[lit-ideas] Re: Black Friday

  • From: Robert.Paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Robert Paul)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: 26 Nov 2004 18:23:34 PST

What in the world would possess *anyone*, much less *thousands* to stand in  
line in the middle of the night to rush into a store with the other thousands 
of  frenzied shoppers at one in the morning?!  Long lines around stores at 
3:00  a.m.??  If any subscribers of this list are one of the crazed, er, I 
ambitious and eager shoppers who did such a thing this morning, I would love 
to  gain an understanding of why....
(a) For fun. Some people seem to get a real adrenaline rush from being among the
first through the doors. Getting one of those $10 digital cameras by being among
'the first hundred customers' is like winning any other silly prize.

(b) From need. If you're barely making it, buying your kids' shoes and Christmas
presents at 65% off even at the cost of getting up early is rational behaviour.

(c) To display toughness; stamina; fortitude; endurance: all the great American
virtues, here enfolded in the over-arching virtue of winner-take-all
competition, are on view.

(d) To confirm the sometimes-forgotten truth that Americans could, if they
wanted to, play rugby, but that they just don't want to.

Robert Paul
Freud School of Motivational Analysis
Mutton College
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