Columns and Colosseums

This is today’s column.

But I’ve gone through and changed a few things around. Word choices. Sentence structures. Only slightly developed thoughts or premises.

The changes aren’t great in terms of volume or significance. But they’re enough to warrant posting the revision rather than the link.

Black Friday is bullshit.

That’s my final answer.

I did not go Black Friday shopping.
I have never gone Black Friday shopping.
Well, okay. There was that one time. But that’s the reason I don’t go Black Friday shopping anymore.
Also, I don’t have any money.
Which kind of makes the task of fighting a horde of stressed out moms for one of seven $60 Hatchimals, on sale for $50, like we’re in a dystopian novel and the winner gets extra food tokens for a year, difficult to really engage with. Frankly, even if I had the $50, and we were living in a fictional dystopian universe, I’d be more likely to spend it on buying my exemption from having to participate.
I’m not a fan of crowds. I’m even less a fan of competition. I do not play sports for a couple of reasons, not the least of which being the fact that putting me in charge of successfully catching, hitting, dodging, kicking, or deflecting an object in order to maintain the continued ego security of a team is generally a bad strategy for achieving that objective. Because I devolve, in terms of both fine and gross motor skills, as well as general judgement, coordination, and emotional regulation, to around the age of 18 months any time that a ball is presented to me. But more than my inability to function in an athletic setting, I genuinely despise competition. Especially when it’s for something I really want. The disappointment of not coming out of it the victor holds far too much potential for disappointment to me. If I can’t just put my money down and walk away with the object of my desire, I prefer not to even enter the fray.
If I’m squaring off against you for the last can of Chef Boyardee with circa 1,000 reanimated cadavers threatening to breach the entrance to the abandoned supermarket? Maybe we’re having a conversation. If I’m pitted against you for a drastically price-chopped Kitchen Aid at Target at 3:45 a.m. with a gut full of fowl and carbohydrates?
Nope.
Have at it, ya crazy fools. I’ll be watching y’all destroy one another from the Starbucks beside customer service. Like Joaquin Phoenix watching Russell Crowe fight a tiger in the amphitheater. Which, I’m realizing as I write this is a simile that doesn’t paint me in the most flattering or sympathetic light.
But I’m okay with that.
I’m not really sure how we’ve come to a point, socially, where we’re willing to overextend ourselves financially and biologically in order to produce Christmas mornings of anti-Dickensian proportions. But come on, you guys. Human beings need sleep and relative cognitive peace. Forcing yourself to marathon shop and argue over things like Blu-Ray discs that – hint – are only $5 cheaper than they are every single other day of the year? That’s illogical.
You are an apex predator, dude. You need to conserve your energy for chasing prey and fighting lesser males for dominance over the pack. You do not need a laser level for thirty percent cheaper than usual. This is beneath you. You’re embarrassing yourself.
Knock it off.
Know what I did Thursday night? I listed a bunch of crap on the garage sale site, poured myself a glass of wine, and made an extra fifty bucks because people were already out running the roads looking for crap to buy that they don’t need and were more than happy to stop at my place on the way from Retailer A to Retailer B.
And I didn’t have to stand in a single line, and I’m pretty sure my blood pressure actually got lower as the night went on.
It was delightful.

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