Monday, November 24, 2014

How Holiday Shoppers Are Exactly Like Zombies

Brace yourselves. It's almost time for the kick start of the Holiday Shopping Apocalypse AKA Black Friday. Little known fact: Black Friday gets it's name from the annual deaths of trampled holiday shoppers... and also the annual death of my faith in humanity. True story.

I know that if I venture out from the safety of my rock this weekend I'm going to be forced to face the hoards of mouth-breathing, crazy-eyed, brain-dead, object-driven consumers. It's going to look a lot like the zombie apocalypse out there, only without Daryl and Michonne (which we might as well just admit are the coolest parts of the zombie apocalypse).

If you do feel brave enough to venture out this long weekend for a holiday supply run... Godspeed. Be careful. Watch your back.

Because holiday shoppers are a lot like zombies.
Wait... which ones are the zombies again?

Don't believe me? Check this out...

How Holiday Shoppers Are Exactly Like Zombies

1. They are both attracted to flashy things and loud noises. Zombies like heat and loud noises. Remember in The Walking Dead, how Daryl burned a perfectly good yellow legal pad to distract zombies so he and Carol could slip by? Ever notice how zombies move mindlessly toward loud noises, assuming there might be something tasty making the noise?

Holiday shoppers are like that, too. They follow the hype and opinion of popular culture. Attracted by clever marketing and peer pressure, holiday shoppers spend money on things they don't really need but really, really, REALLY want. Even if it might break next week or they already have something that does the same thing or the product will be obsolete before next Christmas,they are going to buy it anyway, because the media created enough noisy social chatter and started a huge enough marketing fire, that consumers lose their minds and common sense (and often their dignity) to buy stuff. Like zombies, they believe that there will actually be something of substance behind the noise and the hype... but there rarely is.

2. They are both relatively weak and unintelligent individually, but are dangerous in large numbers. One middle class mom pushing a shopping cart isn't a big hazard. Mobs of crazed consumers waiting in crowded lines to grab insane holiday deals end up trampling security guards, sales associates, and old ladies (People, please keep your grandmas at home until after Thanksgiving weekend. It's for their own safety).

Zombies are like that, too. Remember how they busted down those glass department store doors in The Walking Dead season one and made a flaming mess out of the farm in season two? Good times. While they might be easy to deal with individually (like the solitary cart-pushing mom), it's easy to become overwhelmed by large numbers of them (like the materialistic consumer running-of-the-bulls that calls itself Black Friday).

3. They both lack common sense and a desire for self-preservation. On The Walking Dead, we've seen zombies impale themselves on sharp sticks in order to get to whatever shiny things consumed their attention. We've seen them walk straight into the flames of a burning building. They also don't seem to react at all to the destruction of their fellow zombies, walking instead right behind them into the same lethal dangers. I mean seriously, you would think that after seeing Carol and Daryl and Michonne stabbing all of those zombies in the eye, maybe just ONE zombie would think better of it and turn around to stagger in the opposite direction. Only zombies aren't like that... and neither are holiday shoppers.

Holiday shoppers ignore the financial hardship that will plague them come January first. Destructive debt is often considered a necessary part of the holiday shopping season. They may have seen their sister-in-law or their best friend run themselves into bankruptcy with violent bursts of holiday shopping consumption, but it doesn't matter. They still need more BOGO sweaters and iPhone6s and Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa dolls. So they barrel headlong into the self-destructive behavior that is flagrant over-spending and debt accrual, as if the same thing won't happen to them.

4. They both consume but are never satisfied. Zombies eat and eat and eat... and eat and eat, and if some poor living schlep happens to wander past, they're going to try to eat him, too. No matter how much a zombie eats, it's never going to be satisfied. It's just going to try to consume more in a hopeless pursuit of fulfillment.

Shoppers are like that, too. They buy and buy and buy... and buy and buy, and if they see some other cool thing while they are wandering aimlessly around the mall, they're going to buy that, too. This holiday season, Americans are projected to spend in the ballpark of 617 BILLION dollars (give or take a couple billion). In fact, they are predicted to do way more spending than they did last year. Yet only one in three Americans considers himself to be happy. As a nation we buy and spend and consume in pursuit of fulfillment that never comes, because happiness and satisfaction can't be bought and wrapped and placed under a Christmas tree.

5. They are both rude. Zombies step on each other and bump into each other and generally disregard other zombies while out roaming the streets looking for tasty people to eat. They never even say, "Excuse me." Then when they find someone, they gobble him up without once asking his buddy, "Hey Fred, do you want a taste of this yummy school teacher here. She just might be the best thing since sliced bread... and definitely more tasty!" You never see them scoot over and offer a severed arm politely to their companions. Never.

Holiday shoppers bump each other and smash into each other's shopping carts and sometimes step on, elbow, and even punch their fellow shoppers in their quest to be the first ones to grab the best deals. Then they snatch all of the on-sale HDTVs or iPad Minis without regard to the individuals behind them. You never hear them say, "You know what? I see that you really, really, really want these Beats By Dre headphones. It just might make your kid's Christmas. And since I already have more than a dozen in my cart, why don't you take this set? Your welcome! Oh.... and Merry Christmas!" Nope. Never.

See? Holiday shoppers and zombies. It's hard to tell the difference.

If you venture out this weekend, you might want to carry your crossbow just in case the holiday consumer-zombies get too dangerous. Of course, if you're going shopping... it's too late. You've already been bitten.

1 comment:

Misty Brown said...

This is filled with awesome! Thanks for this laugh and for reaffirming why I have never done Black Friday and never will! <3