We lived through another embarrassing Black Friday. Only in America would we pair a day of national thanks with a day of wanton greed, violence and commercialism.
Perhaps Feb. 15 should be National Breakup Day. Dec. 30 can be National Sobriety Day. It makes as much sense.
In Tallahassee, Fla., two people were at a Walmart and fought over a parking space. At a Sears in San Antonio, a man pulled a gun to discourage line jumping, while angry shoppers used their fists to beat a line jumper at a Bowling Green, Ky., Target.
Several videos of a massive brawl at the Walmart in Moultrie, Ga., went viral as customers treated the big box store like a mosh pit at a speed-metal concert. The fight apparently was over cellphones.
The violence was closer to home as well. A brawl erupted over a pair of panties outside Victoria’s Secret in Westfield Galleria in Roseville, while a man threatened to stab fellow shoppers at a Sacramento K-Mart.
Fortunately, Fairfield’s Black Friday shopping went smoothly, but don’t think it can’t happen here. Just last December police from four different agencies had to be called to handle an unruly crowd of more than 1,000 people who gathered at the mall for the release of a retro version of Air Jordan sneakers.
So what can we do now about the depravity of our fellow man? What can you do about the inconsiderate, crude, rude shoppers you’re likely to encounter this Christmas season?
You can refuse to participate in the craziness.
How about taking the money you were going to spend on gifts and finding local charities and donating to them? Then make a homemade card and give it to your loved one telling them you made a donation in their name. That’s a great gift.
If you do go shopping, how about going downtown? The big chains will always do well during the holidays. How about finding small local retailers and spending your money there, where you’re less likely to encounter the knuckle-dragging holiday fun-sucks?
The next time you’re in a coffee shop and someone in a military uniform enters, how about buying their coffee as a thank you? My crazy better half Cathi buys $5 Starbucks gift cards and gives them to police officers to thank them for their service. ‘Tis the season and they appreciate it.
Go to www.redcross.org and find out about Holiday Mail for Heroes. You can send a card to a service member. Act now! Cards must be postmarked by Dec. 7 to guarantee Christmas delivery.
Choose to be part of the solution. Go easy on the car horn. Choose not to flip someone off. When in the checkout line, if the person behind you has fewer items, let them go ahead of you. A smile costs you nothing. Count to 10. Good deeds can go viral.
We can’t do anything about the folks who think a cheap cellphone is worth a fistfight. And I’m not talking about people who enjoy shopping for great deals. God bless ‘em. They’re doing wonders for the economy. I’m talking about the thugs disguised as shoppers who make you shake your head in disgust.
No we can’t do anything about them after the fact. But by our actions, we can change the narrative this holiday season. Peace.
Kelvin Wade is a writer and lives in Fairfield. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.