How I Saved America
An adventure through the interwebs to find Black Friday deals
America nearly ended last week.
Don’t worry, I saved it in the end (spoiler alert). I understand that most people were unaware of the danger. How close we were to the edge. The brink of destruction. The breadth and depth of the threat is difficult to even comprehend. To try and put it into words is a task that nearly eludes me. Nevertheless, I will do my best to tell the tale.
The peril began on Black Friday. The most important day of the year in the life of an American. A day where everyone unites to practice America’s most important religion: buyin’ shit. No day better epitomizes American consumer culture. It’s been a mainstay of the country for my entire life. The mission is always clear: buy more things. After all, as Americans, if we can’t get a Black Friday discount, what is this all even for?
I was warned away from this year’s celebrations. Fellow writertold me not to get involved. I did not listen. I was prideful. I was full of hubris. I was certain I was the chosen one, destined to find the best deals. I was certain that he was wrong. I knew I was different and special, just like my mother had always told me.
My confidence seemed warranted. Not to brag, but last year I totally crushed Black Friday. I pulverized, mashed, and squashed so many deals you would’ve thought I was working at a lemonade stand, making juice by hand.
I bought a gigantic new TV, doubling the size of my home’s largest screen from 30 inches to a whopping 60 (size definitely matters here). I got a fancy new Nintendo and a bunch of discounted Zelda games to distract me from everything else in life (not hard, I would’ve been distracted anyway). I got a heavily discounted fancy media storage device to streamline my movie and TV binging habit (ooops, that’s another distraction). Not to mention all the other cool things I probably bought but don’t quite remember. I’m sure they’ve been totally useful and worth it and nothing could ever be wrong with buying things because this is America, right??
The point is 2022 Black Friday was a banner year. The Dark Knight of Black Fridays. I knew if I just entered with a plan and executed it, this year would be no different. The dream of America would live on.
First up on the list was expanding my wardrobe. I’ve been looking to expand beyond just jeans in my casual-formal settings. I knew a pair of chinos is exactly what I needed. After extensive research (reading one single style blog), I landed on the pair that would completely clinch my whole identity as a “cool guy”:
Drunk on my prior success, I gleefully loaded them into my cart without reading anything else on the page. After all, I had the discount promo code. What could possibly go wrong? Uhhhh turns out everything?? Because the page wasn’t accepting the promo code saying it’s not valid??? What is happening???? How many question marks do I need to convey just how confused I was?????? Anyway, after heading back and forth, I finally saw this:
The pants were too iconic. So mind-bendingly awesome that they were impervious to any sale. Even the granddaddy of all sales days could do nothing to reduce their price. Price reductions were reserved for lesser colors like Caper and Dusty Blue, colors I knew I had no business pulling off. The model in the ad, who I’m naming Todd, suddenly morphed from looking like a chill dude I’d definitely hang out with to cruelly mocking me.
Todd made me feel really bad but you could make me feel better. All you need to do is put your email in the little box here.
Todd DGAF. He wore those chinos so smugly. He knew I’d never be like him without them. Every moment I spent on the website was torture. I frantically searched for other coupon codes online, grasping at anything to save even a single dollar. It was full price or it was nothing. Todd’s iconic pant power was too much for a gangly simpleton like me to overcome. I felt like Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, fighting impotently against Bane just to stay alive.
I was deterred, a bit broken, but I knew Batman always won through in the end. There was still time for a purchase to change my life. I knew a bicycle would do just the trick. I could easily envision my new, fitness-oriented lifestyle. Riding down local trails, basking in the Florida sun, getting shredded quads that would make all the ladies in my path swoon so I’d have to practice swerving around them, leading to even more shredded quads and then more swooning ladies. The classic bike to quad god to ladies man flywheel, accelerating with every stroke of the pedal. How could I have overlooked it for so long? The answer to all my problems was simple: get a bike.
There was only one bike that would do. I knew I needed the Batch Bicycles 700C Lifestyle Bike. It was listed on a ton of review sites as the best entry-level road bike on a budget. Apparently bikes are, and this is true, expensive as shit. I was genuinely shocked that they cost so much when I began looking. I don’t know how my parents ever let me ride my bike around town without living in a constant state of anxiety that I’d break it and the ensuing replacement would leave us penniless, punching stray cats to compete for dumpster scraps.
So imagine my delight when I found the Chosen Bike at a whopping 50% off:
I was excited to see that it also came with free shipping. Free shipping can be hard to find when wandering the internet outside of Amazon. It made sense though. Bikes are pretty easy to send from one place to another. That’s their entire function. So it was a simple feat to imagine it being rolled into the back of a truck. Hell, they even have little kickstands to keep them upright.
Surely there were hoards of other shoppers clamoring to get this bike delivered to them. I rushed to get through the checkout before the deal evaporated and someone like Todd could beat me to the punch. Imagine my utter shock when I was met with shipping charges that cost more than the bike.
I didn’t understand. How could this happen to me? It was very clear that shipping was made to be free, just like America. Yet here I was, being held at the online shopping equivalent of gunpoint. Desperate, I tried to enlist a Robin to my Batman. I demanded to speak to a manager (the online chat function). Surely there was a mistake.
I was greeted by Sean D. As it turns out, the D stands for “Don’tImagineForEvenASecondYou’reGonnaGetThisBikeForTheStatedPrice”. Which is a pretty long last name if you ask me.
As you can see, I caved immediately. I knew there was nothing Sean could do. He couldn’t help me stand up to Todd. He couldn’t save Black Friday like Rudolph saved Christmas. He and I were merely minuscule grains of sand, blowing in the eternal winds of the Sahara Desert, unable to shape our own destinies. Subject to the whims of the bicycle store shipping policy, doomed to suffer defeat after defeat in search of justice. On this Black Friday, it seemed there was no justice left in all the world.
I found the bike available on another site, but by then it was too late. The dream was shattered. It was nearly full price. I couldn’t stomach getting a measly 15% off the purchase price when I’d already seen it discounted so heavily.
I was vanquished. Stuck in the part of Dark Knight Rises where Batman just lives in a giant hole with a weird society of hole people (what was up with that, btw? Nobody could figure a way out of there? Nobody normal ever stumbled upon the hole people and told any authorities? When the guards of the hole came home, what did they tell their spouses they did for work? Surely someone would have a conscience and speak up about it?? I’m just saying, it was odd.)
I could see the light above me but I could not stand in it. I was a broken man. Destined to live in darkness. In my desperation, I crawled back to Amazon. I was jonesing for any sort of deal, like a street addict injecting dirty, used needles, praying that even a drop of heroin might be left inside.
It was there that I glimpsed Salvation. It was already sitting in my cart, beckoning for me, exactly like Forrest Gump waited all those years for Jenny to come back around.
The blackout curtains I’d been looking at the week before. Marked down 50%. A total savings of $19.99. A measly sum at any other time. But to a thirst-wracked man lost in a desert of fully-priced merchandise, it was the most beautiful thing I ever could have seen.
I purchased them on sight. No questions asked. High on the quick fix of a deal, my mind was already formulating the perfect scheme for the curtains. Most people would simply hang them. I had other plans. I knew they were the perfect object to vanquish my nemesis, Todd. No longer would he taunt me in his finely tailored outfit. It was I who would have the last laugh as I smothered him in my fairly-priced, cheaply-made curtain.
What have we learned here today? We’ve learned that Good can still conquer Evil. That Justice in the universe is still possible. That Todd was kind of a dick. That I’ll still never look as cool as he does. That you can still find a deal in this country, if you’re willing to settle. That settling is maybe okay? This last one seems pretty iffy, I don’t know about it. You probably shouldn’t settle in life but maybe on Black Friday it’s okay because if you just settle for the shitty deal you’re technically saving the American economy and that makes you a hero and then you can tell other people about it and call your house a home base, since that’s where heroes live.
So for at least another year, Black Friday, and thus America, has been saved. You’re all welcome.
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3 Funny Things
1 - What If Kid’s Drawings Came To Life
This is a somewhat terrifying look at children’s artwork come to life. Kids are pretty awful at drawing and I feel kind of bad for some of these Frankenstein-esque animals, even though they don’t really exist. There’s a small chance though that by creating them here this guy also created them in some time-hole in the multiverse, so maybe they really do exist in some alternate fucked up reality. If you want to feel awful about all the misshapen animals with me, click through to view the full gallery.
2 - Iliza Shlesinger with a message to Gen Z
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Is it possible for a single video to unite two generations? If so, I hope it is this one. It’s straight facts from beginning to end here. Don’t be like Todd, Gen Z, we all want to be friends with you. You will, as everyone older always says, understand when you get to be this age.
3 - Mom + Christmas
Presented without comment because I’m tired of typing.
Not too tired to ask one more time for you to subscribe though! Are you trying to ruin my Christmas by not subscribing? Don’t be like that, just put your email in. It really means a lot to me and would be the best gift I could get this holiday season.