By Urban Anomie
A Red Deer man who lined-up at 3:00 a.m. to be one of the first in line at Soleful Shoes says it was all worth it to get 10% off an $80 pair of shoes that cost $3 to make.
Mike Dunham, 32, arrived with a lawn chair, a dog-eared copy of The Hunger Games, and a Tim Hortons’ coffee with their trademark malfunctioning lid, and braved the dark, frigid night to be the first in line for the store’s Black Friday sale.
“When I arrived, there ain’t no one here,” says Dunham, sporting new Italian faux-leather wing tips, which were hand-crafted by Chinese slave children. “It was strange, ‘cause I seen them commercials on the news about all the crowds, so I thought best to get here early, m’self.”
It turned out Dunham was the only one to arrive before the 9:00 a.m. opening of the store, but is adamant that it was worth it.
“I saw them pretty lady with the keys open up the shop, and I gave her a wink.”
Terri Travis, an employee of Soleful Shoes was scheduled to open the store for the Black Friday sale, and arrived at 8:45 a.m. to find Dunham camped out in front of the store.
“His feet were frozen to the ground, and I thought he was dead,” said Travis. “It was kind of creepy.”
Black Friday, an American tradition that signifies the start of the holiday shopping season, typically involves lots of yelling, screaming and pushing, and makes great YouTube fodder for normal people to laugh at.
In previous years, many Canadians made the trip across the border to cash-in on the sales, such as Johanna Walker of Calgary.
“In 2008, I picked up a 50-inch plasma television in Spokane for $80 off,” says Walker, probably not taking into account the gas, mileage, or her time. “And in 2007, we picked up a bag of dog food for half of what we pay up here.”
Retailers in Canada have been pushing Black Friday on consumers for a few years now, but have not been able to replicate the hysteria seen in the US. That’s probably a good thing.
“I get paid $9.23 an hour,” says Calgary Best Buy employee, Chad Aimes.
Simply put, Aimes doesn’t want to see the American-style frenzies happen in his store while he’s on the clock.
“I’m paid to stock DVDs on the shelf. I’m not paid to give a shit.”
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