Black Friday on the Crazy Train!

The Prince of Darkness beckons you!

And who would be a better representative of this momentous day, other than Ozzie? The Prince of Darkness to promote this day. Come on out folks. Take your chances and board, ‘The Crazy Train,’ to shop on Black Friday!

Yes, I continue my rant. I can’t resist. I went to the Swap Shop on Black Friday. So, I’m not a legitimate, Black Friday, shopper. But I just had to get into the murky waters, of river rats, swarming to the malls.

Now, my son knows. I’ve given him the drill, “no yelling at bad driver’s,unless he’s driving. So, as is his custom, when he sees my tension rising because someone cut me off, etc; he touches my steering wheel and yells, “Moron!”

I go to the local Flea Market, to check out some things. I hate to pay full price for anything. And besides, I have a good friend, who works there. He lives solely from the proceeds, he brings in from selling things donated to him.

I  love the hunt that comes with looking for that certain thing, which is too ridiculous to buy at a retail store. Most people who go to bazaars and flea markets, know, it’s all about bartering.  I learned a long time ago, that people redecorate, and just get rid of things, which are in brand new condition. I’m not going to pay way more than an item is worth, just to say, “it’s new.” I don’t care about, “the story,” and I sure don’t care about impressing anyone.

Then the icing on the cake, confirmed every ill feeling I had about our new excuse to spend, Black Friday. I was watching the news, later. People trampling each other, and a woman, pepper sprayed a crowd, at a Walmart. Why? Oh, well, don’t you know? She had to get that X-Box. Well of course. Everyone, should have one. Honestly, I could have been watching, Wall Street, and the Occupy movement. It looked identical. Except in this case, a shopper sprayed other shopper’s. At least the 1%, stay at home with the $$$, until the chaos of the poor, greedy people, has subsided. While those in the media and marketing, who had created this blitz, probably sit back with their golden bowls of popcorn and watch in amusement. I’d think very similar to the gladiators, of old.

I watched with amazement, to see what greed, caused such actions. And it’s just this greed, which is the root of our problem in this country and in the world. The need for instant gratification. It’s not isolated to those in the top echelon of society. It all begins in the heart.

Yes, Ozzie was right. This is really, The Crazy Train! I’m sure not boarding. No one seems to notice, that, Black Friday, is just a new term, to turn this season into a ‘vampire holiday.’ It’s another ploy to get the people in red, to put them in the black! Playing right into their greedy hands.

Now, we also have, “Small Business Saturday.” Oh, great. Let’s not forget about those poor small businesses. Yes, it reminds me of my daughter. The other morning she came home at the wee hours and I was irritated.  She went to work and didn’t return. I knew she hadn’t worked 12 hours and I was concerned. “Mom, I was helping to set up so we could feed the orphans tomorrow. I would think you’d be happy about that!” Oh, here we go. A table-turning??? You think I can be manipulated that easy? I had to point out that I wished she were that considerate. If she was, she’d think about her own family and the turmoil she’s been causing. “Well, you better help with the orphans,” I said, because you may be standing out on a corner with a sign yourself!” Like everyone else, I pointed out, her priorities were a little messed up.

Now, these marketing strategies, seem to be working. All these people spending money we don’t have. Wait, last I heard, we were supposed to have a huge deficit. But then we have corporations, getting bailouts, only to turn around and declare bankruptcy. (Solyndra) All the corporate people probably helped the economy, by plugging it back in during their shopping sprees, this Christmas.

Now, I  think we need to use every day of he week, just to get that economy pumping again. I mean, if we’re going to be played, how about taking advantage of this, and guilt people into spending, for 7 days? We can really be tapped out by Christmas. Wonderful. And think about how much interest, the bankster’s can make from all the bankrupt people. Then when the bills come, which no one can pay, we’ll just increase the deficit. Yes, I definitely think we need to add some more incentives to spend.Ahh, the heart of man. Just persuade them to get the latest gadget. The ‘must have, for this season. And I love the fact that we’re supposed to actually feel sad, for those poor businesses.

How about, “Spend your unemployment, Sunday? Food Stamp gift cards, Sunday. Madoff, Get Out of Jail Cards, Monday. Bail out your favorite corporation, Tuesday.Repossess your purchases, Wednesday.Oh, and my favorite, “Bail Out an Occupy Wall Streeter, Thursday.

Yes, there are just so many opportunities to give.  And didn’t our Lord say, “It is better to give than to receive?” And I guess some people think, you should run people down to get that gift. Well, at this rate, “on the 12th day of Christmas, I’ll be eating my partridge in my pear tree.”

Oh, I am really starting to understand that the Lord was literal, when He said, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill, to all men.” Yep, that’s where I shop, and so will you, if you keep squandering. Hope you remember the real meaning of this occasion. That’s right….His name is Jesus! The reason for the season!

We’re Having A Tent Sale!

Happy Thanksgiving!

And I can’t wait!!!! In fact, I’m going to purchase a tent, so I can sleep in it for next year’s Black Friday. Am I missing something? Yes, I guess I am. I’m really missing, Fall.
I mean people are literally sleeping in tents, for sales on merchandise, tomorrow. I sure hope that they find something they can really use….like a life.

Sorry, folks, but I’m wondering why we have people lining up like the seniors at the local early bird special’s, when we are living in a country that’s broke. According to statistics, a record number of people are unemployed, so where is the shopping money coming from?

But I began to think, you know, tent’s are really a good investment. Because most of us, will be living in one soon. So, buy stock in Coleman or other sporting goods companies, who produce them.

I’ve been joking for years, that the American dream of home ownership, is really a ball and chain. When you think of all the repairs and upkeep. I tell people if it weren’t for my children, I’d live in a tent.

It’s travels better than an RV. Well, most of the time. Then my mind began to drift, back to the last time I actually slept in a tent. It was a concert, called Bonaroo.

I was with two friends. The concert was to be in a giant cornfield, somewhere in Tennessee. I met my friend’s in Chicago’s, O’Hare airport. My friend, Karen went to elementary school with me. She’s lived in a little town, practically her whole life. And she calls herself, The Country Mouse, and I’m the City Mouse. I just call her bumpkin. The reason’s are varied and obvious, when you meet her.

To start out the trip, her boyfriend came in to the airport to meet me. She had a tent which he checked to arrive in Tennessee, when we arrived. As we went to our flight, I remarked that I thought it incredible that she had a cell phone. She stated, “I know, I need it to get ahold of Bill, when we get back, so he has it now.” “What????” I said. “Are you kidding me? Why would you do that?” She look confused, so I pointed out that we were going to be at a major event, and this would be our way of communicating with each other, should we become separated. “Oh, yea, but how am I going to let Bill know, when I get back?” So, I guess you have one cell phone, and never thought you could use this to call his landline?” “What’s a landline?” Oh geesh! I was already getting irritated. She probably still uses paper cups, with a string.

Now, we got to the airport in Tennessee, and it was total chaos. There had been a terrible storm, and all the flights were delayed. We walked into the area where bags were just piled up, with a yellow tape around, as if to warn people to stand back. “I’m going in!” My friend said. She dove into the bags, desperately looking for the tent. Nothing.

A representative said, “Everyone, listen! We are going to be sending your bag’s to the concert site, once they arrive. We will be having buses, leaving every few hours, to deliver your belongings.” Oh, this is just great, I thought. I guess we’ll be sleeping outside, on our air mattress, or in our rental car.

I never would have imagined, that this concert would be so crowded, and that every miserable thing I could imagine, played out that weekend.

My whole mission was to see Dave Matthews. I love them, and I also had hoped to see The Dead. Out of all the bands performing, I thought this would be easy enough, to schedule.

It was bumper to bumper traffic, and on the way in, to the cornfield, it was reminiscent of a party I was going to, in my teens. We all finally got to a very secluded cornfield, and just ready to tap the kegs, when a long line of squad cars began to ramble down the dirt road. They shut us down before the first beer was tapped. What a major bummer, that was.

Here we were just inching along, and I see a car in the ditch at the side of the road. I had to get a picture of this, since we thought it hilarious that someone could be going this slow and end up in a ditch. “They had to be totally wasted,” we agreed.

We finally got into the concert site, and people were directing our parking. We all parked next to each other, and I distinctly remembered the girl with her heavy southern drawl, saying, “We’re gonna be parkin a lot of people in here, so get close.” I thought, “how crowded can it be?

We went to check the Lost and Found to see if the tent had been delivered yet. Nope. Nothing. I sure hope it gets here before the weekend is up,” I said. But I really was joking, and had no belief that it wouldn’t be with the other luggage being delivered.

I decided to head out to see Dave Matthews. My friends didn’t want to go, so I said, I’d mark my way and find the stage they were performing on. There were several. As I headed off, I noticed that people were still headed into the concert. So I stopped and asked the girl directing people, “How do I know which area we’re parked in?” “Oh,” she said. “This is the Magnolia section.” “Yes,” I said, but I have a map, but how can I see it? It’s not marked with any signs.” “Well, we’re really parkin em in. Ya’ll just have to find yurself a landmark, like some over hangin tree, or some balloons, or somethin.” “What? Are you serious?” Oh well, I wanted to see Dave Matthews, so I just got my bearings, and started walking.

Sure enough. Concert was over, and I was walking back, and there were thousands of people. And every parking area looked the same. Oh no. This was getting bad. Now I was getting more and more angry, as I thought my girlfriend, left her cell phone with her boyfriend. How is that going to help me? What an idiot! I thought. Right now, I wanted to hang her up as a landmark!

I walked and walked. I met up with a couple guys, that we had met at the start of the concert. They helped me look for hours. Nothing. I was getting more upset. We’d stop and hang out with people, and then start walking again. I finally gave up at about 4am. We were all invited to hang out at a campsite with a group that worked the concert. “Hey if any of you want to sleep in that tent, those guys are working the concert, so feel free.

I fell asleep in someones tent and the next morning, sure enough, a guy and girl came in. They’d worked al night, trying to help people like me. They didn’t even question who I was, or what I was doing sleeping in their tent. It was the whole communal experience. That’s why I love hippies.

The next morning I decided, there’s one place I need to sit and wait. If my friends are going to go someplace, it’s the bathroom. I found the ones closest to the area we had parked and sat. I was wearing a shirt that said, “Flygirl,” and about an hour later, I hear her yell my name. I  looked up and she said, “Where were you? I recognized you by that shirt.” “Oh my gosh! I could kill you for leaving your phone!” I said. “This is exactly what I was afraid would happen!”

The next day we checked for the tent again. Nothing. My friend told me how miserable it was for her and my other friend, because I had the keys to the car, and they had to sleep outside on the air mattress. That did give me some satisfaction, as I said, “Well I got to sleep in someones tent.”

Now, tonight we were looking forward to seeing, The Dead. All of a sudden, there was a torrential thunderstorm which was coming into the area. Tornadoes had touched down. Some guys in an RV next to us, invited us to hang out inside with them. Good thing, because those tents were blowing everywhere. I said, “I don’t think anyone is going to be seeing, The Dead tonight”, I said.

We had such a miserable time, that we decided to leave a day early. It was a big, muddy mess. A total Woodstock experience. A guy in an ATV, was pulling cars out of the mud, and we had him pull ours out too. I cracked up with my friends, when we returned the rental. It was a mess. It looked like we went to the Redneck Mud Festival.

When we got to the airport, I was sitting on a seat near our gate. “Hey,” I said to my girlfriend. “I saw a guy that looked just like Bob Weir,” except he was kind of old and scraggly looking.” As my last memory of him, was actually backstage at one of their concerts. He was looking kind of hot, back in the day.

All of a sudden a guy walked up to me and started talking. “You coming from Bonaroo?” “Yea,” I said. We’re leaving early. It was just too crappy out and we never got our tent.” “Oh, did you see our band?” He asked. “I don’t know. Which band is that?” I asked. “The Dead.” “Oh, you’re kidding.” I said, not recognizing him. “I thought that looked like Bob Weir, walking by. But then I just thought it was an old hippie.” He laughed, “He is!” he said. Then I asked him if they actually had people come out. “Oh, you would have been surprised. Thousands were out in the rain.” He said. Then he reached in his pocket and said, “this is for you and your friends. And he handed me some guitar pics.

We were laughing at the whole experience later. I couldn’t have been at a worse concert. Well, except the other one, with my daughter when I ended up in the middle of a mosh pit. But that’s for different story, which I’ve already told.

I called my friend about the tent. Still, no news. “I said, they’re probably having a tent sale.” I mean, she had been telling me what a great tent it was. Maybe someone else needed one.  About 6 months later she called me, cracking up. “Hey,” she said. “We finally got the tent.”

That was back in 2004. Since that time, my friends boyfriend passed away from cancer. I had lost contact with her for awhile, but when we reconnected, we were still laughing about the memory.

I’ve realized, I’m not so much into the weekend outdoor concert experience. So I would definitely not be interested in camping outside a store for, Black Friday.  But, I guess some people think they’re going to miss something. Here’s a couple words to those who hold to this belief….You’re not.