“WOW,” I said to myself when the TV news presenter told us that sales amounting to more than R10-million were made in two hours on Black Friday – between midnight and 2am!
And according to reports, 60000 shoppers trawled the mall at Hemingways alone during the spending binge.
Any male who has witnessed the first hour of a major event such as this, will forever have no doubts as to which is the weaker sex. A rugged former Border rugby lock forward and captain I knew, was once obliged to see his doctor for treatment after being unwittingly involved in a mid-week brawl for half-price bargains.
His twisted knee and bruised ribs responded to treatment but he insisted he would never recover from the shock of seeing how the opposite sex which had always been regarded as fragile, could be transformed by sale fever into a charging mob more frightening and dangerous than a stampeding herd of buffalo. The poor chap had been instructed by his wife to replenish his underwear drawer but when he reached the counter, he was capable only of whispering for water and crutches. Recalling the horror of those few moments after the doors of the shop had swung open, the former rugby player, protested that he had quite literally been swept off his feet by a horde of women of uncertain age and thrown with savage force against the side of a cosmetic counter.
Around him the battle raged. Skirts were raised high to allow legs of various shapes and sizes to break into sprinters’ strides and with wild screams of triumph that might have accompanied the frenzy of a Zulu war dance, items of clothing and footwear were seized and hurled about.
It is obviously not the thought of bargains alone that attract women to sales like Black Friday. How is it that the conquering housewife returns home with hard-won clobber for which no-one in the family has the slightest use? Her excuse is always ready as she appraises and unwraps an oddment of bilious green curtaining and observes that it can always be used for cleaning the car.
A woman’s passion for sales clearly has a profound psychological interpretation. It is the right moment or season in the year when she can truly let her hair down – when she can use her claws or elbows. Bruised, battered and broke though she may end up being, a woman is never happier than when she is surrounded by her sisters and charging towards the bargain counters. But as my friend the former rugby player would have readily confirmed, mere men should be warned of participation in this particular contact sport at their peril.
Black Friday? Ouch!