Have Yourself an Ambivalent Little Christmas


The Golden Age of Spam

Will the Real Renaissance Please Stand Up?

My Life of Crime

My Life of Crime, Pt. 2: The War of the Dandelions

Black (and Blue) Friday

Going Home

How Not to Celebrate a Holiday

Traffic Report Fall Down
and Go Boom

O, Holy Weekend

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?

Side Disorders

Lessons for Hurricane Preparedness as Taught By Example in Raleigh, North Carolina

You Mean My Vote Actually Means Something?, Pt. 2: Are They Gone Yet?

The Last Reality Show

It Builds Character

Sink the Flu

WTF (in C Major)

Intruder Alert

Kneel before Za

I Got Your Breaking News Right Here, Pal

Christmas in July...or April...or maybe even December


Why I Hate "The Little Drummer Boy"

Black (and Blue) Friday

This Friday is (in America) "Buy Nothing Day", a day where the subversive elements tell you we should subvert the materialistic paradigm by not buying anything on the day that is the starting gun for the buying frenzy known as Christmas.

I have a healthy subversive streak, so I can support the concept of Buy Nothing Day. And here's how I intend to spend Buy Nothing Day:

I'm going to buy stuff.

I'm not, for the record, going to be going to the mall. (The same holds true for any of the "big box" stores or any similar place, but for convenience's sake I'm just going to say "the mall" from here on out.) Anyone (other than the unfortunate employees) crazy enough to set foot in a mall on the day after Thanksgiving is going to get what they deserve and deserve what they get. Forget Black Friday...this is Black and Blue Friday. The stores will open at some ungodly hour (I think some actually open at five in the morning), and there will be people waiting for the doors to open. The scene that follows can be somewhat akin to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, but with slightly more blood.

I generally don't spend much time in the mall during Christmas season anyway. Most years I only go into the malls one time during this stretch, because every year my wife and I will go to the mall and pick a child off the angel tree at the mall and spend about a hundred bucks on that. It gives us the chance to help those less fortunate than ourselves (I think this is what the true spirit of Christmas is supposed to be about...or at least that's what the car commercial on the radio told me), and maybe helps burn off some of the negative karma I've accumulated in the past year. Oh, who am I kidding? To burn off the karma I accumulate in a typical year I'd have to spend the entire next year volunteering in soup kitchens. In Darfur. But it's a nice rationalization.

So, no mall for me on Buy Nothing Day. But I will be buying stuff, because I'm going to be going to the grocery store. I do this every year on the day after Thanksgiving, because I always desperately need food on the day after Thanksgiving. I could plan ahead to avoid it but I never do. I normally do my grocery shopping on Tuesday night. And going into a grocery store a day or two before Thanksgiving can sometimes be as insane as going to a mall a day after. There's not the same mad shopping frenzy (except perhaps where the turkeys are set up), but the lines will be insanely long. This is especially true on Wednesdays, when people head to the grocery store in a panic as they realize they don't have as much flour or butter as they thought they did. But it can be pretty bad on Tuesday as well, because some people don't want to wait until the last minute to have their last-minute panic.

I don't want to spend more time in line than actually putting food in the cart, so I always wind up deciding on that day to see if I can just stretch it out a couple of days. I should have enough food to get me through to Thursday, then I can have the actual Thanksgiving meal, and maybe leftovers. Of course this never works out for two reasons that I am fully cognizant of but never seem to take into account. First, Thankgiving is never at my house. There aren't going to be any leftovers. Second, if there were leftovers, they wouldn't be the sort of thing I need anyway. Come Friday, I'm going to be out of bananas and tortilla chips and beef jerky and other snack foods. I don't remember the last time any of these things was at Thanksgiving dinner. Christmas dinner, yes, but not Thanksgiving dinner.

I did it again this year, too. I realized as I was driving home this evening that it was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I don't want to deal with the grocery store. But I just thought of it this evening, when it was already too late. So once again, I'll be at the grocery store buying food on Buy Nothing Day.

So you see, I really am supporting the Buy Nothing Day people. I'm not going anywhere near a mall, and I'm not buying Christmas gifts. Dominant materialistic paradigm, consider thyself subverted. But I'm also subverting the subversive paradigm. I should probably feel some level of guilt about that. I don't. In fact, on some level it amuses me.

I should probably feel some level of guilt about that, too. Again, I don't.

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