in line who wanted that item.

Me: Were people here early?

Sales guy: The line began forming at 7 o'clock last night.

It's one of those tender Thanksgiving traditions that hearkens back to the original meal. After sharing their bounty with the Indians, Miles Standish led the pilgrims to the doorstep of Looms N' Things where they waited all night for the New World's first clearance sale.

As I walked out, I looked at the other customers and couldn't help but think again of Harry and Lloyd...

Harry: So you got fired again, eh?

Lloyd: Yeah...

Harry: I lost my job today, too.

Lloyd: Man, you are one pathetic loser.

I was dumb to get up that early. But dumber if I do it again.

1 comment:

Matt McBryde said...

My wife was one of those that braved sunrise "devo". I nearly talked her out of it until I overheard her planning on making the first stop at Victoria Secrets!
When she returned, visor and all, I asked what she had bought [me] and she held up a bag...with nothing in it.
Apparently the new McBryde women's tradition is to get the yearly Victoria Secrets bag at the crack of dawn.
Oh yeah, she bought a candle.
Merry Christmas...