Black Friday: The Darkest Night

Friends, your turkey is done. The stuffing's been stuffed. The cake is no more. The cranberry sauce is... well, it's still on the dinner table, collecting dust. Time for a good night's sleep and-

NO! STAY AWAKE! There is more to Thanksgiving day than food and family! In fact, forget the family! They can't or won't help you for what is to come. Consider all that gorging you did today carb-loading for tomorrow morning's festivities.

For tomorrow morning is Black Friday. And woe be to he who is unprepared.

For the uninitiated, Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is when all the major stores have their big "door-buster" (gotta love buzz words) sales, like large television sets for $100, countless crappy DVDs for a buck apiece, and other equally useless items all at insane discounts, all meant to draw suckers like us into the store, empty our wallets and leave. This day is also known for its body count. People die for savings, friends!

Don't be a victim of high prices/being trampled to death! Let me, Flint, theO's #1 authority on sales, self-defense, and tacos, arm you with the most powerful weapon you can have in this upcoming war against the masses for a heap of Transformers action figures at seventy-five cents: knowledge.


-First, preparing for Black Friday starts with physical training. You need to be faster, stronger, and better than the overweight soccer mom standing in line in front of you. Begin by running 3 miles daily for the week prior. Take up a martial art, like taekwondo or judo. This is key. You must have an unarmed combat skill handy in this environment.

If your reading this, like, right after Thanksgiving dinner, and you haven't trained a bit, hope is not lost! Drink lots and lots of Red Bull, eat a bowl of pure sugar and watch the 36th Chamber of Shaolin a few times. You'll do fine!

-When entering the bargain-hunting fray, you must choose the right clothing. What you wear can determine the success or failure of your Black Friday excursion!

One would assume that wearing the most comfortable clothing would be the best thing to do. After all, you'll most likely be waiting in line for several hours, surrounded by a gang of stinking 40-somethings. Nothing could be further from the truth. To go into this in a t-shirt and jeans is a recipe for bruises, gashes and a slow, horrible death.

The most important thing you'll need is a thick jacket. Nothing cute, nothing sassy, nothing stylish. Think "arctic survival" here, friends. This serves two purposes. First, it's winter. The coat will keep you warm while you stand outside the locked doors of the store of your choosing. Second, the padding provided by the jacket can potentially save your life in the event of fistfights, stabbings, and human stampedes.

You should wear tight pants with straight legs and heavy boots. Wearing baggy pants or boot-cut pants can lead to a dangerous situation, like getting caught on a display of printers, or allowing a grappling point for an enemy in a department store melee. The boots will allow you to quickly and comfortably traverse a broken landscape with your parcels intact, and can be used as weapons to flee from an angry shopper.

It would be wise to invest in a helmet. At least bring a baseball cap along. Any kind of head protection is good head protection. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, WEAR ANY KIND OF WIG. You WILL get it caught on something, somebody WILL pick it up, and you will go the rest of the day bald and with nothing to protect your cranium from the purse of a vicious grandmother.

-Choose what you're looking for before you go to the store. Look through the ads of different stores. There are lots of sales today; almost everyone is offering some cool stuff at low, low prices! Pick an item, find the store nearest to you, and stake it out.

Try to pick out only one or two items only. More than that is impossible. Remember, you're going to be vying with half your city's population for these items. Do you really think you have the skill, cunning, strength and fortitude to get EVERY item in the ad without succumbing to murder?

An important psychological tool in this war, children: do NOT expect to get what you came for. Yes, this goes against everything Sun Tsu wrote in the Art of War. "Victorious warriors win first, then go to war", yadda, yadda, yadda, yeah, I read it, too. Dump it. This will lead to heartbreak. You're going to be out at four o'clock in the morning, fighting several hundred middle-aged man-children for a barbie doll. Just try to have fun, huh?

-Develop a strategy! You will need it for the coming war. First, analyze your party. Take an inventory of their skills. Who is the fastest? The strongest? Who is expendable? If you're going it alone, you may want to take along an ipod and play Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" for the duration.

Figure out which item you want the most. DO NOT FORGET THIS ITEM! This is your trophy, the reason you woke up at three in the morning. If you walk into this without a set goal, you will be walking into a warzone for no reason.

Get to the store as early as possible, and wait in line. If you get there late, do not be deterred. You will just need to work harder. Wait patiently until the doors open, or until you are allowed to grab your items. Do not do anything stupid that could get you ejected from the line. Do not bribe others to get closer to the front of the line; this WILL backfire on you most assuredly.

When it's time to get your items, walk at a brisk pace. Running will cause a panic or, God forbid, a stampede. There will be people much larger than you, who will use their considerable girth to their advantage. You may have to meet their might with your own. Get the item you are questing for as quickly as possible. Do not take it from somebody's basket or fight a person for it. You do not know who that person is, or what he/she is capable of. Chances are, many of these people are not playing with a full deck. Cradle your trophy with both arms. Do not casually hold it, like this is a normal shopping day. Remember how I told you not to take things from people? There's a good chance people will try to take things from you. Grasping your item closely will prevent this.

Quickly, quietly, and as stealthily as possible, make your way through the chaos and pay for your items. Try to pay with cash; you don't want to be in a situation where your credit card is declined. You will have fought off an angry crowd for nothing!

After paying, sprint quickly to your getaway car. Keep in mind that, at any point, an old person may spring up to take your items for themselves. Be prepared for combat! Keep your item in your lap as you sit in your car, and drive away as fast as possible. Then, go home and take a well-deserved nap!


Using these tips, you too can have a successful and fun Black Friday! So, gas up your car, dust off your football helmet, put on your steel-toe Doc Martins, and ready your nerves for the melee ahead!

After all, there's a $98 Nintendo DS at the Wal-Mart down the road! I gotta freakin' have it!