How Video Games Prepared Me For Black Friday
Another Black Friday has come and gone. Every year I say to myself, never ever again will I even open the blinds on Black Friday and peek out. But every year I am lured outside by the promise of some new gadget that I really don’t need, but think I can’t live without because the price is just insanely low. Such was the case this year.
All I needed was a new flash drive. After all, how crowded could an office supply store be on Black Friday? I even waited until the sun came up thinking all the hard core BF shoppers would be back home. Little did I know I would end up like Jeff Bridges in Tron, stuck in a video game fighting for my life.
Usually I prefer MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft to FPS games like Gears of War, although occasionally I do venture in to the faster paced kill ‘em all let God sort ‘em out games. Not in my worst nightmare did I envision being lured into the Dead Island live survival event known as the BF Shopping Mall Parking Lot!
The office supply store was great, not crowded at all. I got what I wanted and got out. I even stopped to pick up a few impulse buys. “Wow, that wasn’t so bad,” the game narrator in my head told me. “I bet other places aren’t bad either.” It went downhill from there!
Twenty minutes later I was scrambling, ducking, and running for cover, trying to make it back to my truck. Geritol-crazed, blue haired little zombies, spurred on by the thoughts of falling prices, slashed and careened their Buicks across parking aisles, over top of planters, blowing horns and talking on cell phones. The tails of their jackets hung out the bottom of their car door and their packages remained precariously atop their car rooftops.
The saddest sight was one little mummified shopper, barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel of her battle- scarred Oldsmobile. I couldn’t tell if the elderly gentleman in the back with his panic stricken face pressed up against the window was a hostage or her husband. With a cell phone pressed firmly to her ear she jumped the curb and shredded shrubberies. The poor soul in the backseat was tossed around like a rag doll in a spin cycle. With his last ounce of energy, I saw him cling to the seat, look out the back window and mouth, “Save me.” But it was too late. With a puff of blue smoke and a backfire, the Oldsmobile was out of sight.
Using all the of the zombie skills I remembered from playing Left for Dead, I managed to make it to my truck. I dove in and locked the doors just as I saw another shopper exit the mall and make a dash for her car. She was being followed by a walking mound of packages, obviously some sort of undead mage performing a magic trick. As I backed out, I learned it was not magic at all, but a frazzled minion carrying her bounty.
I navigated out of the labyrinth of the parking lot and onto the main road, returning by back streets and alleyways to the fortress of my home. Never again, I told myself for the umpteenth time, will I venture out on Black Friday. This time I mean it.