Black Friday Report!

Where else can you have this much fun without being bound by silly sporting rules?

Where else can you have this much fun without being bound by silly sporting rules?

The day that was once only known as a Steely Dan song is alive and well, and this was one of the few years I was slated to be a part of the action.  I got to witness bulls bursting through the doors at 5 AM in 2005 and 2007, cattle lined up all night long in serpentine queues in 2009 and 2010, and last year I just had to clean the post apocalyptic wasteland up.  My sixth foray into this infamous time of retail insanity would be my first full-on look at what should really now be called Black Thursday, because I was one of the chosen few overnighters who got scheduled to come in at the ungodly hour of 5:00 PM.

Awww, man! The sun's still up! This isn't right!

Awww, man! The sun’s still up! This isn’t right!

Despite trying to adjust my sleep accordingly, my body was not fooled by this Mecca mindfuck.  It knew darn good and well I not only never had to go to work at five fucking o’clock in the afternoon, but sure as hell never had to holster my box cutter on a Thursday, even if I’d just had two nights off.  So needless to say, I was in zombie mode pretty much the entire afternoon/evening/late night I was there.  And it certainly didn’t help that I drew exit door duty far away from the maddening crowds…

Sticker, ma'am?

Sticker, ma’am?

You know those big, brightly colored poles they have in front of the main doors of large stores to try and prevent smash and grab robberies as well as door greeter roadkill?  For the first three and a half hours, my job was to hold one of those poles up.  That wasn’t my official responsibility, of course… it was to help keep the flow of traffic coming in and out of the store moving so that a clusterfuck wouldn’t develop that might keep someone from getting their damned X-box in time.  But being non-confrontational, I pretty much just leaned on the pole and glared at those who exited the door and came to a sudden standstill… most of whom were off-the-clock morning shifters who decided to take that precise moment in time to pause and bask in the glory of what they were able to buy by drawing the early duty that their co-workers couldn’t.

Black Friday, meet Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Black Friday, meet Sunday Bloody Sunday.

While the first half of my job was pretty damn boring, it could have been worse since we’re notorious for getting Thanksgiving ice storms.  The weather was actually balmy for late November, and the rain held off until after the throng of shopping sheep had left.  Of course, my position meant I was also a good distance away from the war zones inside the store that began flaring up in anticipation of the magical 6:00 hour when all of the special garbage could be officially sold.  I still got some pretty great reactions from frazzled customers as they left the store.  Allow me to share a few of them with you…

What do you mean I can't buy this until 6:00!?!? Who died and left you Queen Bitch, bitch?

What do you mean I can’t buy this until 6:00!?!? Who died and left you Queen Bitch, bitch?

“This is fucking retarded!  I just bought this shit, why do they gotta check my fucking receipt at the door?”

-Clueless Douchebag

Good question, Mr. Douchebag.  I guess that could have something to do with the fact that with nearly 1,000 people in the store, there just might possibly be a few people who’d get the funny idea to maybe, you know, bypass those registers and just try to walk out with a few big screens amid the chaos.  Sorry we wasted about 20 seconds of your precious time proving your honesty that could have been better spent sticking the turkey timer up your ass once you got home.

Stop, you thieving possum!

No, really, I bought this! Honest!

“It’s nuts in there!  I only came here to buy a pair of shoes and had no idea it was Black Friday!”

-Mistress Oblivious

It’s bad enough that you somehow had no idea there were Black Friday sales going on this evening that might interrupt your otherwise mundane shopping trip.  It’s even more comically idiotic when you consider that Black Friday sales are the only reason there were stores even open on Thanksgiving in the first place.

Then again, she could have been Canadian.

Then again, she could have been Canadian.

“Now where did I park my car…?”

-Every third customer out the door

This ranks right up there with not thinking to grab a shopping cart on the way in the doors as one of the most frustratingly stupid things customers do that leads to all kinds of trouble for them.  The rows are clearly numbered, you know it’s going to be busier than a dog with three dicks… is it really that much of a hassle to make a mental note of where the fuck you parked your damned minivan?  Maybe you’ll recognize the sound of your car alarm after someone busts out your drivers side window and steals all of your Adele CD’s…

Ah, found it, Dear!

Ah, found it, Dear!

“Three squad cars?  The shopping must be really intense inside!”

-A real winner, upon noticing the trio of police cars parked in the fire lane

First time at a Black Friday sale, Rookie?  Boy are you in for a surprise…

Out of my way, Assmunch!

Out of my way, Assmunch!

And if I had an acorn for every time someone’s shit fell out of their overstuffed carts on the way out the doors, I wouldn’t have to buy squirrel corn for a year.  Really, folks, the economy can’t be all that bad if losers from my hoosier town can roll out the door with cartloads of useless junk that even on sale still cost them a paycheck or two…


Kids?  Huh?  I don’t have kids.  No, I just bought all this crap because I love saving money!

Eventually, me and my pole-supporting cohorts got pulled back inside the store to help in the postwar cleanup… though I did get one more jaw dropping experience with a Black Friday customer from hell just after 11:00 when the buzzer to our receiving door rang as I was trying to do something useful back there.

Surely there are no deliveries scheduled for Thanksgiving night!  It turned out to be some chick waving a proof of purchase ticket for a trampoline in front of the plexiglass, and demanding her trampoline.  I told her that stuff was being handed out from the Automotive bay, which is clear on the other side of the store.  Realizing I was not about to pull a trampoline out of my ass, her significant other came to the rescue and decided that the best way to get their trampoline was to act like a complete asshole.

More brainpower went into making this meme than was exerted by our couple trying to get their beloved trampoline.

More brainpower went into making this meme than was exerted by our couple trying to get their coveted trampoline.

He took the paper from his dearly beloved, held it clearly up to the window in the door and pointed angrily at it.  “You see this?  I paid for this trampoline, and I expect to get my trampoline now!”  When I reiterated that the large items were being handed out in automotive, and made the terrible mistake of insinuating that because the sale was already over 5 hours old (and we were within an hour of closing… yes, we closed at midnight on the biggest shopping night of the year!), that there may not even be anyone over there anymore to dole them out.

“You better get someone else for me to talk to, bro!”

There is nothing more frightening than being told off by a white gangsta wannabe.

There is nothing more frightening than being threatened by a white gangsta wannabe.

Fortunately, it took me forever to find someone else for Vanilla Ice to talk to… by which time he and his ho drove a little farther and became the problem of those who happened to be at the receiving dock on the other end of the store.  At least that was close enough to Automotive for someone to simply point and say, “Yo’ trampoline’s ova’ THERE, mothafucka!”

Break a leg!

Break a leg!

Well, that’s about all the excitement I have from the sidelines of this year’s Black Friday sale.  Until next year, let’s keep the holiday shopping atmosphere safe and respectable for everyone out there to enjoy!

Remember, killing in the name of keeping the checkout line moving is justifiable homicide in 46 states.

Remember, killing in the name of keeping the checkout line moving is justifiable homicide in 46 states.

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Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #187 — 11/26/15


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Plymouth Rock

You can read about why squirrels have a bone to pick with the founding fathers here.

You can read about why squirrels have a bone to pick with the founding fathers here.

It’s Wednesday, which of course means it’s Black Friday Eve… not that that makes a single bit of sense from a Gregorian standpoint.  Anyway, it’s time once again for me to roll out some pretty pictures for Marilyn’s Serendipity Photo Prompt.  The “Frisbee,” as she once dubbed it, is being retired and will be no more after this week… but The Nest still plans to make every Wednesday non-sciurine picture day.  This has been my favorite new feature I have added to my blog this year, and I look forward to continue telling my twisted but true tales to the beat of my world famous shitty photography…

So, with all of the farewell bouquets and cat calls out of the way… let’s meet the subject of this week’s post:

Beep! Beep!

Beep! Beep!

There are guys who are absolutely in love with cars, and I am fortunately not one of those people.  Never been a car guy, never will.  But it’s hard for me not to have a higher than normal amount of affection for the vehicle that has been my constant companion for 15 years now.  On November 24, 2000… which only coincidentally happened to be Black Friday that year… me and my Dad ventured to the Chevy dealership across the street from my Mecca to find my very first car.  While I very much wanted a red car since it’s my favorite color, and there were plenty of gingers to choose from, I wound up driving off that day in the only blue used car on the entire lot.  I’ll bet every one of those red cars I passed on is rusting in a junkyard somewhere right now…

My car patiently waits while I take pictures of squirrels in the park while trying not to look like a pedophile.

My car patiently waits while I take pictures of squirrels in the park while trying not to look like a pedophile.

My car is a no-frills 1998 Plymouth Neon… a make and model that have both long since gone extinct.  The dealer who sold me the car fast-talked me into purchasing GM’s extended warranty.  I can’t possibly thank him enough since I more than got my money’s worth of free repairs from those extra two years tacked on to the rapidly expiring original factory warranty… and that was the two year window during which both of the major issues my car wound up having surfaced.  In December 2001, a short in one of the computer’s wires kept kicking the car into perpetual high idle whenever it would rain.  Try convincing an ASE certified mechanic that your car is only having some under the hood issue while it’s raining.  After three tows and three repairs (All on General Motors’ tab… bet they liked paying for a car they didn’t even manufacture!), they finally conceded I might be right and identified the problem by squirting the living shit out of everything under the hood with water bottles.

Then the following year, my poor Neon began leaking oil like a sieve with holes in it.  Since I was literally months away from that extended warranty expiring, I was convinced to take it in and discovered the wonderful world of how Neons were built with the world’s shittiest head gaskets.  Despite Chrysler discovering the issue and designing a superior model shortly after my car was made, the customer friendly auto giant could not be bothered to issue a recall on the damned thing.  That made me one of the lucky few Neon owners who got a brand new head without having to pay a penny…. again, on GM’s dime.  No wonder Detroit needed bailing out…

After 8 years of being a birdshit depository, my Neon was very happy to get its own garage... which incidentally is no longer that clean.

After 8 years of being a birdshit depository, my Neon was very happy to get its own garage… which incidentally is no longer that clean.

After that rough start, it seemed inevitable that a continuing string of costly repairs was going to eventually force us to break up.  Yet amazingly, the car’s needed very little fixed outside of routine maintenance over the past 12 years.  The fan that kept the engine cool broke once (Overheating in an interstate traffic jam with your 8 year old nephew in tow is so much fun!), the AC crapped out and became unusable due to power draining issues, a bad brake job (NEVER EVER GO TO MIDAS, FOLKS!) caused my passenger front tire to smoke before the whole brake set up finally exploded.  And just last week, I sprung a coolant leak… though those hoses badly needed changed anyway.  On average, I’ve spent maybe $500 a year on the car.  Before you say that’s too much, compare that to a monthly car payment for a minute.  Since I made my last payment in February 2005, and dropped expensive full coverage on the car in March 2008, I’ve literally saved tens of thousands of dollars over that time span… money that has been well spent replacing all the shit that’s breaking down in my home.

My car isn't afraid to take on SUV's twice its size.

My car isn’t afraid to take on SUV’s twice its size.

While I may procrastinate on oil changes and neglect to clean the inside of the car like….. ever, I’ve really been very good to it during our 15 years together.  It’s been fortunate to have only been involved in three minor accidents.  The first occurred in 2004 as me and another driver backed into each other pulling out of opposing parking spaces.  That busted out part of my left tail light… a scar the car still bears today.  Then while I was still living at home, my sister side-swiped my parked car after being spooked by some idiot tailgating her.  That stripe of red paint is still near my driver’s side reflector as well.  And then there was my totally at-fault accident I got into on an Oklahoma trip in 2011 where I tried to make a dangerous left turn and T-boned an SUV (At maybe 5 mph) while trying to pull into a damned Whataburger.  I’m so glad the other driver settled things out without getting the police involved (Still ticket free, that’s me!)… though I can’t believe my insurance company didn’t question why cars from Illinois and Texas were involved in an accident in central Oklahoma.

One of my message board friends portraying the hot car model.

One of my message board friends portraying the hot car model.

While I knew I didn’t have many photos of my car in the archives, I was extremely disappointed to realize just how few times I’d bothered to take its picture.  Despite taking it along with me on baseball trips to Cleveland and numerous jaunts to Kansas City where I’d taken plenty of other photos, I didn’t have a single damn Neon picture in either folder!  Oh well, with a cracked tail lens, two missing front hubcaps (I won’t bother warning you about the local tire shop that fucked that up), the driver’s side paneling missing, and countless dents, scratches and paint streaks… my Neon is probably just as rightfully camera shy as I am.  In my car’s glory days, it actually got quite a few compliments from pretty girls who thought it looked “too cute.”  If I were a playa, this car no real man would be caught dead driving could’ve probably picked up a lot of chicks back in the day.

Hey, at least it's still stylish in its old age.

Hey, at least it’s still stylish in its old age… if not clean.

As it sits in my garage while I type this, I’m still just a couple hundred miles short of having put 100,000 on it since I drove it off the lot that chilly November afternoon when Bill Clinton was still President and Regis was the talk of TV.  No doubt the fact that I have a very short commute is a large factor in why it’s still on the road.  I like to think I have an unwritten agreement with my Neon… as long as it keeps getting me from Point A to Point B, I’ll keep it out of the junkyard, or even worse, from belonging to some idiot kid who’ll drive it into its grave.  Who needs to play the expensive game of constantly upgrading your car?  Take care of it, and it will take care of you.  Your bank account will thank you…

Some day I'll tell the story about when the chemical plant decided to use my parents' street as their own personal parking lot.

Some day I’ll tell the story about when the chemical plant decided to use my parents’ street as their own personal parking lot.

I’ll try to do better, or at least keep it shorter, next week…

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Words To Live By….

In the comments of last Thursday’s comic post, I made a statement that was apparently (and obviously accidentally) profound.  I joked that I should make it into a demotivational poster, which prompted Ally Bean to declare I should “make it so.”  Well, here you go… the wit and wisdom of The Nest on full display….

sometimes you're the unicorn and sometimes you're the possum

Some days you’re the unicorn, and some days you’re the possum.  I borrowed my “Just Another Day In Paradise” design to create this…

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Turning The Tables

Play "Freebird!?!?!?"  Does it look like I have an 8-track player up here?

Play “Freebird!?!?!?” Does it look like I have an 8-track player up here?

meccamuzakmondaysIt’s Monday, and the holiday week is upon us!  So if you’re living south of the Canadian border… it’s the perfect time to give thanks for another amazingly eardrum-numbing earworm on Mecca Muzak Monday.  If you’ve been able to pay attention while being assaulted with my totally tubular tunes, you may recall the past couple weeks I’ve been featuring a trio of songs that appeared in order on this year’s Spring CD that always got my nights off to an embarrassing singing to myself start.  This is the third song of the set, and we’re gonna do a little club dancing today with one of Scratchy’s fellow purveyors of the ones and twos…

That's slang for a DJ's turntable equipment... a fact I actually learned off an old episode of Millionaire.

That’s slang for a DJ’s turntable equipment… a fact I actually learned off an old episode of Millionaire.

The young lad pictured leading off this post goes by the stage name of tyDi… capitalized just as I tyPed it theRe.  While you were pining to buy your first legal beer at age 21, tyDi had already established himself as Australia’s number one DJ… quite an accomplishment since you’d have probably never guessed there even were any DJ’s down under…

Hey, someone had to be there to drown out Iggy Azalea's annoying fucking voice.

Hey, someone had to be there to drown out Iggy Azalea’s annoying fucking voice.

From the clubs of the outback to the action alleys of Mecca, tyDi’s 2014 smash dance hit “Redefined” got airplay in stores across the nation… and the mixmaster’s beats along with Melanie Fontana’s voice provided an electric atmosphere even when it wasn’t Black Friday…

I can’t say I’ve ever really thought of DJ’s as musicians before… I’m not sure spinning old records, sampling classic hooks, and whatever else they do with all that fancy dance hall days gadgetry they stand behind really qualifies as “making” music.  And it always annoys me when a DJ gets top billing on a song when everyone listening is focused on who’s singing the lyrics and not the Jazzy Jeff wannabe in the background scratching a perfectly good record with one hand and their scrotum with the other…

Oh yeah.... we're gonna fucking get down to Hank Williams, Sr. tonight!

Oh yeah…. we’re gonna fucking get down to Hank Williams, Sr. tonight!

But anyway… this song kicks ass.  Feel free to agree or disagree in the space provided below.  And regardless of the contents of your unsolicited opinion, we’ll do this again next week as MMM enters its final countdown of the last five songs before The Nest banishes the series to the permanent clearance aisle.  Sorry, no refunds or exchanges…

Guess I better start putting my app in at Tarjhay...

Guess I better start putting my app in at Tar-zhay…

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