Only 363 days left until next Black Friday

As my fellow 999 monkeys and I pounded away at our keyboards, a pop-up ad barged in to warn me that time was running out to take advantage of all the great deals available to me — yes, me — during the Black Friday Week sales event.

It was Wednesday.

Yes, the day before Thanksgiving — or, to some Friendsgiving (a fictional holiday which apparently involves being nailed into a wooden box, stuffing your head inside a turkey carcass and eating a truffle-like dessert that features beef, gravy and peas among its ingredients).

I imagine Friendsgiving being akin to Festivus — a fictional holiday based on a “Seinfeld” episode that some glom onto in the touching but misguided belief that living out “Seinfeld” references nearly two decades after the cultural touchstone went off the air gives them a sliver of faux-hipster cred.

But as long as we’re airing grievances, I gotta lot of problems with the people who created Black Friday “Week” — not to mention Sofa Sunday (when you sit at home, eat leftovers and plan your strategy to spend wisely on Cyber Monday) and Cyber Monday (when you sit at home, eat leftovers, ditch the plans made Sofa Sunday and spend far more than you intended).

For the record, I have no problems whatsoever with Small Business Saturday ... other than that we consumers shouldn't have to designate a special day to shop at the independent stores owned and operated by our neighbors.

Doesn’t the holiday season come with enough stress (for instance, when are we going to find time to watch all 57 new Christmas movies hitting our TV screens?) that advertisers don’t need to add to the agita by telling us when to go shopping, how to go shopping, and how much to spend in their stores or on the websites?

(Yes, there really are 57 new Christmas-themed TV movies this year — most of them starring actresses who played second fiddle to the Olsen Twins in “Full House.”)

Of course, in today's society — when so many of us have been brainwashed into thinking in packs — retailers realize that a Black Friday Week shopper is born every minute and even the simplest commercial earworm will send us humming "Holiday Road" all the way to the stores.

Friday being turned into a week dovetails with the news that our Thanksgiving dinner itself (the reason we're still in a tryptophan trance as we use our keypads to buy gift cards for relatives) is growing shorter.

The reason, as it is with everything else these days, is the steadily depressin’, low-down, mind-messin’ political divide that makes folks want to spend even less time with family — even those who in a month’s time will receive (with warmest wishes to you and yours for a joyous holiday) a gift card from Generic Online Store That Sells Everything.

My father was way ahead of this particular curve.

He had little use for holidays (“Let’s get this happy horse(crap) over with”), holiday dinners, or spending time with a roomful of relatives. My father once paused mid-pork chop to ask his assembled bizarro Brady Bunch blended brood whether any of us had ever considered how much time we wasted eating.

And if anyone bothered to challenge his underlying assumption — not to mention switch the conversation to something less controversial, like politics — he had a ready-made response.

“Keep your mouth full and your mouth shut,” he’d say … and it was best not to ask how he would suggest we accomplish this simultaneously, unless you wanted a picturesque biology lesson involving rolling donuts.

My father died on Nov. 26, 2003 — which, that year, was the day before Thanksgiving. Thus, he was spared the holiday, the dinner, and the roomful of relatives. This year, it falls smack in the middle of Black Friday Week.

I’d love to hear him air his grievances over being told when and how to buy gifts ... or what to think … but I suspect you’ve just heard them.

— Mail Tribune copy editor Robert Galvin, who can be reached at, has 55 new holiday TV movies remaining to watch.

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