I'm not big on subtlety today.

Five tips on getting through Black Friday unscathed


There’s two very important truths I need to share with you – I’m poor, and I love to shop. Now at first glance that may sound about as practical as a four-legged onesie with a hole in the ass, but through clever planning I have managed to make this work.

Alright that’s a lie, I let Dane put me in a rubber gimp suit and hit me with a cricket bat while he throws R100 notes at me and lets me keep whatever I can catch with my mouth. I’m wholly unqualified to give any advice on how to do Black Friday, but I’ve never let lack of experience and general ineptitude stop me before and I have no intention of starting now. So then, here’s five solid pieces of advice you won’t find anywhere else.

Make a small pile of your electronics and set them on fire

Temptation is the plaything of the devil, and by the devil I of course mean the herd of capitalist pigs intent on turning your hard-earned cash into debt, despair and a make-your-own-cheese kit that you thought you’d use and have friends round and hear them all comment on how smooth your Camembert is while you drink chardonnay and laugh over the latest Zapiro comic and ask each other where DID you get those cargo pants because they’re just delightful.

Except three years on the box remains sealed and every few months you come across it and feel a deep sadness that you’re just not that person who makes cheese and wears expensive cargo pants – you’re more of an eats-cereal-in-their-underwear-while-watching-YouTube person.

The point I’m making here is that having e-mails and SMSes constantly buzz in your pocket to remind you of the kind of person you could be but never will be is like a sulfur enema for the soul.

Don’t leave the house

I know you want to get that R12 off 18 rolls of toilet paper deal (limit 4 per customer), but you need to factor in the cost of medical bills when you get run over by a wild pack of trolleys, feeling the air leak out of your collapsed lung as you clutch a packet of R6 tennis biscuits to your chest.

Maybe someone really is selling a TV for the price of a Happy Meal, but if they are there’s two of them and you won’t be getting one. Unless you feel like re-enacting the Hunger Games in the canned food aisle, you’re best off doing your shopping online. If, that is, you were going to shop at all. Which we’ve already agreed you won’t be. Right?

I'm not big on subtlety today.
I’m not big on subtlety today.

Exploit everyone’s good mood

There’s nothing that releases happiness endorphins like pissing away money on garbage. Everyone you meet today is going to look like they just had a threesome and did very little watching. Being the cynical opportunist you are, you’re going to use that good cheer to get exactly what you want.

Here’s a line you can use, from my own personal handbook:

You, to the boss: “I heard it’s 40% off today!”

Boss: “Oh really? Off of what?”

You: “40% off working hours! Guess it’s time to go home!”

Boss: “Great idea, do that. Also, never come back. I hope you die in a grease fire.”

He’s such a kidder. You know it’s been three years now and I’m still not allowed in the building – that guy knows how to keep a prank going.

Remember that Black Friday sucks here

Seriously. The reason you see everyone in the States doing a dramatic interpretation of the most depressing scene in The Lion King is because there’s actually stuff on sale that’s worth abandoning your child to a pack of hyenas for.

For us down here, it’s 15% off a hiked price of something you never wanted until the moment you saw it under a sale banner and decided life probably wouldn’t be worth continuing with if you didn’t have a carrot juicer in your kitchen to glare at you while you rip your way through your third ten-piece bucket of the week.

Like a Star Wars movie, the key is to lower your expectations. Sure you MIGHT get The Empire Strikes Back, but it’s more likely you’re getting Jar-Jar.

Or, you know, this garbage.
Or, you know, this garbage.

Know what you want

This is a piece of serious advice – know what you want to buy, and look for that thing. Buying something just because it’s cheap is the reason we have AIDS and Sharknado.

All the sales and deals and barrage of e-mails can be overwhelming, so rather just think of a couple of things you really actually would like to buy and ignore anything that isn’t those things.

Don’t give those piggies their dinner – you’re stronger than that. Or maybe you’re not, in which case refer to tip #1.

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