Black Friday, Oil, Cocktails


Since it was Black Friday in the US yesterday, we were treated to the standard video of hordes of people lined up for hours outside stores, then rushing in to grab one of four deep-discounted items the store had on offer. 

There were the usual stories of people waving guns around, fighting over a big-screen TV and wrestling goods out of other less-deserving hands, accompanied by a cacophony of swearing, screaming, imprecations and comments about the other person involving antecedents, genetic status and general state of mental hygiene.  The store comments?  Let’s just say they appreciate the coverage on the six o’clock news as free advertising in primo eyeball hours as long as there are no machete-wielding crazies, butchering a dozen people to get the sole remaining counterfeit action figure from some kid’s movie. 

We suspect that someone, somewhere is planning a reality show that has Black Friday every week, with the contestants fighting over a KitchenAid stand mixer, a case of Ragu sauce and a big-screen TV in exchange for answering general knowledge questions about other reality show contestants. 

We would add a feature of the Big Savings Tunnel of Doom, a 70-foot long Lexan tunnel that the 30 contestants have to run through, barefoot, facing a barrage of pepper spray, fire hoses and beanbag projectiles, as well as an amphetamine-crazed ostrich, four toddlers with Lego on the floor, a hill of fire ants and Gordon Ramsay judging how well they can fry an egg while running a gauntlet of Ferguson, Missouri protestors hell-bent on burning the studio down because of Michael Brown.

We surmise that the End of Civilization is nigh, as this is no different from the Roman Coliseum with their historical bear-baiting bouts, or feeding Christians to the lions, except Black Friday The Series, will have much better numbers:  The Colosseum could only hold about 50.000 and didn’t have WiFi so we could keep up with social media and see who is trending.

Oil has been in the news of late.  Prices for Brent Oil and West Texas Intermediate have tanked, now down around $66 – $70 a barrel.  Which means the price at the pump is lower.  If you listen to economists this is either the end of Life As We Know It or the Beginning of a New Era of Prosperity. 

Economists are those people who can use terabytes of statistics to prove any air-headed postulation, but can’t actually tell if it is raining outside.  Remember when reading financial projections, everyone has a hidden agenda and it is usually sinister.  OPEC has responded as only they can as an illegal price-fixing scheme that we tolerate:  They’re both reducing and increasing production at new higher, but lower prices. It’s complicated.   

For the time being, we’ll adapt to cheap gas.  We don’t care that  Exxon or Sinopec is taking a beating on their quarterly earnings per share:  The shareholders can kiss my sweaty pink puckered portcullis.  We’re thankful we don’t have to sell a kidney to gas up the car tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we finished up a tough week and plan on relaxing with a cocktail tonight.  There may be more than one involving a coffee liquor and vodka.  And how was your week?

       

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