It's Black Friday here in Tiny Town and we're on watch by the transom waiting for the bad news: tramplings, children torn from their mother's-breasts, old people just dumped in megastore lobbies, fed with slingshots then wrapped in vests with bright yellow buttons that say "Thank You for Shopping at WalMartians!" And, of course, we await word of violent brawls as shoppers slug it out for the best discount leaf lettuce for Floppy, the rabbit.
So far it's been quiet here. As we're not equipped to do video, we can only show you the script of this newsflash. We take you to the scene of downtown Ithaca where, just recently, the throngs had been held overnight in a two-block long holding pen. C. Penbroke Handy, on the scene:
"It's just past 10 a.m. here, chief, and, while there are a smattering of shoppers being let out of the pens, not many of them are Black, as the day would suggest."
"Are there any Black shoppers at all down there?"
"Well, there's a tallish African-American fellow offering Get Out of Jail free DVDs–for a small donation."
"That sounds enterprising. Does he have a vendor's license."
"Tell you what chief, I felt lucky just to get past his entourage."
"Surely you're not concerned about becoming the victim of a game of Black Friday 'Knock-Out' " ...
"Just being cautious."
"But you're a newsman, getting clocked over the head by a roving band of violent teens would get us just the kind of national attention we need to go viral."
"Sorry. Just not going to do it. I've had a few black-outs in my time and ... Nope. Not doing it."
"Well, what else are you seeing–remember, you're our eyes and ears out there."
"Oh–OH! Someone just went into a store–And! Oh! Two people are exiting another shop and it looks like they've got packages. Yes. There is a young man shipping a tube at the pack-n-go. Omigosh, someone just bought something local–looks like a giant potato masher!"
"Ask them what it is."
(SFX of a mad scuffle) ... "Still there, Pembroke?"
"It was one of those roving gangs of Knock-Out artists. They were disguised as Salvation Army bell ringers"
"Guess they rang your bell. Call a policeman!"
"I am hurt ... Bleeding and there's ringing in my ears."
"Possibly the bells ..."
"No policemen. Just a cop car parked ..."
"Go and stand near it–and ask someone to take your picture ..."
"Okay ... Leaning against the police car now. Here comes a uniformed servant ... "
"Good, tell the nice officer what just happened ..."
"I would but they seem to be arresting me."
"Bleeding ... on the hood."
"Excellent! That's the kind of spirited muddle we expect from our hardnosed veterans. Good work, Pemmy."