The Eight Rules of Surviving Black Friday


Ladies and gents, Black Friday is almost upon us. Even if you know nothing about America, or Christmas, or the whole shopping season concept in general, you could probably sense just by word association alone that Black Friday is a major headache. They don’t put black in front of something unless it’s somehow shitty, like the Black Hand or the black lung or being blacklisted.

If you’re one of the millions who plan on braving the traffic, lines, running, screaming and possibility of dying in order to get your shopping done, go ahead and look up MSNBC to get pointers about looking for coupons and comparing prices if you want, but developing a strategy is useless for this shopping day of all shopping days.

As Mike Tyson once said (before he probably punched somebody in the mouth), everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what Black Friday is—getting punched in the mouth in the name of a hopefully merry Christmas. Regular shopping rules don’t apply, because those are based on normal human behaviors like politeness, courtesy and patience.

We’ve come up with our own set of rules, a survival guide if you will, based on realistic Black Friday shopping behaviors like punching, kicking and stomping, formulated via extensive Youtube research.

When in line, best keep your hands to yourself

As we see in the video, waiting in line to get into a store on Black Friday is like waiting in line to see The Who in Cincinnati circa 1979. The anticipation is dangerous. The stakes are high. Reason is replaced by instinct. Everybody is drunk on adrenaline. The crowd is already looking for a reason to surge and get nasty.

Lesson? Clearly this is no time to single yourself out and be a tough guy. You run the risk of both getting your ass kicked and getting kicked out of the store. Heed the wisdom of Dalton from Roadhouse, and be nice until you have a chance to take it outside.

Always be looking down, lest you trip and fall victim to the stampeding mob

As we see in the video, there’s nothing like a good old fashioned mass price reduction in retail outlets to get the townsfolk antsy enough to trample people to death. The mob is an unruly, terrifying creature, especially when it comes to buying a new cuisinart for grandma.

Lesson? It’s important to keep your eyes peeled out of the gate so you can get to where you’re going, but it’s also important to, you know, live. Make a mental note to look down at your feet every other second until you get to some open space, then proceed to be reckless.

Beware discounted electronics

As we see in the video, the problem is that everybody has the same idea once the doors open—go for the jackpot first, get the clothes & stuff later! Go team! The jackpot, of course, being discounted electronics. The result is a standing dog pile in certain sections of the store not unlike what you would see around a UN food truck in Somalia.

Lesson? If the prospect of violence isn’t your thing, you might want to steer clear of 50% off plasma screen TVs and X-Box 360s until the pandemonium has died down a bit. Or even just wait a day or two. They’ll still be there when you get back.

Faster hands equals greater success

As we see in this video, keeping your head on a swivel and your hands at the ready is paramount on Black Friday, not unlike being in Thunderdome. Black Friday doesn’t understand politeness, it only understands results.

Lesson? Do you want to be the one to explain to little Timmy that he won’t be able to read at the same level as his friends because daddy was too timid to grab a LeapPad Tablet when the last order was brought out? Didn’t think so.

If it’s not chained down, grab it

As we see in the video, some poor schmuck is trying to roll a shipment of whatevers through a morass of customers, and those customers pounce on his loot once they figure out he’s probably not carrying a gun and therefore can’t stop them from doing whatever they want.

Lesson? Nobody else is going to wait for the floor manager to unload a crate full of crock pots, so you shouldn’t either. Don’t feel bad about it. Remember things like the Panama Canal, or the Pyramids, and know that guilt is the death of progress.

Don’t cut in line (duh)

As we see in the video, cutting in line on Black Friday is like burning an American flag on 9/11 on the front lawn of the White House, and then punting Obama’s dog onto one of the fence spikes outlining the property. The only easier way to incite a bunch of white people to riot is to play a hockey game with the Stanley Cup on the line.

Lesson? This is probably the only social more that’s enforced no matter how much chaos ensues, and there’s a reason for that. No instruction necessary, just don’t do it.

Try checking out the mall

As we see in the video, stampeding mobs, suffocating crowds and spontaneous brawls are conspicuously absent in shopping malls during Black Friday.

Lesson? There’s a reason a high number of zombie apocalypse movies revolve around people being trapped in a mall. They’re wide, spacious, diverse and have Cinnabon carts. That won’t make the lines any shorter, but it will mean you probably won’t have to worry about knocking over a stroller in getting from place to place.

Leave the kids at home

As we see in the video—oh look, another stampeding mob! Except this time being reported by an official news source. The tragedy being highlighted by them is a pregnant women being knocked over and stepped on. Which sucks, but you might also notice that one of the people stepping over her in the melee is a girl in a white coat that doesn’t look a day over 10.

Lesson? There’s a time and a place to bond with your kid over shopping for Christmas presents. The place is anywhere, and the time is anytime except the day after Thanksgiving. You wouldn’t take them to run with the bulls in Pamplona or meet Gary Busey, so don’t take them with you when you hit the stores and maybe make them lose their faith in humanity.