COLUMN: Black Friday in the dark days

The world will end in less than a month.

That’s what the Mayans and some experts say, anyway.

Everyone will be either severely inconvenienced or killed, and we should prepare accordingly.

Some predict that the Earth’s gravitational poles will shift, for some sciency reason; others think that the sun will turn malevolent and start firing radiation at us; and a few others believe that a bunch of the good people will disappear and the rest of us will be left behind to fight over the last box of Twinkies.

Yet, on the day after Thanksgiving, all of us went about our business and performed that perfunctory American gesture known as Black Friday shopping and in light of the oncoming doom, this activity was pointless.
We waited in line for hours, for gadgets that won’t even work in a month when the power grid is destroyed by solar flares. Without, no one will want to barter a Wii U for a goat or fresh water, and I doubt that those UGGS you purchased for an amazing price will survive a nuclear winter.

If something cataclysmic occurs on Dec. 21, I somewhat doubt that grandma will feel up to hosting the family Christmas gathering. Who’s going to want to exchange gifts when it’s snowing ash outside?  I doubt Wal-Mart would even accept returns in such a scenario, so, barring immediate action, all of us are going to be stuck with inedible Tickle-Me-Elmos and Furbys, or whatever toys that kids covet nowadays.

Assuming you’ve saved your receipts, though, you still have time to prepare for Dec. 21.

According to that Doomsday Preppers show on National Geographic, everyone in America should have purchased bug-out bags, military MRE rations, or, at the very least, a machete.

I know you’re still hesitant; you probably bought some really neat stuff that’ll still be amusing for a few more days.  You might say “there’s a chance I’ll never use a machete,” but I’d respond “well, random hypothetical person, how much use were you planning on getting out of that iPad 2?  You already have a laptop and an iPhone; do you really need another device for checking your facebook?”

We need to return our ill-begotten consumer goods and spend our copious amounts of money on survival gear!  I’m not writing this impassioned plea because I’m cynical and bitter over almost being trampled to death at Best Buy at 4 a.m. on Friday; I’m over that.  I’m writing this because I love humanity, and I want most of us to survive whatever Mayan curse befalls us.  There are rough days ahead, but with pragmatic preparation, we will someday have the means to rebuild an ideal society, one in which Best Buy opens at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.


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