Now, Black Friday is a phenomenon popular in the USA, being on the day after Thanksgiving, but as we don't as a rule celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK I didn't really think about it.
Well, I went to Asda (large UK supermarket, owned by Walmart) for some of the things on my list, which is normally open 24 hours a day, and was very excited to see people queueing to get in. Without any prompting I happily joined the end of the queue - about sixtieth, I worked out - to get in. I think there is some about British people and queueing, when we're not under any immediate time pressures to be anywhere else, we do like a good queue. There's any number of great things about a queue:
- It's a social situation where we're allowed to communicate with strangers (about queue-related topics) - whilst we normally steer well clear of any kind of social contact with those folk that we are yet to be formally introduced, the novelty of an unexpected queue can stir us into discussion;
- We can assess just how far back we are in the queue, and try to estimate how long it will take us to get to the front;
- You can squint at the sky (grey) and extract a hand from its protective pocket / glove to see if the sky is releasing rain - if so, you are free to frown, and;
- You can telephone friends and family members to complain about the queue (as the fellow behind me in the queue seemed to manage to do for about 15 minutes straight, over 3 or 4 separate telephone conversations)
You also get to tweet and Facebook about the queue in question:
We even had two Police Community Support Officers turn up to backup the security guard on duty, who appeared to be held up by an older gentleman who was certainly talking to him for the full twenty minutes that I was queueing, and quite possibly longer.
In the end I didn't actually buy anything from the Black Friday offers, but I still got to queue up and it was fun (but don't tell anyone I admitted to that!)
Did you go shopping on Black Friday? Let me know in the comments.