I had a request over the weekend to run my “Crock Pot column” again. Though it ran only once, I get a request to run it every year around Thanksgiving. I decided to run it this year, mainly because I’m too lazy to write another one.

The column was published just after Thanksgiving in 2012. It is about Black Friday shopping.

I wrote it after going Black Friday shopping Thanksgiving night with my wife in 2012. It was an adventure, to say the least.

The column won first place in the Alabama Press Association’s 2013 Better Newspaper Contest (for 2012) for Best Humorous Column.

Thanks for the requests….

Enjoy.

We had to have that $9 Crock Pot. Apparently so did everyone else in the greater Arab metropolitan area.

I don’t generally care to go Black Friday shopping, especially since it usually starts at midnight on Thanksgiving night. But this year the shopping powers-that-be decided we needed a head start so they moved it to 8 p.m. Thursday.

After a day of giving thanks at my grandmother’s house for dinner and my mother-in-law’s house for supper, my wife and I ventured out to Walmart for the 8 p.m. opening of hunting season, er, I mean shopping season.

When I saw that the parking lot was so full that an overflow lot had started at nearby stores, I should have turned around and returned to Allens Crossroads.

But we had to have that $9 Crock Pot.

I eased the Ford into the parking lot, being ever so mindful of the masses fighting over shopping carts and parking spaces. I actually got lucky and rounded the corner just as a shopper was backing out of a parking space – only about 1.7 miles from the front door.

When we finally reached the front door, a greeter asked if I’d like a map of the store. Not kidding. I told her no, I knew my way around the store pretty well. She said the map showed where all the Black Friday specials were located in the store.

I still didn’t need a map. I figured that wherever I saw 400 people gathered around one item – that was a Black Friday special.

Had I brought a machete, it would have been like chopping down vines on a jungle trail – if not for all the blood.

There was a tremendous mass of humanity. I really would hate to guess how many people were in that store. The fire marshal, I’m guessing, wouldn’t have been pleased.

As my wife and I were casually walking down the main aisle, my peripheral vision saw a blur coming from my right side. Out-of-control shopping cart!

Actually, it was the woman pushing the cart that was out of control. The cart was just doing what it was told.

Had I not stopped and threw my arm up to stop my wife, we probably would have been the victims of a very savage hit-and-shop crime. In the woman’s defense, she had to get through us to get to the DVDs that were on sale for $1.96.

For more on this story please pick up Wednesday's Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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