December 1, 2015


Did you ever go on a Black Friday camp-out?
I did.
Stij decided that our four-foot flat screen TV just wasn’t quite big enough.  He absolutely had to have one of the brand new eight-foot TVs, I suppose because he’s planning a trip to the moon in the near future, and wants to be able to see re-runs of The Honeymooners from the Sea of Tranquility without dragging the set along.
Okay.  It’s the only thing he’s asked for this year—well, no, that’s not quite true.  He also asked that I not cook Christmas dinner, but that kind of goes without saying.
One of the big box stores was having a Black Friday special on these contraptions at an 80% discount.  And, of course, there were only four available at that price.
I resolved to be first in line, so Wednesday morning, I packed up my tent, sleeping bag, lantern, sandwiches, and a couple of books, and headed over to the store.
Evidently, I wasn’t the only forward-thinking person in town.
As a matter of fact, it looked like the whole town was already there.
There were tents everywhere.  I had no hope of being the first one in the door.  I’d be lucky if I were the 200th person in the door.
But I couldn’t let Stij down!
I set up my tent on the horizon line, and brooded.  There wasn’t much point in doing this for the next two days if I couldn’t get what I came for. 
So what to do?
My writer’s brain kicked into overdrive.
What could get me to the front of the line?
I stared glumly at the store I was camped out in front of, and it came to me!  I dashed inside, purchased what I needed, then packed up my tent, dashed to my car and went home.
“That was quick,” Stij said.  “I thought you were having a Black Friday camping adventure.”
“Nope.  I’m going to drive over about an hour before they open the doors on Friday morning.”
He sighed.
“Oh, ye of little faith,” I said.  “You’ll see.  I’ve got a plan.”
“Does it involve cooking?”
“Well, thank God for that, anyway.”
I arose Friday at 4:00AM, spent about two hours in the bathroom, the quietly left the house.  At the store, I parked my car, and made my way forward.
People toward the front of the line were a little stroppy about my attempt to get past them, and they turned to tell me so.
The words died on their lips.
“I’m so sorry,” I said.  “But I’m terribly ill.”
Horror suffused their features.  “What’s wrong with you?”
“It’s a rare form of leprosy…contagious, I think, if I sneeze…ah…ah…ah…ahchhhhh......”
I cleared out those campers faster than Clint Eastwood singing opera.
The store I’d stopped into was a party shop, you see.  I'd bought some theatrical make-up and liquid latex, and the rest is history.
The problem was that, before I could wipe it off, store security called an ambulance, and I was hustled off to the Emergency Room before I could make my purchase.
So, poor Stij isn’t getting his eight-foot flat-screen this year; however, he will still be able to watch me on our old TV.
I got offered a part in Walking Dead—The Movie.

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