Black Thursday

November 25, 2005 at 5:42 AM | Nerd, Site/Personal, Wichita | 1 Comment

So… Black Friday started a little earlier this year.

I was over at Martin’s house for dinner and afterwards, we were looking over the ads in preparation for Black Friday, the craziest shopping day of the year. I’m not sure how the tradition began, but I guess the day after Thanksgiving, a lot of stores decided to simultaneously have ridiculous sales on items of a grotesquely limited quantity. If you want to be successful in acquring some of these items, you need to:

  • Have a game plan (figure out what you want and hopefully coordinate your efforts with others)
  • Pick a store (you usually only have time to hit up one store, so you must choose the store with the most desirable goods)
  • Get there hours and hours before they open and camp outside in the blisteringly cold darkness of night

I’ve done the whole Black Friday thing for the past couple of years now and each year, I find myself doing it in Wichita since I usually come home for Thanksgiving. I usually hit up Best Buy because they usually have some pretty good deals on computer peripherals, accessories, etc. One thing that I’ve noticed is that people are getting there earlier and earlier… and they show up a lot better prepared. I mean, it used to just be a bunch of fools standing around in the cold for about 3 hours. Now they’re coming with their furniture, music players, portable gaming systems, and thermoses.

But anyways, I was looking over CompUSA’s ad and noticed that it said that they were opening at 11:59PM. I leaned over and I was like “oh my godddd… they’re opening at noon–what are they thinking??” But I really hadn’t processed the information that I had seen on the ad. In reality, they were opening at midnight Thursday. This had never been done before. They were technically opening up shop for Black Friday on Thursday. Nobody ever does that. The notion of things happening on Thursday didn’t even cross my mind. Everybody always opens up around 7AM on Friday. I know that they purposely put down 11:59PM because sometimes times involving 12AM/PM can be a little tricky. And yet… I still messed it up. As soon as I realized what was going on, I checked the time: 8:45PM. I was like “If you want to hit up CompUSA, we needs to leave like righ now.” And so we drove out to CompUSA, fully expecting a small crowd waiting.

Instead, there were only like 6 or 7 guys standing around so I guess we were going to be pretty much at the front of the line if one were to form. Some of them were seated at a table (which I assume that one of them brought), setting up a game of Risk: Star Wars – Clone Wars edition to pass the time. And there was this really fat dude there that was wearing shorts. And also, another fat dude, of no apparent relation to the first fat dude, wearing shorts. What is up with fat people and wearing shorts in the cold weather? I’ve seen this before on numerous occasions and I just can’t seem to figure it out. I refuse to believe that their particular physiology provides them with enough body heat in the lower body to warrant the wearing of shorts when its 25°F out. I was out there with my winter coat, scarf, and stocking cap… freezing my ass off and I see these guys standing around having a grand ol’ time in their shorts. I dunno, I guess I’ll never truly understand.

Anyways, just seeing this little group of people made me feel like I was as big a nerd as the rest of them for being out there. And I don’t know, I probably am, I won’t deny it. But I mean, come on… the Risk game was a little much. I’m not dogging on the game or anything. I like Star Wars as much as the next guy and I’m sure that it is probably a very entertaining game.

And then something happened that I have never seen happen in the entire history of my participation in the Black Friday tradition… they let a group of us wait inside the first set of doors. It was actually quite warm in there and I had to return my winter gear back out to the car. Not only were we near the front, we were going to be waiting indoors. Utter blasphemy! But you can bet that you didn’t see me complaining about it…

Eventually, the whole place started to fill up and people that got there later were back to the classic waiting outside. I couldn’t see how many people were out there, but word had it that it was not a small number. Time passes excruciatingly slow when you are waiting for something. This was most certainly the case here, when you pretty check the time on your phone every 10-15 minutes, disappointed that not more time had passed. And being on your feet for so long is no easy task either. With every passing moment, people moved in closer, inching their way towards the door, even though nobody was going anywhere.

Until finally… it was go time.

The floodgates burst open with a roar of people pushing and shoving their way into the store and towards the goods that had taunted us for the past three long hours. Martin and I had devised a plan: I would go for the items in the front island, grab a cart and meet up with him after he had gone to pick up other items in a different part of the store. As soon as they let us loose, I knew that the job would not be as easy as planned. People are fucking craaazy when it comes to this sort of thing. People were all pushing and scurrying around, grabbing shit off of the shelves, all yelling n shit. I was pushed around back to the rear of the island where I was able to grapple a set of stuff for the both of us. I dropped the stuff into the cart and began inching my way towards the designated meeting area, all the while paranoid that someone would just come by and snatch the goods from the cart in the chaos. Luckily, no such thing happened and I saw Martin in the distance, successful in his part of the mission. By the time we were checking out at the registers, people that were waiting in line were still coming in. I guess there must’ve been a shitload of people in line outside.

We got up on out of there feeling pretty good and it was only like 12:15. This was by far the easiest, fastest, smoothest Black Friday operation ever. We were out of there in a hurry and we each got what we came for. All in all, I would say that it was a raging success.

This year, Best Buy decided to also change up their opening time. They were going to open at 5AM. Now, usually 3 hours before opening is plenty of time to get a decent spot in line. So I was thinking that we would just roll by there, check out the line, and if it wasn’t too out of control, hit up the nearby IHOP for a bit. However, by 12:30, the line coming from the entrance of Best Buy already stretched back out to the Burlington Coat Factory. People were all lined up in their blankets and lawn chairs… it was like four and a half hours til go time and the line was already out of control. I was like “my god… I can’t compete with these people–they’re craaazy.” We decided to give up on that venture… there really weren’t that many deals going on, we’d been spoiled with the waiting indoors bit, and mostly, we’d already done a fair amount of waiting. Shit just wasn’t worth it. We hit up IHOP and called it a night.

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  1. hey cousin….wassup?? i found ur website….more of sis gave it ta me….hehe….seems like u had a fun time at shopping!!!!!!!!! well nothin more ta say so TOODLES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Teresa — November 26, 2005 #

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