Of Black Fridays,Black Hearts and White Whales
Some of the following bitterness is due to the fact that my wife and I committed a cardinal sin of the holidays: we waited too long to buy the hot gift and now it has dried up more than the Bills playoff chances. There are no LeapPads…and here sits a desperate man. It is the lynch pin of a successful 2011 Christmas.
Some might say that very idea sets the wrong message about the holidays…of course it is not highlighted to the kids. We talk all about the important stuff like family, Jesus and Yukon Cornelius. But in those moments when I hear James and Anna talk about the LeapPad when they don’t know I am listening, well, it will break my heart not to have it under the tree for them. I need two LeapPads, one green, one purple: they are my white whales.
For a moment I debated trying to recreate the conversation in this post. It could not have been done justice. It was a verbal Tiny Tim…a real heart melter.
After my mom called with the bad news regarding the LeapPad shortage to the Web I went. Sobering stuff to be sure. On Amazon there is a 200% markup, eBay…things are dicier. My rage grew as I thought of these leeches of society sucking the fun out of my 2011 Christmas with their hoarding and markup scheme.
In a fit worthy of Clark Griswold I stormed out of the house, got in the car and drove to the mall. Sure the interwebs told the tale that the stock was not there, but like Clark daydreams filled my head of a triumphant Dad beating the odds and finding two Leappads, one green, one purple, on the shelves waiting to be hidden in my closet until that magical day.
Back to reality…
a desperate father looking longingly at a hole in the shelf while smirking stockers shake their heads at the 875th fool of the day who thought he would be the one.
Even with the unsolved quest of Chistmas 2011 over my head I was still unable to brave the retail insanity of Black Friday Tonight I ran a drive-by near Toys R Us, which opened at 9 pm, just in time for the tryptophan to wear off. The Saturn Vue turned the corner and the first sight was
400 1600 (per News sources) adults curled around the Toys R Us building.
If I had the fortitude, the patience, the bought of insanity to stay and join the flock, one thing for certain: in addition to getting what gifts I could at the best prices my eyes would be scanning the crowd for Ebay hoarders.
These eBay ”entrepreneurs” risk nothing reaping ill-gotten rewards all for simply being at a store when a shipment arrives, buying up a product and selling it online for a tremendous markup. If only they would choke on their creamhorns, or at the very least get some Chef Boyardee on their mumus…nope, there is no love lost.
The empty promise of Black Friday and the frustration with the black hearted faded a bit as my OS, Original Santa came to the rescue. My dad found one half of the quarry…a green LeapPad was available online and ordered*. It is only fitting the man who fueled my passion for Christmas provided at least half the hope that this year my kids dreams of a LeapPad Christmas will be answered.
*Note to all parents, they have since sold out.