Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Black Friday! Holy Crap!

Ok. My alarm went off at 4am and I paid attention to it like an idiot.
I stumbled out the door at 4:10, Destination: CompUSA, America's Technology Super Store!
CompUSA was scheduled to open at 5am, with some deals I don't remember up for grabs to whoever can elbow the most people out of the way.
At 4:30 - long before the sun graced the parking lot - the line stretched over a hundred people down the sidewalk and out towards the side street.
I had no coffee. None. And the light at Starbucks was not shining with its normally comforting glow.
I looked around at the other stupid people in line with me. Were the deals really that good?
They seemed so on Thursday night, but I couldn't remember them at all standing in line behind the Hindu woman and in front of the guy with the baby wrapped in a towel on his shoulder in the cold, dark parking lot.
Someone important came down the line. I could tell he was important by the CompUSA name tag and the hint of a goatee.
He asked me, as he'd asked everyone else, if I was there for the 32" HDTV. I'm not kidding, I made him ask me three times before I processed the question and answered with an "I don't remember".
He told me they didn't have any.
I asked him why he'd offered if they didn't have any.
He told me he hadn't offered and was in a hurry because the store was about to open. Then he pressed a rain check into my hand and continued down the line, lowering his voice to not wake the towel baby.
I left the line, staring lasers at the Starbucks that had so cruelly abandoned me.
I decided to hit Office Depot, where a digital camera/photo printer bundle would be placed on the loss leader altar at 6am, possibly with a goat.
Again, the line stretched around the block at store opening -55 minutes. There were people at the front of the line who seemed to have slept there - blanket and everything.
I made an attempt to pay more attention to the people around me in this line. Some were very chipper for being in a line in the dark at 5:05am. I think they were coked up. Or maybe they found a 24 hour Starbucks.
The guy in front of me wasn't sure if he was in the line for Office Depot or Conn's and asked to see a sale ad. Then he asked random people if certain bits were good deals.
The sight of someone more confused and ready to fling money wildly both encouraged me and saddened me. In the end, I drove away from that parking lot at store opening -30 minutes and didn't look back.
I crawled back into bed before the sun came up, but that didn't stick either.
Within half an hour, I was all over the internet, cross referencing specials versus product reviews adding and deleting crap from my shopping cart and plotting a trip to . . . the mall.
At the mall, I gazed lovingly at the Nintendo Wii and asked the people at EB Games to cough up a Playstation 3 from the back for me. They hate me now.
We stood for a long time under a net waiting for a balloon drop where we scored a t-shirt and a $10 gift card to Banana Republic. While we had all been mostly crushed, we also agreed it was worth it.
We had horrible seafood for lunch and then visited Target and Best Buy. Both were sold out of most of the awesome stuff.
We no longer cared.
I placed a final order online when we got home and passed out, drooling into my keyboard.
I've done my bit for the economy. It will have to take care of itself until next year.

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