Thursday, December 1, 2011

How I Spent Black Friday, Really

I can’t prove it, but I’d be willing to bet that the murder rate escalates around the holidays. I confess I had manslaughter on my mind when I went to Wal-mart on Black Friday. Yeah, you heard me. I went to Wal-Mart on Black Friday. All I needed was one thing: a screen protector for my iPod. What I got was my feelings hurt.

At least I was smart enough not to go to Wal-Mart at midnight with the crazies. I thought the madness would be over by mid-afternoon. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My first sign that I had badly misjudged the situation was the parking lot. It was at absolute max capacity. From the looks of things I thought I’d have to park a few miles away and take a taxi.

I picked a row, settled in and waited. A spot opened up but just as I was about to turn in, a car pulled into it from the next row over. “Hey! You can’t do that in a crowded parking lot!” And, of course, she couldn’t back up because someone had already pulled in behind her. The woman knew she was wrong because she completely ignored me when I looked her dead in the face and said, "Really?"
That woman was lucky that I wasn’t crazy. A stunt like that could have earned her car The Carrie Underwood treatment. I admit it would have been deliciously therapeutic to take a Louisville Slugger to both headlights and slash a hole in all four tires, so maybe next time she'll think before she steals. Or perhaps something a little more subtle, like a car bomb.

When I finally got inside Wal-Mart it was pandemonium. People weren’t shopping. They were grabbing things off the shelves, running, and screaming. So, when in Rome, I grabbed what I wanted and ran screaming to the register. I got on the 20 items or less line, not realizing that the sign was just a suggestion. The cart of the woman in front of me was overflowing. Either she couldn’t count, couldn’t read or didn’t care.  

With so much time to think it occurred to me that there is absolutely no proof for the theory that you can get to the cashier faster by running your shopping cart up ass of the person in front of you. The man standing behind me however didn’t know that. He bumped into me several times with a cart that incidentally also had more than 20 items.

I had to restrain myself from walking over to her and saying, “Really?” which I’m sure wouldn’t have ended well for me. Righteous indignation almost never wins a fight with willful ignorance. Instead, as I patiently waited my turn I imagined shanking her with my car keys

fter the third time, which by the way was not at all charming, I turned and gave him my best “Really?” He apologized and backed up about a 16th of an inch. I'm nothing if not painfully proper but I strongly considered aggressively farting in his direction. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything strong enough in my colon that would have killed him on contact.

he crush of cars leaving Wal-Mart was a joyless tailgate party and the common courtesies were nil here as well. When you let someone into the flow of traffic in front of you they’re supposed acknowledge you with a wave, a thumbs up, a middle finger, something. But no, I let a guy in and I got nothing. “Really!?!” I shouted to my windshield. I fervently wished his car had a "How's my driving" sticker so I could call, tell him and say horrible things about his mother.
t was then, in the parking lot at Wal-Mart, that I had a moment of clarity. This … this was all my fault. This is what I got for going shopping on Black Friday ... without a plan. If I do this again next year I'm taking Team 6. Really.

Thanks for reading The Urban Erma. You can listen to the podcast on Podbean or subscribe for free on iTunes. In case you were wondering, in addition to blogging I am also a pretty good stand-up comedian. I do "Thinking Cap Comedy." If comedy were music, I'd be Jazz. Want to see a show? Check out my schedule at @

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