Traffic, laptop, panic, Xbox, crowd, plasma screen, stampede, toy, a gambler’s rush and butterflies in your stomach as the doors are flung wide open. Twenty four to thirty six hours of retailer-induced insanity, building over the weeks prior through steady voices, nightly news reports, and carefully crafted images of shiny black TVs (advertised prices good for one day only and subject to availability, of course). Everything laid before us, full of promise, full of need, of want, luring us in; the siren song of the Great American Big Box Store.
If Friday is not enough for the hardier souls amongst us, let us not forget our appreciation for the small business owner on Small Business Saturday. Yes, that’s correct, it was recently launched by American Express. Last week I heard a steady, fatherly voice pitching it on the radio (it might have actually been Uncle Sam!), expressing appreciation for all those little guys who keep our economy rolling…and gently suggesting I show my appreciation and willingness to pitch in by shopping with one of them. Together, with our credit cards, we can turn this country around.
On the seventh day we rest; with empty boxes strewn about, Styrofoam packing blocks, and the NFL and NASCAR. Better get the Geek Squad to install that TV before the Steelers play…
Refreshed, we turn to our computers for Cyber Monday, lest the Great Online Retailers of America not get their share. Orders placed, sometime Monday evening the wizardry of civilization begins to kick in with rapid efficiency; packages packed, sorted, routed, coordinated, vans and trucks get fueled and hit the darkened roads, jetliners taxi onto the runways. 3…2…1…Liftoff! The packages are in route, piling in post offices, distribution centers, loading docks…and behold! I heard the truck!
Seventy-nine barrels of oil later, that shiny, new, bargain Blu-ray disk of Howard the Duck is in your hands.
Go forth this holiday weekend, do your duty, and together we can make this a better place.
And don’t forget your family.