Archive Opinion The Orion

Buis’ Bits: Up shopping stamina (again) with 5 (more) laws of spending

August 1, 2005

Christmas is coming and the end of the world is near. No, it’s not war, famine, or the bird flu. It’s time to shop and jump into the magic of the holiday season and buy respect from your friends and coworkers.

There is a way to keep sane this holiday season. I’ve expanded on last years shopping laws and added five new ways to survive the twelfth month.

And now without further ado, part two of:

The Laws For a Fiscally Responsible Non-Denominational Holiday (still with the professional sounding passive tone).

1) Thou shalt enjoyeth the carnage

When it rains like it did this last weekend, it pours. The nasty looks on people’s faces normally show the pounds of turkey and cranberry sauce they stuffed down their throat the evening before and the agony of waking from a tryptophan-induced slumber earlier than they should have. However, a little rain adds to the misery, so it’s better to stay home and make sure you live to see Christmas.

So the best bet is to get out around noon-ish when the sales are actually over. Believe it or not, this is actually somewhat better. The big deals are gone, the sale prices are harder to find and even more misleading, but the entertainment is just beginning.

First there’s the walking dead. People are exhausted and trying to get out of the stores and listlessly making their way toward the exit. The fight they had over the amazingly cheap and even more amazingly scarce (insert electronic device here) is gone. The clothes that were on sale 10 minutes ago are wadded and wrinkled with the CD that migrated across the store and was left mere feet from a register and a home.

2) Thou shalt not mosey

The biggest problem I had this year had to be trying to get around in the stores. It was bad enough trying to get around long register lines and through the tattered remains of the merchandise, but for the love of god people, just walk already. Don’t stand in the middle of an aisle talking to someone. Don’t suddenly stop to look at something when you know there’s a crowd behind you. Don’t stand with a shopping cart debating what your kids can and can’t get.

Just walk.

Which reminds me…

3) Thou shalt leaveth the kids in the domicile (psst, that means home)

The great thing about shopping the day after, and the weekend after, Thanksgiving is that you can get your Christmas shopping done early. Leaving your kids at home has to be the best thing you can do. Why you ask?

• You don’t have to come back to the stores later and clog up the aisles in the mall again. Get the shopping for the kids done as well as as many people on your list as is possible. Please. I beg of you.

• I don’t have to listen to them whine like little hostages who have to go along with your every whim, or have their Christmas morning executed.

• You don’t abandon them in toys or electronics where they can play around and start an unholy riot and bang around at my knees while I shop for my own kids. OK, I don’t have kids, my brothers do, but it’s the same concept.

You are the parent (or grandparent or other relation). Please act like one. That includes Rule 4.

4) Thou shalt avoideth thy child’s whims.

I know it’s hard to earn your kids’ love and it’s so much easier to buy it, but once again, you’re the parent. I watched CNN before I hit the stores and after watching some idiot fight a security guard, I heard the worst phrase possible:

“My kids want(ed)…”

That sentence never ends well. Ever.

Parents jump on the big item of the season to be the “bestest parent ever.” This year is the short-supplied, glitch-plagued, overrated piece of digital garbage, the Xbox 360. Now people are flocking to ebay and desperately trying to find this shiny object to distract their offspring and paying two-and-three times the original price to make their kids happy.

“No” is a powerful word. Try it out once in awhile.

5) Thou shalt shun shoddy electronics

Insignia. Olevia. ilo. These are all cheap, flat panel TVs waiting to be picked up by an eager shopper as if they were “lead-in” to buy them, and then picked up a few other deals they saw. Nobody ever asks if they’ve seen these brands before or if they’re what they need. It’s cheap and it makes them feel richer and more powerful than they actually are.

The worst part of this is when I here people say they’re buying laptops at Wal-Mart for Christmas because they’re cheap. With viruses, spyware, malware, phishers, spoofers, etc. running rampant around the Internet ready to destroy your investment or to take your credit card information and your identity, it’s not a great idea to be cheap.

Also, if these people are getting their first computer on the cheap, it’s like tossing out the chum in shark-infested waters and taking a swim. Even if you survive, your life will be destroyed beyond repair.

That’s the second tablet beautifully reconstructed and ready to be taught in every elementary school alongside evolution.