To most, Black Friday is a tradition to look forward to every year. Black Friday virtuosos are probably already outfitted with protective armor, fanny packs, coupons and flame throwers...
If you're a Black Friday virgin attempting your very first excursion, here are a few tips that might keep you alive and kicking.
Ten Tips for surviving Black Friday...
1. Eat first. Enjoy a nutritious meal before you go into battle, you don't want to pass out from lack of sustenance when you have to fight a caravan of soccer moms for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts.
2. Wear flats. Although some pointy heeled stilettos might make great weapons if someone's trying to steal that Hermès scarf marked down ninety-five per cent from your stash.
3. Make a list. If you're shopping blindly you'll be overwhelmed. Take names of those who've been naughty or nice and shop accordingly.
4. Pay that big burly neighborhood kid to be your personal bodyguard for the day. You'll feel as important as Britney Spears, crazed shoppers won't knock you down, and when he's not guarding your body he can conveniently hold your bags or your purse if you decide to try on cute things.
5. Wear a Depends undergarment. This is war. No time for bathroom breaks.
6. Keep an envelope filled with gift receipts making it easy for your friends to return the items you risked your life buying when the day after Christmas rolls around.
7. Go early. You have enough leftovers from Thanksgiving, you don't need other shoppers' sloppy seconds.
8. Hit the mall beforehand and grab a map. Circle your must hit stores and develop a clear and direct route. Don't veer off course. I repeat, do not veer off course. Be aware of your emergency exits in case you need to abort your shopping mission.
9. Diversions are good. Print out coupons that say "Good for one Free Picture with Santa" and hand them out to Moms with kids so you have more breathing room in stores. Less competition, more merchandise for you. Just get out before the Moms are on to you and call Mall security.
10. If you do get apprehended by Mall security, feign an epileptic attack.
We'll talk about Shopping the Day after Christmas later...
May the shopping force be with you.