Shopping All The Way

(The article was orgininally posted at The Wandering Heretic blogsite.)

In the Heretic household, the family joins together in front of the television to herald the start of the Christmas season. The object of our attention: the Christmas movie that embodies all that the season is about in terms of the American culture. Is the movie the many incarnations of “A Christmas Carol”? How about the animated versions of Rudolph and Frosty? “A Charlie Brown Christmas”? A Hallmark Classic?

Jingle All The Way

Nope. The start of our season begins with a viewing of “Jingle All The Way,” the Arnold Schwartzenegger bomb (in the theaters anyway). The cynicism of the film as it explores the greed of shoppers and store owners alike is an absolute hoot. The shots it takes on consumerism is, as Fr. Andrew Greeley often says, “half in jest, fully in earnest.” We often even quote lines from the film to each other outside of the season.

I think the sarcasm of the film floundered toward the end, but was redeemed in the final scene when the wife, after all the husband when through to get “the toy” for his child, asks, “If you went through all of that for just a toy then it makes me think…..what did you get for me?” Arnold’s expression at the end is priceless. (Most movie goers did not see this ending as it originally did not appear until after the credits.)

I am not sure if this is a case of life imitates art or not, but a recent article in the Cleveland Plain Dealers by Teresa Dixon Murray certainly hints of Jingle All The Way, the sequel! I quote some tidbits, as I am not certain how long the link will last.

Best Buy is advertising a Kodak 5-megapixel EasyShare C360 digital camera for $129.99. Regular price: $249.99. Shoppers start lining up about 4 a.m. at the North Olmsted store and, before the store opens, employees hand out claim tickets to those wanting one of the cameras. The store’s ad says each location has a minimum of 25, but the line is hundreds of people long. The cameras essentially sell out before the store even opens.

People aren’t so willing to share when it comes to video rockers, which Target is selling for $19.99 (regularly $39.99). The hard-back, legless rocking chairs have pockets for video games or controllers. Within 15 minutes, shoppers gobble up several dozen on display. In some cases, two people grab the same chair. Whoever pulls hardest wins.

Workers tell empty-handed shoppers to wait in the home furnishings aisle while more rockers are brought out. A couple of dozen shoppers are dismayed to find that sneaky shoppers are lining up at the back of the store, outside the employee-only unloading area. They grab the chairs before they ever get to home furnishings. The store sells its allotment of 80 chairs with several shoppers leaving the area spewing expletives.

Nearly 500 people had poured through the doors within minutes after the store’s 6 a.m. opening, manager Eric Roby says. The store sold more than 300 Kodak EasyShare C315 digital cameras for $89.99 (regularly $159) in one hour. A surprise shipment of Microsoft Xbox 360s evaporated in minutes.

A first-time pre-dawn Black Friday shopper, Amini likened the experience to “the running of the bulls.” Alas, the other bulls had already cleaned out the laptops by the time he got to the display. But he has a ready explanation for his failed mission – or is it an excuse? ” Sixty-year-old women were shoving me,” he says.

Can’t you just see that store owner in Jingle All The Way who is trampled by the crowds once he opens the doors? The Wandering Heretic loves Jingle All The Way, but does not plan to live it out this year. Luckily, he has an understanding family. Even on sale, he could not afford half the electronic trinkets that are the red flags to the shopping “bulls” anyway.

Poverty sometimes has its advantages. “Blessed are the poor, for they shall avoid being trampled.”

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~ by heretic on November 28, 2005.

3 Responses to “Shopping All The Way”

  1. Poverty sometimes has its advantages. “Blessed are the poor, for they shall avoid being trampled.?

    Agreed. 🙂

  2. Hi guys,
    This is a great idea – the whole blog I mean. I’ve mentioned you here at BlogWatch.

  3. I also love this movie, for all the same reasons. (My youngest daughter cried when we first saw it in theater– it was scary to her!) This year, for the first time ever, I got up and did the 4:30 AM thing at Best Buy. Last time, too. At least people were polite…

    In my Pentegelical church, most people probably can’t even spell Advent, much less have any concept for what it means. I should do an Advent wreath for my kids, just so they can see what it’s about. Good idea, JimBob– I think I’ll rush out and get ‘er done!

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