As has become my usual custom, I shall try and refrain from participating in the annual orgy of consumption known as Black Friday.
I have no stomach for it. I have tried it a few times in the past with only nominal success and it irritated me to such a degree that it actually made me hate my fellow man for the duration of the Christmas season.
It is a lot like back surgery, only less enjoyable.
This, to me, is Black Friday in a nut: Allegedly mature adults gather at an unusual and unnatural time while tired, half drunk and filled to the brim with greed so that they may charge completely unnecessary and frivolous items to an overloaded credit card account.
If anyone steps in your way or grabs an item you were trying to reach simply back off, attempt to reach a compromise and, if that fails, use the “eye gouge” move.
There will be cameras, police and constant news reports of fighting, riots and other extreme behavior coming from Wal-Marts and office supply stores all over the metro area. You have been warned.
Since I will do no shopping on Black Friday I have had time to compile a list of items that I would give to various people about town. This is in no way an exhaustive list – please feel free to add your own items as you see fit.
Here we go…
1. Greg Fischer, Mayor-Elect: The cojones to turn his back on the political elite and do what is right for the people of Louisville, a copy of “The Art of War” and a black Cadillac CTS-V. It’s so much cooler than the standard CTS or STS. Oh, and I’d force him to watch all of former Pres. George W. Bush’s mistakes, gaffes and stupid body language on film until he was able to avoid repeating any of them. I have to tell you, I’m quite worried about this being an issue.
2. Jackie Green: A bike that, when propelled to 88 miles per hour, could send him back in time to correct his fatal mistakes and a five-year stint selling used cars at a JD Byrider dealership. You have to learn about people, Jackie. This is the only way.
3. Hal Heiner: Deputy Mayor. Or head of a dismantled and revamped GLI.
4. Dr. Sheldon Berman, outgoing JCPS Superintendent: A new pair of snow boots and a 10-year stint selling used cars at a JD Byrider dealership. The experience you gain will make you forget all about that “warm and fuzzy” crap you tried to push in those books you were peddling, Doc.
5. Brent McKim, JCTA President: A course in Labor Studies, Political Science and a job on the line at GE’s Appliance Park with a $14-per- hour salary.
6. Jerry Abramson: 10 hours in a room with Carl Brown. Trust me, you need this.
7. Women of Louisville: More and prominent positions in government and business, equal pay for equal work and the respect you deserve for being the backbone of our community. (I can’t believe I have to wish for this.)
8. River Fields: You guys already got your gift. (See #1 above)
9. Tyler Allen: One of the smartest guys I know, Tyler needs only time. Time to get to know each and every one of you. Once that is accomplished, I’d give him the keys to City Hall. So would you.
10. The City of Louisville: A world-class, well-funded public education and library system where students excel and teachers are rewarded and regarded as heroes, an expanded waterfront park downtown and in Southwest Louisville, the full implementation of 8664, same-sex domestic partner benefits for city employees, a return to the most enviable public mass transit system in the United States, affordable downtown housing, historic preservation and the best, most accessible health care infrastructure we can buy. You also get more festivals like Lebowski Fest and Forecastle coupled with a willingness to properly exploit them. Go “all in” on selling Louisville as a place for fun … as soon as you get with the program repeal that fascist strip bar ordinance.
But mostly, more than any of these, a sense of unity. Living in Louisville and your level of happiness about it currently depends on which part of town you live in.
That has to change.
In some areas, residents hate or fear downtown. In others, the people look down on the city’s West End or South End.
Once Louisville realizes it is more than just a collection of neighborhoods and truly moves to include everyone at the table of power, we might actually accomplish something without constantly looking to Nashville or Indianapolis as places from which to steal ideas.
We have a unique city here, a place unlike any other in Kentucky or the world.
Let’s keep it weird.
Turkey photo ©iStockphoto.com/Chepko
Greg Fisher photo ©John Fitzgerald