Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Shopping Frenzy

Yesterday, it was interesting to speak with befuddled WalMart employees who were complaining that customers were NOT buying items on "Blitz" as WalMart refers to it's Black Friday offerings of shoddy merchandise.

The Stampede-Effect had taken hold, and stores throughout the area sold far more of their everyday items than before simply because consumers had had enough doom & gloom for the year, thank you very much, and were trudging in and out of the stores grabbing anything that wasn't bolted down. I watched the fuss surrounding a pallet laden with 23" TV's for $99.00, and it was only until I edged closer that I saw folks wrestling over the 20" TV's for $70.00 that I finally spoke with several store associates and learned that yes indeed, the run-of-the-mill products were going a lot faster than the specialty items because, well, they didn't know why-because.

One asks oneself that if the stores could afford to sell products so cheaply one day out of the year, why they don't generate the same crowds by selling the same items at the same low prices all year-round and the answer is simple. People NEED to feel they are part of an amazing event and will buy something they do not need nor want, but NOT every day of the week.

I myself couldn't find anything worth the money, but did locate several items at regular price that deserved consideration once I've checked the prices elsewhere, so the venture wasn't a total waste of time.

Hate giving the money to WalMart, and I'm almost certain that the due diligence will return items at nearly the same cost in a retail outlet that actually pays it's employees a decent wage. Now, I'm not saying that I am willing to get ripped-off but a few dollars here or there certainly won't break the bank, and was somewhat proud of myself for not participating in the hysteria by scoffing up whatever had the biggest signage proclaiming that for all intents and purposes we were all committing a felony by stealing the bread from the WalMart diner table.

Yes, I was tempted. What helped to being me back to reality was the memory of an experience several years ago. I made the mistake of standing too close to a shrouded pallet of goodies that was attacked once the coverings came down, and had to wrestle myself out of the way before I hurt one of the people trying to stomp me into the ground in order to get closer to whatever wonder of wonders was in the offering.

The initial retail sales figures are huge, so I guess the loons will have to look elsewhere for signs that the Administration is ruining the economy, and for that I am duly grateful.

I still NEED a bagless, lightweight vacuum cleaner with edge-guard and HEPA filters, and a retractable power cord, and an automatic sensor that determines the nap of the carpet and switches by itself from deep-pile to bare-floor, and is just the right color and has those big rear wheels to make the turning radius bearable, and...


It's somewhat fashionable for men to bitch, moan, complain, and profess their high testosterone count by declaring the hatred they have for crowded malls and shopping centers this time of year.

I love it. The people, the noise, the priceless collection of humanity and those posing as such is a yearly event that I try not to miss. can venture into the forest and bring home enough food to feed a dozen starving people but it's too much of a strain to go shopping?


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