The Rant 

I am writing this on the day before Thanksgiving, just two days before Black Friday, and I can't tell you how excited I am about the plans I have. First of all, I have my tent, sleeping bag, freeze-dried foodstuffs, bottled water, flashlight, and wallet all packed and ready to go, because the minute I get finished eating five plates of turkey, seven helpings of mashed potatoes, seven helpings of sweet potatoes, eight helpings of green-bean casserole, and seven pies I am hightailing it to the parking lot of the nearest big-box store and camping out in the parking lot so I can be one of the first shoppers to hit the door running and buy, buy, buy.

I can't wait to be a part of the mob that storms the place. In fact, I hope I get trampled just to make it more exciting. And then I can't wait to run up and down the aisles picking out my big, new, flashy, flat-screen television with all the bells and whistles. It's something I need to make my life better and to feel better about myself when friends come over to watch American Idol and The Biggest Loser and The X Factor and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I still don't have a clue as to who they are, but I certainly want to keep up with them. And then I'm going to buy a new computer so I can keep up more effectively with all of the YouTube sensations that just make my day. I'm very, very interested in this new one in which two little kids cover their parents' living room with flour. Is it real or did they concoct this to gain YouTube fame? I am so distraught trying to make up my mind how I feel about this. It's worse than the Target egg shortage right here at holiday time. Just like the person I saw interviewed on the news, I keep going back there over and over and over to buy eggs and they are out. I don't know why they would sever ties with their egg suppliers just because of animal cruelty issues. What about me? What am I going to do? What, go to another store that is not short on eggs? Ridiculous. And speaking of kids and flour, I wish I had kids. If I did, as soon as those Black Friday shopping doors cracked open, I would barrel my way through the crowd and buy them as many video games as I could stuff into a basket. No, make that two baskets. I can handle two at once in the name of shopping. I would buy them so many video games that they would never again even think about wasting their time doing stupid things like drawing or painting or learning to play the piano or any of that crap. Anything to keep them from becoming little sissy creative types. And it would also prevent them from doing something ridiculous like going outside to play and make mud pies and throw a Frisbee. Ugh. All that fresh air would probably get to their heads and make them want to grow up to be teachers or something. I would be such a great dad.

And as soon as I buy as many new, shiny things as I can get on Black Friday, I am going on a trip! I am going to drive on a busy highway as fast as I can to the East Coast and get on a plane to go to the West Coast, maybe even to Los Angeles, where people know the value of having more than they need. I can't wait to get to the Atlanta airport with hundreds of thousands of fellow travelers and get to spend a lot of time there because of a canceled or overbooked flight. I love to shop in the airport anyway. And then I want to get on that crowded plane and join all of the other travelers by complaining to the flight attendants about the delay. It will be like being a part of a cool club: Occupy Delta.

I love to travel during the holidays, but it is indeed a little bit inconvenient to have to check so many bags because of my massive wardrobe, especially the things I got on Black Friday at 5 a.m. at the department store in the mall. Yes, I had to fight to get to those racks and, by God, I am going to take those clothes with me on the holiday trip. It's a good thing my new iPod will fit into my pocket so I can listen to Justin Beiber on the way out to L.A. And Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers, for sure. It's just my way of saying thanks to them on Thanksgiving for giving me so much pleasure as I make my way through the crowded LAX airport on my way to the Beverly Hills Mall. After all, this is America.


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