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Sneaky suspicions about Black Friday

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I don’t want to appear a killjoy like the Grinch who Stole Christmas, but I’m afraid all this fake enthusiasm about “Black Friday” is really irritating me.

I don’t want to appear a killjoy like the Grinch who Stole Christmas, but I’m afraid all this fake enthusiasm about “Black Friday” is really irritating me. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ANA

by David Biggs

I don’t want to appear a killjoy like the Grinch who Stole Christmas, but I’m afraid all this fake enthusiasm about “Black Friday” is really irritating me. One friend remarked grumpily: “Black Friday is just an admission that the shops have been overcharging us for the other 364 days of the year.”

I’ve become slightly cynical about South African ethics in my old age and I tend to look at the Black Friday advertisements with a jaundiced eye. Huge capital letters shout 50% REDUCTION, then in microscopic type below it says “on selected items”.

So they could be offering orthopaedic socks and battery-operated wig curlers (selected) at half price but keeping all their other prices at the normal level and still living up to their advertising. This Black Friday idea is an American gimmick, supposed to take place on the first Friday after Thanksgiving, to mark the start of the Christmas shopping spree.

As we do not celebrate Thanksgiving to any noticeable extent in this country it’s a pretty random date. I saw several advertisements announcing: “Black Friday begins on Tuesday” which sounds daft to me. You might as well say Easter Sunday begins on Thursday.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s mostly mental trickery based on that powerful word “black”. To qualify for a government contract in this country your company must be BBBEE compliant and one of those Bs stands for black. We are constantly reminded that “Black Lives Matter”.

Nobody seems to care much about lives of other colours. We hear about the Black Consciousness Movement, but are there no conscious whites or Indians? So, don’t mind me. If it floats your boat you go ahead and celebrate Black Friday to your heart’s content.

Pay no attention to my muttering “Bah, Humbug” on the sidelines like Charles Dickens’s Scrooge. And I will not expect you to join me when I celebrate Purple Tuesday next Thursday.

Last Laugh

A customer staggered out of the pub after a heavy drinking session and weaved his way along the pavement. Further down the road two delivery men were unloading a grandfather clock from a furniture van and the drunk bumped into it and fell down.

“You idiots,” he shouted from the gutter. “Why can’t you wear wristwatches like normal people?”

* “Tavern of the Seas” is a daily column written in the Cape Argus by David Biggs. Biggs can be contacted at [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.