790 Deck the Malls
Late November, and the Christmas season is in full swing. Twelve days of Christmas? Not enough. Thirty days, starting with "Black Friday," an unfortunate term that has crept into our common lexicon over the past few decades. The Friday after Thanksgiving "marks" (who has the marker?) the "unofficial" (who makes it official?) start of the holiday shopping "season" (when is shopping out of season?) Why is it called "Black Friday?" Because that's when the country's retailers figure they'll start to show black ink instead of red on their ledgers. (Anyone still use ledgers in the age of Quick Books and Turbo Tax?)
Radio stations that play all-Christmas-Music-all-the-time at this time of year have already begun their marathons. Doug at the cash register says he's already tired of "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" and similar songs playing over his store's public address system, and that's easy enough to understand.
The Nation's Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center has been lighted. The "other" Nation's Christmas Tree -- the one near the White House -- will not be lighted (or "lit," if you must) until December 9th. Old fashioned, today's Washingtonians. Waiting until the last minute, as it were.
But deck the Malls! THEIR Christmas trees are in place. The stores that surround them? If they were any more decorated, you couldn't walk through without knocking over something holiday related. Stores opened at obscene hours on Thanksgiving night and some of them didn't close until almost midnight, Sunday. Others opened at equally obscene hours on "Black Friday," three or four or five in the morning.
After "Black Friday" comes "Cyber Monday." That's when the internet shopping sites get really, really busy.
We most recently wrote about the shopping phenomenon in 2005 and since then, it has only gotten worse. So, deck the malls with boughs of holly. And deck the cyber-malls with electronic boughs of holly. And don't forget to spend beyond your means. It's the American way!
--Happy Holidays to the unemployed. Your extended checks aren't in the mail. The compassionate conservative Republican minority in the Senate -- actually, one guy, Scott Brown (R-MA) and successor to Ted Kennedy -- killed them for you.
--Every country spies on every other country and expresses blunt but secret opinions about the leadership. So all this fuss about "Wiki Leaks'" disclosure of a bunch of private writings probably is overblown, unless sensitive operations or people in sensitive positions are put at risk. Secretary Clinton's public apology probably was necessary only to soothe those sensitive souls in places like North Korea and Iraq, you know-- the guys that want to wipe us out.
--More-on "Writer's Crimp," (Wessay™ #787:) The Modern Language Association is mandating a single space between the end of one sentence and the start of the next, not two as has been traditional since the invention of the typewriter when two often were needed for clarity. That space, space thing is a hard habit to break and needn't be changed.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®