OPINION: Shop, shop, shop, but do it wisely

Full disclosure time: I’ve seen the Black Friday ads. However, I can’t say what those grand bargains are, even though numerous Web sites have leaked the information.
Newspaper people are under strict orders not to say a peep by those advertisers, so not a word from me until Thursday.
But trust me – retailers have some pretty good deals, if you’re into that sort of thing.
It’s a rite of fall that we stuff ourselves on Thanksgiving, then go shopping the next day.
And for only the second time since I’ve been at the Daily Journal, I won’t be working on Black Friday. Instead, I expect to be recovering from what is sure to be a most filling day with family and food a day earlier.
So I don’t plan to wait in a line for a nicely priced flat-screen TV at a retailer whose name shall not be mentioned. Nor do I expect to pitch a tent anywhere to buy a really cheap laptop.
But plans never do quite turn out, do they? I have a feeling I’ll be sucked into the madness anyway.
Two years ago, while covering the Black Friday frenzy, I met my wife at Toys R Us at 5 a.m., because we needed to give Santa a little help due to production problems at the North Pole. I already had been out for more than an hour, talking to shoppers and retailers for a story.
I called my wife because my car’s battery had died and I needed her to jump me off. But not until we got in the line outside of Toys R Us that was backed up to OfficeMax. It didn’t take too long to get in, but once we got what we needed, the line to check out was massive.
I think we were somewhere near the Power Wheels and bikes. Snaking lines throughout the store merged toward the front. It took about 25 minutes to get through.
And then I was on my way, on to Sears for a new $150 battery.
That was MY Black Friday present. No big screen TV for me that year.
But my shopping story pales in comparison to so many of yours. Many of you have been there, done that. You’ve spent the night in the cold, hoping to be one of the first to grab that “must-have.”
You’ve elbowed your way to the racks and shelves, you’ve won – and lost – tugs-of-war with other shoppers, you’ve waited in endless lines and put up with stressed-out cashiers.
You’re Black Friday veterans and you’re rolling up your sleeves again, maybe putting on the shoulder pads this week.
That’s all well and good, but as you get ready to shop, please remember Jdimytai Damour.
Don’t know who he was?
He was the Walmart employee who got trampled to death last year on Black Friday when what police call an “out-of-control” mob smashed through the front doors of a Long Island, N.Y., location.
Four shoppers, including a pregnant woman, also were injured. Policeman trying to rescue Damour were stomped on, too.
There’s nothing wrong with shopping and taking advantage of bargains to fill your gift basket or someone else’s. But no piece of merchandise is worth the price of anyone’s life.

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal