On Thanksgiving, there once was a time in almost all of commerce shut down for people to enjoy the bounty of the day with friends and family. Malls and shopping centers and restaurant parking lots were totally vacant. That time is somewhat past as increasing numbers of restaurants are open for Thanksgiving and stores like Walmart are open to attractive the Christmas shoppers as if the ingestion of tryptophan would somehow melt a shoppers resolve to not go into major debt during the holidays.
Black Friday has typically been the busiest shopping day of the year, with the chains opening their stores earlier and earlier until stores were opening at 12:01 a.m. and thousands upon thousands of shoppers lined up outside the store and into the streets for the supposed bargains. Now some stores like Walmart getting an even earlier jump on the Black Friday shopping frenzy by opening up Thanksgiving Day at 8:00 p.m. and remaining open until late Friday night. Unfortunately the longer hours have resulted in near riots among shoppers in searching for bargains, risking life and limb for a discount for gifts that may or may not be thrown away or discarded.
Black Friday The New Knockout Game
We may have been numbed by rhetoric and lack of civil respect
By the paragons of public service we have been doomed to elect
The halls of Congress and the Senate were supposed to foster reasoned debate
Now only forums to spread ideology, distrust and illogic and reasoning third rate
The White House this time bears a lot of well-deserved blame
The Great Communicator seems only to seek passions to inflame
Something in our social fabric is torn asunder, a civility ship deeply in list
When stuffed with turkey, standing in line in the cold and early morning mist
Shoppers eagerly with cards and ready wallets open waiting to pounce on the sale lure, the discount bait
Discounts real or surreal to trigger the frenzy, to try to the consumer saving urges seek to sate
Shoppers are not lining up for a heart attack, cancer, or stroke miracle cure
No, the line is for the discounts on the latest fads while spending restraints must be interred
The malls of Black Friday have now become the new venue for the Knockout Game
Watching the attacks on TV one can only shake one’s head—how do we this violence tame?
Knocking shoppers over, snatching items, stabbings, assaults, fist fights and brawls
The gratitude of Thanksgiving freshly noted so soon lost in the chaos of the malls.
Human lemmings over the bargain and discount cliff
No wonder so many feel our morals and values are adrift.
Black Friday should not be a lottery to see if in the malls you can survive
Even if loaded down with goods and credit our deportment takes a deadly dive.
Maybe time on Black Friday to wear a black armband and the Malls boycott
Defer to Saturday and give the small business retailer a shot
Recharge your moral batteries on Sunday in prayer and rest
Shop online on Monday, Starbucks in hand, free of the crowd’s unrest.
© November 29, 2013 Michael P. Ridley