Tis the season to pillage the local department store
I love pandemonium watching it, that is. Being in the middle of it is something I try to avoid.Thats why I stayed home on Black Friday and watched TV.And I have to tell you, the media really pulled out all the stops in reporting the largest consumer frenzy of the year.On KCRA 3 they had the helicopter out circling a local department store so we could get an aerial view of the shoppers. The aircraft complimented the crack team of reporters getting to the bottom of shoe sales and snow globe specials inside. Their Peabody Award is in the mail, Im sure.But the part of Black Friday that freaks me out the most yet somehow I cant seem to avert my eyes is when gravy- and cranberry-fuel middle-age moms trample each other in a stampede to the Christmas sale bin.Its full-contact consumerism. In a throwback to the days when we were all hunter-gatherers, the most athletic mom leaves a trail of injured fellow shoppers behind and scores a set of $5.99 Christmas lights.Thanksgiving football has nothing on this.As good TV as this all makes, Im afraid this trend of consumer frenzy could go from only mildly injurious to life threatening. And it all has to do with Billy Blanks.Over the last decade, fitness regimens have become more and more aggressive. Baby boomers who were devotees of non-threatening Jazzercize are now perfecting their lethal blows in Tae Bo and kickboxing workouts.Now, holiday shopping pits highly-trained boomer martial artists against one another in a race to the Sponge Bob Square Pants sale. Its a high-stakes game where the loser could very well leave the store without a reduced-price Sponge Bob and with a broken jaw.Theres another reason why I stay home on Black Friday. Ill avoid being clubbed over the head by a giant Teletubby doll as I try to sneak to the register with the last pair of cut-rate ballerina shoes, thank you very much.For those of you who think that capitalist America has fueled the no-holds-barred attitude we have towards holiday shopping, Im here to tell you you are wrong.A little-known historical tidbit is that when Rome was sacked by the Visigoths, there was actually a two-for-one Toga sale going on.What history has made out to be the pillaging and looting during the greatest conquest in history was actually just the normal shopping habits of the Visigoths.I recognize that everyone has a little Visigoth in them. And everyone has the potential to freak out when they have the chance to save a dollar on Wal Mart jingle bells.I just hope it never happens to me.So, if you see me in the Meadow Wood mall wailing on a fellow customer with a stuffed reindeer because the person cut in line, feel free to horse punch me in the mouth. Ill thank you when I resuscitate.David Bunker is the Sierra Sun assistant editor in Tahoe City.