on behalf of America – I’m Sorry!

Black Friday was yesterday in the UK.

The phrase just sounds so wrong.

Black Friday is a consumerism frenzy that kicks off of a season intended to celebrate the humble beginnings of a religious renaissance – so, it’s just fundamentally wrong and off-the-mark to begin with. That’s like inviting Julia Childs to introduce a line of TV dinners.

It’s the day after the American Thanksgiving – so what is it doing in the UK?! It’s obviously been imported for profit, unbridled capitalism being arguably the greatest American export.

It’s named Black Friday, I had heard, because it’s the day on which most retailers finally turn a profit. Another theory, described in this article in UK’s The Telegraph, is that the term was coined by police on the East coast to describe the horror that culminated from traffic of holiday shoppers AND rival Army and Navy college football fans travelling to the annual game. Personally, I’m inclined to believe the latter, since I don’t think American businesses in the 40’s would have been forthright about the state of their finances. But maybe that’s just a reflection of the financial skepticism that permeates the current times.

Black Friday is a massacre of a holiday – so for this import, on behalf of Am’urica, I’m sorry.

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Workload: “And Finally, Monsieur, a Wafer-Thin Mint…”

This certainly applies to many professions – I’ve certainly held positions where the “other duties as assigned” clause was used as often as my job description. At least, in the UK, there’s a contractual agreement about how many hours the ‘salaried’ job is expected to require, and the workers have the right to stick within that limit. Not so of the American job, and the traditional American work ethic.

Othmar's Trombone

Maître-D’: Today we have for appetisers: moules marinières, pâté de foie gras, Beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tart de poireau — that’s leek tart — frogs’ legs amandine, or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd — c’est-à-dire, little quails’ eggs on a bed of puréed mushroom. It’s very delicate, very subtle.

Mr Creosote: I’ll have the lot.

[Pause]

Maître-D’: A wise choice, monsieur. And now, how would you like it served? All mixed up together in a bucket?

Mr Creosote: With eggs on top.

Maître-D: But of course, avec les oeufs frites.

Mr Creosote: And don’t skimp on the pâté.

Maître-D: Monsieur, I can assure you, just because it is mixed up with all the other things we would not dream of giving you less than the full amount.

The bilious Mr. Creosote: undeniably one of the Monty Python team’s…

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