Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday & the Indie Author

I have NEVER participated in a Black Friday Sale. In all my years I've made it a habit to stay HOME. As a coupon saver you'd think I'd relish the chance to save money on everything, but huge sales like this are no bargain to me. In my mind it just promotes over spending. I pride myself for my self control. The deals to be had are awesome. I just prefer quiet, relaxed, and sane shopping expeditions.

But this year, I had no choice but to venture out into the throng of loaded shopping carts, pushy people with huge elbows, coupon yielding, and carts run up on my heels. The little silver or blue haired old ladies push their carts as a weapon of mass destruction...wait a minute...I sort of resemble that remark. Before I always had an excuse...I was working, I was sleeping, I had this or that to do. <sigh> It was a bit of poor planning on my part and that's my excuse.

I took an inventory of certain products after everyone left last night. We are down to two cans of coca-cola. Unfortunately the cheapest for the biggest volume can be found at Wal-Mart in my town. I usually stay away from the superstores. Last night about 1AM, my printer ran out of ink as I printed off a chapter I was working on to edit. I'm down to twenty sheets of paper. I normally have back-ups but with all the prep work for Thanksgiving, I had let my office supplies take a back seat. I had no option.

A word or two about printing off pages. Does anyone else flip the pages over and print on the back of a previous print out? I do. After I make the changes of whatever chapter I'm working on, I'll draw a diagonal line on the sheet and put it back through my printer for the second go around. I even print off coupons on the backs of previously printed sheets. Just call me Scrooge McDuck when it comes to squeezing a penny into a dime.

Anyhow back to my story. I drove to the local Wal-Mart, we only have one. The parking lot was filled. I ended up driving around to the tire center to find a spot. Am I ever thankful to be shed of my casting boot for my broken toes! I pulled open the door and was met by a not a sea, but an ocean of shoppers. In my mind it was a fire code hazard. The fire marshal who estimates the occupancy of a building by square footage would have had a field day!

My hometown has an estimated 96,000 people in it. To me, it looked like over a quarter of them were in Wal-Mart. I'm probably over exaggerating.

I was my usual polite self saying, "Excuse me," and "pardon me" me as I American Crawled my way through the people. Diving my way through the waves and coming up for air in small empty spots big enough for me. No shopping carts to be had they were all in use by other shoppers.

I figured it should have been an easy run up the back aisle where the sodas, paper, and ink cartridges were. Wrong! I forgot the layaway section was in the back of the store. The line ran up the toy aisle down to the grocery section. While I have no breathing problems normally, the smell of this many people in a small area was suffocating. This or that perfume, body odor, bad breath, and a host of other unpleasant smells filled my sinuses as I almost backstroked my way through.

It is now three hours later and I've returned home with the 2 24-packs of soda, paper, and my ink cartridges. I'm exhausted! I pat myself on the back for braving the madness of Black Friday. I also question my sanity. Will I honestly ever participate in a Black Friday shopping day? Today confirmed what I'd only sane person ever would.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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