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Black Friday
By Ann


Black Friday … what an appropriate name for the biggest shopping day of the holiday season. Personally, I can't think of anything worse than getting up in the middle of the night to drive into Colorado Springs so that we can stand in line with probably hundreds of people just so that we can be one of the first customers in the store.

Why did General Hammond insist that we take three days off? If he intended for me to get some rest and relaxation, he should have sent me into battle one on one against the Goa'uld. I'd have certainly fared better, that's for sure.

I mean, really, these merchants have a wicked sense of humor. They know how everyone gorges themselves on Thanksgiving dinner, only to lie around and watch football games all day. I'm actually surprised no one has died of a heart attack while waiting in the lines, or better yet, while they're being pushed and shoved into the tiny opening, formerly known as the door.

"Sam, you'd better get some sleep. Three o'clock will be here before we know it," my helpful lover points out as she climbs into bed next to me. And that's another thing, I was really looking forward to making love well into the night, knowing we didn't have anywhere to go in the morning, but Janet has certainly put a damper on that plan.

I toss and turn for what seems like hours before I finally nod off, only for the sound of the alarm to cause me to fall out of bed. 'What the hell?'

Janet hits the offending object, silencing it. Peering over the edge of the bed, she asks, "Sam, what are you doing on the floor?

With my heart threatening to beat out of my chest, I reply, "The damn alarm was so loud; I thought we were under attack." Janet laughs and throws a pillow on my face.

"Well, we're not, so get your ass off the floor and get into the shower. Time's a wasting," Janet says as she reaches over and turns on the lamp. Grumpily, I stand and head for the master bath.

Forty minutes later, we're out the door and climbing into Janet's SUV. At least, she's going to allow me to drive, but I quickly figure out it's because she plans to take a nap on the way to the parking lot of the mall, you know, the mall that's not going to be opened for another two hours.

We're almost to our destination when I realize that we didn't have anything to eat, and my stomach immediately growls when it receives the message from my brain. Spotting a Jack in the Box, I whip into the drive-through, waking my sleeping beauty.

"Where are we?"

"I've got to get something to eat if I'm going to stand in some stupid line waiting to be let into a stupid store so that we can get some stupid items on sale," I reply without thinking.

The very cold shoulder I receive lets me know that perhaps I shouldn't have used the word stupid quite so many times. 'Stupid, Sam.'

A breakfast sandwich and a coffee seem to thaw my lover's attitude, and she's actually smiling when we pull into the quickly filling parking lot. Damn, there seems to be quite a few fools in this great country of ours.

We hurriedly finish our breakfast and climb from the vehicle to get into the rapidly forming line, and it doesn't take any time at all for me to come to yet another realization. I didn't bring my jacket, and it's a bit nippy at the moment. And speaking of nippy, I quickly cross my arms.

"Sam, where's your coat?" My lover has no qualms about chastising me in front of total strangers.

"Um, I forgot it on the couch. I'll be fine though. The stores will be open in what? Another hour?" I make a supreme effort to make light of my clothing, or rather, lack of, no pun intended.

Janet opens her jacket and offers, "Here, climb in here with me." I glance at the two burly men standing in line in front of us and shake my head no.

"That's okay, Janet. I'll be fine. I'll just keep moving," I supply to my agitated lover.

"Don't be silly, Sam. You know how easily you catch cold especially in wide open spaces where the wind is picking up," Janet explains.

Okay, now I'm aware of the wind chill. Gee, thanks for pointing that out, Janet.

Instead, I smile and insist, "I'm fine, Janet. Really."

An hour later, I'm literally jumping up and down to stay warm. Janet has given up on trying to coax me into crawling into her jacket while she's still wearing it, and thank God, the line begins to move.

When we finally step into the mall, we notice several men standing to the side wearing handcuffs. I guess the spirit of Christmas hasn't officially begun yet as I note two of the men sporting identical black eyes.

Janet grabs a shopping cart and pulls me further into the store toward the appliances. Oh goody, I can't wait to find a bargain in the cooking section.

On the way, I see a large group of people standing around a pallet containing DVD players. Stretching my neck, I spot a sign advertising the players for $39.99, but the sale on the items doesn't begin until 9:00 a.m., and it's currently 5:05 a.m. What a bunch of losers.

Speaking of losers, I'm now standing in front of a set of Pyrex containers and being instructed to put one into our cart. Pyrex containers? We got up before the butt crack of dawn to buy Pyrex?

"Hurry, Sam. This is the best bargain in the entire store. Look how many different sizes we get for just $9.99," Janet astutely points out as I stand there in total disbelief.

"Um, Janet? What other items are we looking for?"

"Oh, this was the only one I saw in the sales paper, but I thought we could look around. Sometimes there are unadvertised sales," Janet explains to the original non-shopper, me.

And she is true to her word as she drags me around the entire store looking at items we don't even need. I pray that she doesn't find anything else on sale because I believe she'll buy it, whether we need it or not.

Two hours later, Janet has finally decided that there is nothing else in the store that interests her. The only amusement I've found from the whole ordeal was that pallet of DVD players I spotted earlier. The crowd of people got so big that the manager ordered a fork lift driver to move the pallet to the back of the store. The stupid people followed the pallet from the front of the store all the way to the back, even though the sale wouldn't start for another two hours.

We arrive back at the SUV by 7:15, and I quickly place our bargain purchase in the back. Closing the hatch, I run around and climb into the driver's seat. Maybe I can take a nap, and then talk Janet into a little afternoon delight.

My new plans are squashed when Janet asks me to drive around to the other side of the mall. It seems my day of hell has only just begun.

At 3:00 p.m., Janet announces that she is ready to go as I trail behind her carrying a mound of packages and dragging my sore feet. I can't even get up enough enthusiasm to be excited about finally getting to go home.

Pulling into the driveway, I pop the hatch to unload our purchases, or should I say Janet's purchases. Quickly, I stack the packages in my arms to begin the unloading process. The sooner I get these things into the house, the sooner I can take my much needed nap.

Thirty minutes later, I'm pulling off my clothes and diving into the bed au natural. I'm sound asleep before my head can hit the pillow, but my sleep is fitful as I dream of being crushed by a pallet of DVD players.

A tickling sensation wakes me later, and I try to swat the offending object. Not able to succeed, I open my eyes to kill the persistent gnat, but I'm in for the surprise of my life when I find Janet standing beside the bed in the sexiest black teddy I've ever seen. Quickly sitting up, I blurt, "Wow, where'd you get that?"

"Today, when we were shopping, Sam. Didn't you see me go into the Victoria's Secret store?"

Huh? When was that? You mean to tell me I missed the highlight of our shopping trip.

"Oh, yeah. It must have been when you brought some of the packages back to the car," Janet fills in the blanks.

I no longer care about when and where Janet bought the lingerie when she kneels on the bed and moves closer, allowing me to reach out and touch her soft skin.

"God, you're beautiful, Janet," I utter in complete sincerity.

"Thank you, Sweetie. I decided you needed a reward for being so good today. I know how much you hate Black Friday," my lover explains.

Seeing Janet sitting next to me in her skimpy, black teddy, I suddenly have a change of heart about the day. I pull my lover into my arms and kiss her passionately as my hands seem to have a mind of their own.

Hmm, Black Fridays aren't so bad after all.

The End

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