Remember the old movie line, "What's it all about Alfie"? Well, I'm not Alfie although I do look like the man who played the leadin the movie, Michael Caine. Seriously, check out my blog picture on the website. I want to know "what's this Black Friday" all about anyway. From what I've been able to determine, accounts differ on the origin of the term. One theory is that it had roots in the 60's back in Philadelphia where it was used to describe the heavy pedestrian and car traffic on the day after Thanksgiving. Forget that! The most common theory is, that this wacky shopping day got its name because it's usually when retailers turn a profit for the year, or operate in the "black". Black Friday has been the top sales day every year except one since "ShopperTrak" started monitoring holiday data in 2002, the only exception was in 2004 when the busiest day was the Saturday before Christmas. Whatever! There are several things that puzzle me about all this hoopla. In fact, there are THREE (3) things that bother me: (1) With so many good local merchants that are trying to stay alive, support our communities, and know most of us on a first name basis, why are so many flocking to the big box stores close to 100 miles away. Let me tell you something...the big box stores are doing none of us any favors, they are not supporting our communities, they are not hiring our local people, they are not buying local advertising, they are doing nothing to support our tax base or schools, and 90% of the "kids" working in these big boxes can't answer a question much less even figure out the time of day it is. And that's if you can find someone to even help you much less know beans about the product or where anything is located. (2) If there truly is a recession and all of us are in some of the toughest times of our lives, why are so many spending so much on so much frivolous merchandise, much of it to be shoved away in a closet and pretty much forgotten a day or two after Christmas, and (3), with everything else going on in the world like 30 wars, unemployment, a debt crisis, an upcoming presidential election, poverty, a medical system that is broken and a public education system that's not doing much better, why or how does the mainstream media get off doing "War & Peace" on Black Friday BEFORE Black Friday, DURING Black Friday, and probably A WEEK after Black Friday! If you're dumb enough to waste the gas, drive a hundred miles, and stand in line at midnight to save a few bucks on something that (1) you could buy right here on the Hi Line or (2) some item you need like you need like another hole in the head, you have my condolences. Let's get back to the basics and start doing what made our small towns and for that matter, our country, prosper. When I see these idiots fighting over a TV in Wal-Mart at three o'clock in the morning, I want to turn in my membership card in the human race. I am not them, they are not me.