Quest for the 65" Smart TV

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2:45 AM:  The alarm goes off…I hit snooze

2:50 AM:  The alarm goes off again and I begin to wonder if I really need a 65” smart TV for $299.  I hit snooze again.

2:55 AM: The *#^%$# alarm starts it’s annoying beeping for the third time.  I figure since I’m up, I’ll fight the Black Friday crowds.  I mean…how bad could it be?

3:11 AM: The cold air accelerates the waking up process as I venture outside.  It’s still dark.  Again I start to question my own sanity…65” smart TV or the 32” dinosaur I watch now.  I start the car…

3:34 AM:  I arrive at Best Buy, expecting to be the first in line.  I make a quick count of tents, cots and partially frozen figures sitting in folding bag chairs…I stop counting at 277.  I continue on to Wal*Mart.

3:52 AM:  I have arrived at Wal*Mart, and to my surprise the parking lot isn’t full.  Almost, but I still can find a parking space in the dark deep corner of the lot.  My hope rises as I enter the supercenter.

3:53 AM:  Confused, I am handed a map of the store…

3:54 AM:  Confused even more, I ask what exactly the map is for…

3:56 AM:  The Wal*Mart employee has finally stopped laughing.  I’m informed that’s where all the sale items are hiding until 6AM…when they will be magically unveiled.

3:57 AM:  Employee walks away.  I’m still confused as I’m bumped out of the way by 4 old women sucking down Starbucks Viente Carmel Maciatos, pushing two carts each.  They look like professional shoppers.  I may be in over my head.

4:05 AM:  I arrive at the electronics department.  There are no TVs.  Common sense tells me TVs should be in the electronics department.  I again become confused.  I begin to ask for help (mistake #1) when I am told to consult my map.

4:11 AM:  I consult my map and finally find the TVs…somewhere between Lawn and Garden and Norway.

4:12 AM: I stop near the toy section.  The shopping women are forming packs, making battle plans.  They are armed and dangerous.  Purses, coffee and cell phones.  They have the “look” in their eyes.  They are on a mission.  For the first time I begin to fear for my life.  I just want a TV.  I’ve come this far.  I slowly make my way past the women.

4:17 AM:  While on my way to Lawn and Garden, I accidently cut off an elderly lady (mistake #2) on her way to take up her position to snatch up a $89 apple watch.  She growls at me.

4:33 AM:  I have made it to my final destination.  Stalking around the pallet are a dozen shoppers, each taking up attack positions.  I size up the competition.  Most are professionals.  I think I can take the 92-year-old grey haired Grandma.

4:37 AM:  Upon further inspection, I notice Grandma has a cane.  My heart sinks.

4:55 AM:  Fatigue is beginning to set in.  My legs are starting to cramp.  I check my watch…I have to make it another hour.

5:11 AM:  A kind old lady says “excuse me”.  Being polite, I step out of her way (mistake #3).  I have lost my position to quickly snatch up a TV.

5:22 AM:  The crowd begins to grow.  Quick calculations have a possibility of twenty 65” TVs for the 50 or so people waiting and jockeying for position.  I weigh the odds again…not good.

5:31 AM:  I know my only hope is to out muscle Grandma.  I am 6’4” and 220 lbs.  She is 4’11” and 97 lbs.  It’s a fair fight.

5:46 AM:  Ankles are bruised.  The maddening crowd is growing and pushing forward.  I hear the barking of wild dogs…or is it the pack of women I saw earlier?  I am pushed on by fear.  Adrenaline takes over.  I am a shopping beast.  I have a mission.  I have a quest.  I…have to pee.

5:55 AM:  I have taken up position next to Grandma.  My battle plan, push the old lady to the ground, grab a TV and run.  It’s war…there will be casualties.

6:00 AM:  A Wal*Mart employee arrives, brandishing a box cutter and removes the tarp.  I leap into action…

6:01 AM:  I forgot about Grandma’s cane (mistake #4).  She is much stronger and quicker than I thought.

6:05 AM:  I am finally able to stand.  The crowd, many of whom used my body as a throw rug and stepping stool, has dispersed.  The TVs are gone.

6:11 AM:  Broken, bloody and beaten, I will not leave without buying something.  I grab a pair of boxers for $1.

6:13 AM:  I arrive at checkout.  The line winds back a quarter mile.  I drop the boxers.  I have lost.  I go home.