I have long dreamed of such an extravagance. But the need to feed and clothe my children has generally taken precedence (that, and My Lovely Wife has hidden the MasterCard).
Call it the “MTV Cribs” effect, but I wanna live like 50 Cent — and that means Plasma, baby — or LED, or LCD, or whatever acronym the really Big Ballers are hyping this year.
Granted, I’ve got a 50-incher, but it’s an old-school set that’s about as cutting edge as The Macarena Crystal Pepsi. It’s got that hunchback bubble in back and weighs a literal ton.
So on Black Friday, Daddy was ready for an upgrade.
Actually, I was part of the so-called “creep,” meaning I was hitting the stores on Thanksgiving Day while still engorged from eating too much ham, squash casserole and Oreo pie, all of which My Lovely Wife dished out Iron Chef-style. Her food was so good, just the memory’s making me slobber.
My goal was to be at Wal-Mart at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving, which was when the big honkin’ TVs were supposedly going on sale. Only problem was, I fell asleep watching “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” (kinda like when it first came out in theaters) and didn’t wake up until 10:15.
Now I may be a Black Friday neophyte, and granted, on a good day Wal-Mart is proof that hell is full and the damned are walking the Earth, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be that bad.
Our Wal-Mart, like our home, is off the beaten path. I knew there’d be a crowd, but I thought it would be nothing on the epic scale of crazies fighting over Cabbage Patch dolls or Furbies or whatever is the hot toy of the moment.
I am a moron.
Despite a parking lot roughly the size of Jordan Hare Stadium, there wasn’t a space for miles. I eventually had to go off-roadin’ and park the Kia up on the curb over by the Goo-Goo Car Wash.
My iPod was blaring a thrash metal mix created just for this occasion.
But as soon as I crossed the motion-sensor threshold, I knew I was in over my head. I’ve seen fewer people at Disney World. But unlike the Happiest Place on Earth, most of these people looked … well, hung-over — hung-over and mean. You’d think they were all standing in line for a colonoscopy rather than buying Christmas presents for “unbeatable savings.”
I don’t have the temperament for that mess. I start punching the steering wheel when I’m asked to “pull ahead” at the McDonald’s drive-thru.
I made a perfunctory tour through the aisles, which looked like the final stages of an End Times riot. I noted the ridiculously low prices on some ridiculously big TVs, but after looking at the lines that snaked on to infinity, and after failing to find anyone willing to help me load the big honkin’ TV into my buggy, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor. I put away my checkcard and headed home.
Some fantasies should remain just that.
Contact Brett Buckner at firstname.lastname@example.org.