In the beginning … Black Friday

Published 4:38 pm Saturday, November 26, 2022

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Black Friday?

Bah, Humbug!

I would rather be chained to the tail of a runaway bull than to be in a shopping mall or a big box store on Black Friday.

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Wild horses couldn’t drag me there.

There is nothing I need so badly that I would venture out on the biggest shopping day of the year.

I learned that lesson many years ago when Rose’s Department Store opened in the Wiregrass on the inaugural, infamous, day after Thanksgiving big sale that would be later be deemed the ominous Black Friday.

Mama’s sister, Aunt Eleanor, and my grandmother came over from Eufaula to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with us. Uncle Willie came, too, not to enjoy anything, but to aggravate Daddy.

Uncle Willie was, what might be referred to as a dirt-road sport. For his Thanksgiving afternoon of golfing with Daddy, he wore a red golf shirt, chartreuse shorts, brightly stripped nylon socks and a white kid belt.  He wore his yellow golf hat so nobody would ‘hit in on him” while he was looking for his ball in the rough.

Daddy said, “Bleep, Willie, you’re so bright the sun won’t come up.”

That was a precursor to the storm that was brewing in the Wiregrass.

Aunt Eleanor wanted to go to the opening of Rose’s Department Store. Mama bucked at that. She said it would be too crowded. But it was not crowded. It was packed to the gills with angry pushy, irritated, irate, seething, enraged fuming females!

Each wild-eyed woman was shoving, knocking, jolting, banging, bumping, barging her metal buggy into people, places and things with mad abandon. They were all yelling vile words that not been invented yet. I was scared.

My granny was trying to climb in the buggy with the two pairs of panty hose Aunt Eleanor had managed to snatch away from a mean-mannered shopper.

“We’ll never get out of here alive!” Mama yelled above the melee as a free-for-all broke out.

“Follow me!!!” Aunt Eleanor yelled above the rumpus. She grabbed an umbrella with steel ribs and spreaders and wedged it in the front of the buggy like a ramming-rod and that’s how we went out of Rose’s department store that day.

Yes, I was there when the day after Thanksgiving was the first Black Friday. I’ll not go back there again.