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Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends. If there’s one piece of advice I could offer you, it’s : EAT FAST!

Put down that drumstick and get your running shoes on. Digest later, take some  Pepcid now to start things going. The stores are open and expecting you to spend all your money in the Black Friday sales. There’s no time to waste.

Actually, if you’re reading this, you’re already too late to get the best bargains. People have been, according to last week’s news reports, been camping out in front of their favorite stores for a week — just to make sure they get the best deals. Imagine! Caring enough about all the shit the ads tell us we want to stand in a line for a week! Why, I wouldn’t  stand in line for a bathroom for fifteen minutes…and that at least is a mission of some importance and, if not successful, embarrassment.

I even heard that some overeager shoppers have tents, microwaves in the tents, phones, and laptops so they can catch up on their television shows and tweet to the world about their stupidity. Can you imagine?”#freezingmyassoff. On sidewalk in front of Macy’s. 6 days more…”

I realize the economy depends on our compulsion to spend money we don’t actually have, but has this not reached some new depth of despair in our consumer society?Of all the things George Bush has given as his legacy, his infamous comment:”Go shopping” has stuck with his people. Even more disturbing, this post-Thanksgiving tradition has been imported to Canada and this isn’t OUR Thanksgiving.

When I told Gill of this phenom, she was aghast. “Is all of North American nuts?” she asked. “At least here in the UK they haven’t gone crazy.”

“Well, aren’t WE feeling self-righteous?” I countered. “You obviously don’t remember when you, as a kid, were desperate to have a Cabbage Patch Doll for Christmas. To make you happy, I put myself out in that fray, out with all the other frantic mothers, clawing their way to the front of the line. I recall that, every few minutes, a rumor would spread that the truck with a new shipment of 14 dolls was on its way. Everyone got their elbows out and started doing things I wouldn’t have believed mothers capable of doing! Then when the imaginary truck didn’t appear, it was an angry mob, ready to storm the barricades…not for freedom or a just cause, but for an ugly-assed doll created from the overactive imagination of some marketing genius who lived under a cabbage leaf! I never did get a doll…but your father happened to see one in the Hong Kong airport shop and grabbed it. Probably was a knock-off or filled with lead paint, but it made him a hero. God, how I hated that! He didn’t have to suffer ANY abuse at all for his prize. So don’t tell me about how wrong it is and how indignant you are…”

“So, Ma, would it help if I had a nice tent shipped to you so you could at least stand in line in comfort? You sound just a titch too nostalgic about that experience. I sense, despite your outrage, there’s something you want to tell me. Perhaps there’s some tiny item you really NEED at the stores? Just for old times’ sake?”

“Well, now that you mention it…”

“Aha! I knew it!”