Kyle Johnson
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The Most Useful Tip For Avoiding Black Friday Traffic Revealed

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It’s that time once again, mortals.  The stars are in insidious alignment high overhead, the candles have been lit in their ceremonial formations around their altars, the red crushed velvet robes have been picked up from the dry cleaners, and the whispers from the ether speak loudly of doorbuster deals at Macys, Best Buy, and Kohls.  The darkest day of the year is nigh, and Black Friday traffic will doubtless  leave roadways across the nation looking like something out of zombie flick, the only difference being that the masses will be running directly into the fray and seeking zombification rather than fleeing the cities in the hope of avoiding it.

Black Friday Shoppers

Granted, Black Friday zombies are not truly zombies, but they are just as likely to rip you to pieces to fill an endless appetite.

This year, with stores such as Macy’s, Target, and Walmart (and, let’s be fair here, Walmart: do you really need any more reasons for people to think that you are evil incarnate?) opening on Thanksgiving, the darkness of Black Friday threatens to spread its influence even further, enveloping the very holiday that precedes it.  This means you can expect heavy traffic around all of the major shopping areas as thankful Americans squeeze themselves snugly into aisles in their attempts to grab the last of this year’s shiny new electronic that will probably be obsolete in three to four years.

Opportunistic deal-seekers will be looking for the best ways to avoid the rush and get around safely and soundly; those forced to work on either Thanksgiving or Black Friday have my deepest sympathies.  In either case, vehicles that have been keeping up to date with essential maintenance needs (e.g. windshield wipers, battery, brakes, tires), are fitted with the latest safety features, or are manned by competent and cautious drivers are likely to be unaffected.  If you drive safely and stay alert, you will likely get to where you need to be.

Black Friday Traffic Berkeley

Even in the heaviest traffic, an alert driver is the best defense against needless accidents.

As for the best way to save yourself some time with Black Friday traffic (or Gray Thursday, the holiday formerly known as Thanksgiving, traffic), there is one tip that can be recommended wholeheartedly.  It is a tip that is foolproof; a tip that absolutely cannot backfire.  Following this simple step will save you time, money, and sanity this holiday.

Here it is.  Are you ready?  Take notes.

The best way to avoid Black Friday traffic?  Don’t.  Go.  Shopping.

I know, I know.  It’s crazy.  Just hear me out.

Before you check the ads to see what’s on sale, before you figure out how much money you can budget for your purchases, consider what the point of Thanksgiving truly is.  Disregard the doorbusters and the deals too good to believe and remember that these are simply things, and that retailers have all of the next month to offer you insane deals (and believe me, they will if only because they want your money).

Remember that your time with loved ones is the most important commodity you have, even more important than a great deal on an LCD TV or a tablet.  Think about your loved ones who have passed on who you’d give anything to spend just one more Thanksgiving with, even if you know it would only result in a ridiculous argument about football or politics.  Think about the loved ones you will someday lose, or about how limited your time on Earth is.

Think of all of these things, and then think of all of the people who will be forced to work on Thanksgiving this year to accommodate the masses that will forego a nice Thanksgiving dinner in favor of sitting in a tent in front of a Best Buy so that they can get first crack at a Playstation 4.

Unlatch your seatbelt.  Step away from the vehicle.  Go back inside.  Grab a leftover drumstick.  Start a game of Monopoly with your family.  Seethe at one another silently until someone finally cracks and calls everybody a cheater before storming out.  Wait until the pumpkin pie is served.  Forgive and forget.  Laugh and love openly.

Thanksgiving Family

Not pictured: little Ellie, who stormed out after landing on Boardwalk for the third time

Congratulations!  You have won Thanksgiving and successfully avoided Black Friday traffic!  Here’s hoping everyone has a safe and sane holiday.