Two Thanksgivings ago, my friend and I blew our loads looking at the filthiest of all broke ass porn: Ads for Black Friday sales. I’d always made the conscious effort to stay in on the day after Thanksgiving. The consumerism and commercialization of the holidays is pretty gross, and high anxiety shopping freaks me out. Going to Trader Joe’s in Manhattan makes me want traffic flares and a Xanax. But those ads made me get caught up in the fantasy of owning a shop vac for $30 and full seasons of The Office for $15, my friend was stuck on Guitar Hero for $80…we totally fell for “just the tip.”
I was expecting a riot scene at the strip malls in Long Island, but I only got hit by one shopping cart at Target. At Circuit City, I thought I was outsmarting everyone by finding a register tucked away at the end of a store aisle that only had ten people in its line. Instead, I stood in that line for 45 minutes, barely moving. It’s cliche, but I’ve really lowered my standards for customer service since moving to New York. I really don’t care when the clerks at Strawberry talk to each other and don’t verbally acknowledge me, but Circuit City took it to a new level of incompetence. I watched two cashiers fumble while trying to use one register that was a computer from 1998, and another clerk’s sole responsibility was telling people to stand behind a line of blue masking tape. They spent 20 minutes trying to ring up an Xbox, and had to call over two managers. When they suggested the woman finance the system because they couldn’t figure out how to ring it up, I felt my rage grow to a level that’s reserved for drunken assholes who push my friends into puddles of urine. So when it was my turn to pay, I took my frustration out on my stack of DVDs and set them down a bit too forcibly, and The Goonies went flying across the register. The clerks erupted like a Greek chorus of “No she didn’t” and “Not at Circuit City, not at Circuit City.” One clerk appeared from thin air to tell me, “Ma’am, that kind of behavior will not be tolerated.” I apologized, said I didn’t mean to, and waited until I was in the parking lot to curse like an uncensored episode of South Park.
So for the sanity of retail workers and myself, I’m back to doing what should be done on the day after Thanksgiving: nothing that requires real pants. I’ve got big plans of napping and putting together a cabinet, and maybe building a blanket fort with my gentleman caller. It’s going to take something really fucking spectacular to convince me to leave my apartment, like Dumpling Man‘s happy hour. From 3 pm to 5 pm, Dumpling Man sells six dumplings and a drink for $3.50. The streets should be clear of most Black Friday shoppers by then. And speaking of falling for advertising, I dare you to look into their logo’s eyes and not want to eat what he’s selling
Six dumplings and a drink for $3.50
100 St. Marks Place, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A [Manhattan]
Daily, 3pm to 5pm
Photo from dumplingman.com