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Deals 'n Death: Why Doorbusters Are Dumb

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Andrea of "Bedtimes Are for Suckers" wonders: Who would subject themselves to a potentially violent shopping experience just to save a couple bucks on a toaster? Idiots.

Black Friday

Andrea of "Bedtimes Are for Suckers": 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 partake in 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: In 2008, in an early-morning stampede of ravenous shoppers at a Long Island Walmart, 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 Feet" 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 to get your hands on a $12 coffeemaker? Nope. I foresee a new Thanksgiving tradition: Tailgate! Eat your Thanksgiving dinner IN the parking lot at Walmart!! 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 who is able to snag a $3 toaster at Target. A regular one might go for about 25 bucks. That's a savings of about $22 (88 percent 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. Wait some more.
  10. Come home exhausted. Spend the rest of the day tired and stressed out with your tired and stressed-out kids.
OK, let's tally the results:
  • Hours spent: 12.
  • Brain cells destroyed: 500 million
  • That's 22,727,272 brain cells killed per every dollar saved.

Moms, what do you think? Is Black Friday worth it? Read more from Andrea at "Bedtimes Are for Suckers"

next: Seven Reasons I'm Thankful for Sex
2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 23, 2010, 7:37 AM

I’ve done it once or twice in the past but this year I am staying home. I’ve already ordered most of my daughters stuff on line and my son just completed his on line wish list last night. My family decided last year that we are no longer buying for any of our nieces or nephew and only buying for our own kids (that cuts out 6 gifts for me…YEAH!) I look foward to sleeping in w/hubby and just enjoy time off from work and school with the kids.

KS November 23, 2010, 9:38 AM

I am a Black Friday shopper. There is some waiting involved to be sure but that just means there is time to strike up conversations with people you otherwise would not have met.

I get all four of our children Christmas gifts as well as their stocking gifts and some other family members at fantastic prices and I have yet to run into a single rude person.

Call me crazy but everyone I’ve ever encountered is overjoyed at the money their saving on things they were going to purchase for loved ones regardless.

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