Like the Black Plague

Coming up next week is… I don’t know, an event, a holiday, a festival… I don’t quite know what to call it, but it goes by the name Black Friday. It’s the day after Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Unofficially (and pretty much everything about Black Friday is unofficial), it’s the start of the Christmas shopping season. Mind you, organized people, and even some not-so-organized people, have already bought some of their Christmas presents, or Hanukkah presents, or Solstice, or Kwanzaa, or whatever, but that’s “out of season” so it doesn’t count, or at least not in the same way.

So Black Friday, stores compete to open ever earlier in a bid to get a jump on our holiday budgets before the other stores can. Someday, all stores will open at the stroke of midnight at the end of Thanksgiving if we don’t find a way to reign in unfettered capitalism by then. Anyway, the various stores will run various forms of ads trying to convince us that their store is THE place to be when the doors open. These ads will include traditional phrases like “up to X% off” or “only Z available at this price.” Both of those are things that God and I agree, well, suck.

We talked about it a bit, and I’m not sure if it was his idea or mine, but we think that no ad should be allowed to say “up to X%” without also saying “at least Z%.” And whichever statistic is the least flattering to the product in question must be in a font size at least twice that of the other value. And not just the number, the whole phrase. I’m sure they’ll just find some other way to lie without really lying, but I can dream, for just a little bit, can’t I.

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