Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The biggest shopping day of the year. There is no politeness. There is no niceties. It is a brutal, up at 3 am, slug the soccer mom by 5, give me the tickle me Elmo god damit kind of day.
“No! Don’t go!” you scream. “Think of your children! For the love of god man, think of your children!”
I’m not listening.
“They’re monsters!” you further utter. “They’ll make you apply for the department store credit card for 10% savings!”
You are a coward, I scoff at you.
“At least leave you two children with Hossmom!” This is your last piece of advice. “They’ll never retain their sanity!”
I can’t leave them with Hossmom. Because today they are my army. What you may see as insanity driven bargain shoppers, the kind that get up at 4 am on Saturdays for garage sales so they can buy other peoples junk, I see as glory waiting to be claimed. And I ride with Little Hoss.
We do not go unprepared to Old Navy. Our double stroller, henceforth known as the Vehicle of Ankle Death, is not an ordinary stroller. It’s not ordinary because I have drawn flames on my lime green Vehicle of Ankle Death. I used Hossmom’s nail polish, blood red to match the carnage that we are about to waste. If I could have chromed it out I would have. I go to my workshop and attempt to fashion a cow catcher but Hossmom stops me. You know the kind, the kind on all the old trains that would slaughter any wandering cow. In my case, I was going to use it for psychotic middle aged women. They should all thank Hossmom.
We are off to get a pair of gloves and a hat for Little Hoss. It’s gotten cold and she needs it and she will not be denied. I load up Little Hoss’s wingman, Bubba Hoss, and we set sail for Old Navy. The earth groans at our departure.
We arrive and it is crowded. It is carnage. It is victory waiting to be snatched by those with the guts to do so. We load up in the Vehicle of Ankle Death.
We do not come unprepared. Remember this.
“Mush!” my daughter says because that is what I have taught her to say this morning. We are in sync, we are of one mind.
“Mush!” I reply, proud of Little Hoss’s desire for destruction and submission.
We don’t even bother opening the doors with our hands and we use the Vehicle of Ankle Death as a battering ram as we storm the store. The doors fling open. Somewhere I hear a young Swedish chick gasp. We have arrived.
We stop at the beginning of the aisle. We see our goal at the end. The aisle is the 9th circle of hell, full of those that have betrayed the worst. They have betrayed sleep and common sense. They have betrayed courtesy and manners. They have betrayed themselves. But we will remind them.
The aisle is almost unnegotiatable. Thousands stand in the way. They are looking at racks but failing to make any room for anyone that wishes to pass. For some reason, people on this day lose all sense of decency, I have no idea why. But at least they are shopping which is more than I can say for the couple that has decided to argue in the middle of the aisle. You would think they would have some tact and at least take this to the side, but they don’t because they are madness, madness in this world and on this day.
Again, we are prepared.
“Now” I tell Little Hoss in my calm and commanding voice.
Immediately she unleashes her fury.
“Beep Beep!” she yells. This is the second special words that I have taught her this morning. “Beep Beep! Beep Beep! Beep Beep!”
I have given the people a chance at redemption. It is of no concern of mine if they choose to ignore it. The Vehicle of Ankle Death does not slow down, it’s flames burning on the side from the speed of our movements. We split the couple who are startled at Little Hoss’s warnings. We catch his shin but do not bother to look back. I smelled blood from his brand new leg wound. Others should take heed.
We hack down grandmothers, we scare old guys with bad hearts, soccer moms dive into the nearest sales rack to escape our wrath. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. A few running kids collide with the side of the Vehicle of Ankle Death. I help them up because I am not heartless. Then Bubba Hoss pukes on them because he believes that all should feel our justice, there will be no exceptions.
We reach the gloves and hats. We try them on. Little Hoss is still yelling Beep Beep and I am still proud. To the check out stand we go, Little Hoss and the Vehicle clearing the way. The check out girl charges me 8 bucks as I hear her heart flutter in her chest. A dad out alone on Black Friday with his 2 kids under the age of 2 makes any woman melt. I wink and she sucks in the air like she is trying to fill her soul with my presence. Here baby, take my card, I write a blog.
We again use the Vehicle as a battering ram as we leave the store. I glance back and see that in our wake the carnage still continues although with a few less unfortunate souls. We are back in the house within 45 minutes of leaving.
Hossmom is impressed and shocked. She likes the hat and she likes the gloves but truly they are of no concern to Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss and I. We have our victory and it smells of fleece.