Even though I taught for many years, that doesn't mean I have the courage to venture out on Black Friday, or on most other days during the holiday shopping season, for that matter. Maybe it's my age, maybe it's from reading too many Huffington Post crime articles online, but there's just too much that could go wrong. I could battle for a parking space like my car and I are pieces on a "Battleship" game. I could forget where I parked my car and wander to and fro hours searching for the nondescript Toyota, or I could end up in a nosedive with another shopper as we both go for the last item on display.
And with this year's crop of subversives like the Walmart shopper with the pepper spray, the near Waffle Iron Riot and the mall shooting. I'd rather watch endless loops of "Roseanne" with electrodes glued to my head. But for those who must venture out, I have created the "Holiday Shoppers' Survival Manuel."
Pre-Shopping Prep: Planning for the event starts in May or June when most merchants are eyeballing their holiday decorations. After drinking some protein shakes, start with jogging around the mall and around the aisles. It should be well under way in August when the first store hangs its first ornament and tree. You may want to take ballet to learn about leaps, twirl jetes, port de bras and other moves in order to snare that first toy or even a waffle iron before twirling and leaping back before security descends upon you. It may also help to take Krav Maga, Jiu Jitsu or any other self-defense program to deal with anyone who wants to put you in a half Nelson or to get yourself out of one.
Attire: Dress is important all year round but no more so than during Black Friday and other days in the holiday shopping season. For extra heavy shopping days, invest in army gear with a gas mask, to have protection against any copycat pepper spray incidents. Women may don stilettos, though I recommend army boots or sturdy jogging shoes for quick exits from seamy characters or events.
Transportation: Before venturing out, I recommend renting an army tank, if you don't already have one. Making turns and parallel parking may be a little hard at first, but it will almost guarantee you a parking space or two, and will keep other drivers at bay because they know that you can always roll over them.
Defensive Measures: Being hauled away in a black and white shouldn't a problem so long as you obey all turn signals, say please and thank you and are doing your best to help bolster our sagging economy.