December 21, 2014
around the big top

Be careful, Neanderthals still roam the Earth

Posted 11/24/09

Last year I made some tongue-in-cheek, snide remarks after Black Friday, comparing some of the people who hit the stores that day to cattle on a dairy farm, being herded in and out of doors and aisles, with little regard for the people around them, as trampling deaths are always reported the day after Thanksgiving.

So before storming the stores this year, here’s a tip – watch out for Neanderthals, as not all people out there are fully developed or socially functional!

No doubt as you sprint to the electronics section, hoping to get a killer deal on the gadget du jour, a half-ape, half-man could possibly pounce out of an unseen crevasse waiting with his elk-leg club to defeat anyone on a similar mission. However, if you carry a lighter, these mouth-breathers will no doubt be amazed by the “magic fire stick” and relent to your wishes.

Another word from the wise – bring lots of lubrication with you. There will be a lot of tight spots around, with hundreds of living dead seemingly stationary, as if by standing in one spot, the gifts they want to buy will come to them. Apparently these folks are confused about the difference of online shopping and actually shopping, and are caught in some sort of limbo.

Believe it or not, this is a good thing for a motivated shopper in a competitive environment, as you don’t need to worry about these zombies tackling you right as you grab the latest Elmo or a $2 Dolce and Gabanna blouse. Which is why your lubrication should be unscented. Too strong a fragrance, or the ever-popular slippage-inducer butter, may cause them to snap out of the trance. Of course, many of these folks, if they catch a whiff of the butter, may grow hungry. And we all know the undead feed on human brains!

Alright, so we’re prepared for the half-lifes, and slipping around the zombies, but there is one Black Friday threat that is yet to be addressed, and is often the last and most difficult obstacle to get around when shopping.

This would be the incompetent.

And often times you never run into them, but every once in a while, you meet them. They work at the checkout counter.

Most of the people at the counters realize that they are dealing with very stressful shoppers who want nothing more than to get back out of the store, away from the aforementioned beings, and kiss the littered sidewalks and breathe in the fresh smell of exhaust and burning fossil fuels. The clerks at these counters give you a friendly greeting and then get to quickly scanning your items, bagging them, and you are on your way.

But, yes there’s a “but,” there is an approximately 1 in 10 chance you will run into the incompetent clerk. They can be identified by not being able to find the UPC code, dropping your things, sighing heavily numerous times while moving slowly and saying “What the heck?” over and over again. No doubt they will have to make a call over the intra-store phone system, paging possibly the oldest living person in the world to come help them with their register. They won’t know how to process a check, count change without their fingers and a square-foot Texas Instruments calculator, and will push the “finalize sale” button at the same exact time you push enter on the credit card pad, meaning it won’t go through and the process will start all over again.

My advice for dealing with them?

Pick up your cell phone and just look at the screen. Then exclaim “I got a text about my family! Emergency! Please hurry! I have to go! Please … hurry! How much longer?! My children! Hurry! COME ON LET’S GO! HAVE YOU NO HUMANITY?”

Of course, you will be lying, which is bad, but sometimes you have to sink to their level. Now, remember, this will in no way speed this person up or suddenly make them competent, but at least it will make them feel bad.

So there you have it. The common sense guide to Black Friday. Now get out there and spend!

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