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Deals 'n Death: Why Doorbusters Are Dumb

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Who would subject themselves to a potentially violent shopping experience to save a couple bucks on a toaster? Idiots.

Black Friday

Momlogic's Momstrosity
: Before the last bit of Thanksgiving gorging has been digested and firmly implanted as cellulite on our thighs, millions will head out to the stores to perform another gluttonous American ritual: Black Friday.

As retailers whip the public into a shopping frenzy, might we step back and remember:

A) We're in a recession.
B) Most of us don't need anything. On the contrary, people could stand to get RID of some sh*t -- myself included.  

Oh, and let's not forget this bit of Black Friday trivia: last year, at a Long Island Wal-Mart in an early-morning stampede of ravenous shoppers, a worker was killed and 11 customers were injured. Damn, there must've been some deep cuts -- I mean on the prices, of course.

When did shopping turn into a blood sport? And when did Black Friday -- which sounds ominous enough -- turn into "Doorbusters"?! Think about it. Doorbusters is synonymous with  throngs of people pushing through a store entrance to get the best deals on electronics. Why not call it "Fractured Foots" or "Skull Bashers"? 

Beyond the safety factor, there's the inconvenience aspect of this buying frenzy. Doors open at 5 AM -- some even at midnight! WTF?! Does that mean you need to start lining up at 11 PM Thursday night to get your hands on a $12 coffee maker? Nope. I foresee a new Thanksgiving tradition: Tailgate! Eat your Thanksgiving dinner IN the parking lot at Wal-Mart!! There's  nothing like carving a turkey on asphalt.

If you must jump into the shopping mosh pit, is it worth it financially? That depends. Let's do some math:

Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones to snag a Target $3.00 toaster. A regular one might go for about 25 bucks. That's a savings of about $22 (88% off!). That's nothing to sniff at. But let's check out what you'll have to do to EARN that $22. 

1) Get up at the crack of dawn -- possibly rousting your bleary-eyed, pissed-off children out of bed too. "Wake up, kids! Mommy's gonna kick some shopping ASS!"

2) Sit bundled up in blankets on lawn chairs next to a bunch of other families with pissed-off kids.

3) Wait.

4) Continue to wait.

5) Doors open! Stand in a throng of impatient/tired/stressed-out people who would sooner kill you than miss out on a deal.

6) Stand in a checkout line.

7) Wait.

8) Continue to wait.

9) Come home exhausted. Spend the rest of the day tired and stressed out with your tired and stressed-out kids. 

10) Eat toast

OK, let's tally the results:

• Hours spent: 12
• Brain cells destroyed: 500 million
• That's 22,727,272 brain cells per dollar saved

What do you think? Is Black Friday worth it? 

next: Secret Service Says Couple Crashed State Dinner
12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mare November 25, 2009, 1:05 PM

It’s our family tradition to get up at 3AM, make coffee and eat donuts. After having researched the hottest toys of the year, we then post ourselves nearby, coffee in hand. When the box is opened, we grab one and hide it behind our vantage point. Then we watch the mayhem. It’s very fun and we all love to watch people fight over plastic that a week after Christmas won’t amount to squat. Viva La Commercialism! The new blood sport!

Anonymous November 25, 2009, 2:00 PM

Family tradition. Everybody uses that excuse.

Gigohead  November 25, 2009, 5:23 PM

I’m actually going to not do Black Friday. There is nothing I need and its really not worth the wee hours of waiting because most of the time, there is nothing left. Plus, my “kid list” is getting smaller as they are getting older and don’t want Barbies and trucks anymore. They are all tweens and teens who rather take it in cash. Suits me fine! LOL!

Jenny November 25, 2009, 6:58 PM

I’m a bit disgusted by the degree to which this whole Black Friday “doorbuster” business has reached. I’m with you 100%. My mother-in-law, however, may still be seen this year at Walmart around 2 AM or so, despite the fact that she’s right smack dab in the middle of a nasty fight with lung cancer. She’s crazy like that. I mean, CRAZY. What gets me the most is the things she buys JUST BECAUSE IT’S ON SALE. Last year she came home with two netbooks, televisions, digital cameras and more. And NONE of them were planned purchases. NONE! That’s like a thousand bucks in IMPULSE PURCHASES — that no on really needed. Thank you very much, Retailers of America, but I will not be busting any doors this week. Thanks, but no thanks.

Cassie November 26, 2009, 8:17 AM

The REALLY STUPID thing is you can get ALMOST ALL the deals online!!! Freaking Idoits! Why get up early & wait? Black Friday deals are awesome don’t get me wrong but if I can wake up at 10 and still get the same deals while shopping in my underwear on my laptop, then screw the mayhem! I have never went on Black Friday and never will!! SHOP SMARTER!!!

Anonymous November 26, 2009, 9:20 AM

People who wouldn’t normally get up @ 3:00 AM will do on the this day. Makes no sense.

michelle November 26, 2009, 8:55 PM

It is incredibly sad that anyone could have a family tradition that is 100% about consumerism.

tennmom November 26, 2009, 9:26 PM

I did the Black Friday thing one year. Closer to Christmas the items I bought were going for the same price or less.
I mostly do net shopping now.

SaraJ December 5, 2009, 1:31 AM

Your article was very funny!!! So true! We do most of our shopping online beforehand. Whatever we can’t buy online, we get at the stores. We averaged less than 30 mins per store (and would have been less if it weren’t for the horribly slow lines at Office Depot). To my extreme surprise, we got pretty much everything we wanted from Wal-Mart…at 8 am… NO LINE. All & all, the shopping experience wasn’t bad and we were home by 9 am.

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