I Can Almost See Black Friday From Here

Ah, the Pacific Coast. I took this photo while on NASCAR assignment at Sonoma.

Ah, the Pacific Coast. I took this photo while on NASCAR assignment at Sonoma.

[cb_profit_poster Lottery1]Clinton, S.C., Friday, November 29, 2013, 10:03 a.m.

Black Friday. I don’t get it. Not any part of it.

For instance, why is it Black Friday? I suppose it must be because profits are etched in black ink on accounting ledgers (virtual now, of course) and losses in red. If no one shopped, and if they had enough sense to sit back and digest the Thanksgiving gluttony, watch football and behave like civilized people, I suppose it would be Red Friday.

Monte Dutton Who else would it be?

Monte Dutton
Who else would it be?

Supposedly, though, it was a term originally coined in Philadephia over 50 years ago and referred to “the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.”

I read another story this morning on how many of the deals were a sham in that they discounted an artificially high “suggested retail price” that no one uses anyway. On the other hand, I can see how shoppers would rush to stores to buy those hot items that always sell out by the time slackers like me get around to buying presents for the young relatives.

Sorry, kids, Uncle Monte isn’t into competitive shopping.

The retailers have succeeded in making a post-Thanksgiving feeding frenzy a part of the national custom. You wear costumes on Halloween. You shoot firecrackers on the Fourth of July. You hunt eggs on Easter. You shop like a lunatic on Black Friday.

Not me. I’m not playing ball. I’m watching ball. My only payments today are going to be down a mail chute, 46 cents a pop.

10: 23 a.m.

The football game that matters to me is in Orangeburg, not Columbia. In the morning I’m going to tiptoe around the borders of the Clemson-South Carolina game in order to rescue my grand-nephew and whisk him to the Furman-South Carolina State FCS playoff game. The Paladins and Bulldogs play at 1 p.m.; the Tigers and Gamecocks kick off at 7. With a little luck, I can sneak into Columbia in the morning, beat the crowd, and then swing back by when most of them are already rioting on the grounds of Williams-Brice Stadium.

The last time I covered the Clemson-Carolina game, it wasn’t sold out. Tommy West was at Clemson, and Brad Scott was at South Carolina, and both of them were about to be exiled elsewhere.

Now they’re both in the top 10. It’s been a while. If all goes as planned, I’ll be back home in time to watch most of it on TV.

This is going to be the Paladins’ first playoff appearance since 2006. I’ve got to be there. If Furman should be fortunate enough to win, the prize is going to be a trip to North Dakota State to play the nation’s No. 1 team. I won’t go to Fargo. I can barely afford to get to Orangeburg.

Maybe I’ll watch the movie “Fargo.”

Thanksgiving was fine. I just don’t particularly feel like writing about it. May your Black Friday exploits be those of a noncombatant. You know what would be an easy Black Friday purchase? A book. A book by me. A book by me that’s available at amazon.com and neverlandpublishing.com. Or one that’s signed if you order it from here.

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About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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