And now, Black Thursday?

Big boxes encroach further into Thanksgiving

By The Mercury

“I can hardly wait until Thanksgiving. I thought it would never get here.”

“Me too. The aroma wafting through the house… the football… relatives coming home… It’ll be great.”

“I was talking about the shopping.”

“That’ll be fun … getting up early on Black Friday to join the madness…”

“If you get up on Black Friday, even at the crack of down, you’ll miss out.”

“What are you talking about?”

“A better question is where have you been? Black Friday is now a Thursday phenomenon. Target has announced it is joining the short but growing list of stores — mostly big-box chains, led by Wal-Mart, of course — that will open at various times Thanksgiving Day.”

“That’s crazy.”

“Black Friday has always been crazy. That hasn’t been much of a deterrent. In fact it’s part of the fun.”

“OK, so maybe it’s not that crazy. But it’s wrong. It’s, well, un-American.”

“Shopping un-American? It’s more un-American to make such assertions. Besides, we’re still trying to break out of our economic doldrums. You wouldn’t want to interfere with that, would you?”

“Nope. I’m all for shopping, but that’s not the point. Can’t it wait a day — 12 measly hours? It’s Thanksgiving! It might not be a holy day, but it’s close. It’s one of those American days that ought not be messed with. It’s for catching up with relatives and watching football. It’s for volunteering in the kitchen and being told to stop sneaking tastes. I suppose it’s OK to make out a Black Friday list or plot strategy for the assault on the stores, but actual shopping on Thursday ought to be off limits.”

“Look on the bright side. You won’t have to get up early to shop. In fact, people who can hardly push themselves away from the table might even be able to work off some of the calories they ingest at Thanksgiving dinner.”

“It’s still wrong.”

“But it was inevitable; you have to admit that. Black Friday has been starting earlier and earlier, and it was a matter of time before it borrowed a few hours from Thanksgiving.”

“At that rate, pretty soon Thanksgiving dinner will be Thanksgiving breakfast and everyone will be shopping at noon.”

“Say, you’re on to something there!”

“And then what? On Christmas morning, will we all go rushing out to stores to return weird gifts and get half-price on unsold items before the last gift under the tree is even unwrapped?”

“Now you’re talking.”

“No, I’m mourning.”

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