MFNS - An unapologetic Walmart today announced Black Friday sales will begin during Thanksgiving dinner and invited customers to eat the meal in their stores, arguing that spending the holiday with rude, ill-dressed, socially awkward strangers is just like being with your family anyway.
Company officials said a turkey dinner with all the trimmings will start at just $29.95 for a family of four and will be served on specially adapted scooter carts, allowing diners to carom through the aisles enjoying both supper and steep, steep discounts on electronics, home furnishings and clothing.
Acknowledging some shoppers may hesitate, the company said it will make every effort to recreate the feel of an annual family gathering. To that end, instead of piping in holiday Muzak, stores will play a continuous loop of “Uncle Walt” making vaguely racist comments, Cousin Trudy getting drunk and swearing about her ex-husband, and a typical 3-year-old cousin complaining that “grandma smells funny.”
The decision effectively pushes ever-creeping Black Friday up to noon on Thursday, a controversial change that critics said demeans Thanksgiving but Walmart officials said was inevitable.
“I hate to break it to you, but Black Friday keeps moving in on Thanksgiving because Americans want it to,” said company spokesman William Ramsey. “And they want it to because most of us have a closer relationship with our credit cards than with our loved ones.”
Paying homage to Thanksgiving’s pilgrim heritage, elderly Walmart greeters will dress in colonial garb, some of them wearing the same outfits they had as young adults nearly 100 years ago. Cashiers, meanwhile, will be dressed as giant pumpkins, sweet potatoes and squash, which didn’t sit well with employees at a Walmart in St. Louis, Mo.
“God, could anything possibly be more humiliating than this?” asked one store cashier as she was handed a giant yellow gourd costume.
“How about, ‘Spending Thanksgiving at Walmart?’” her boss replied.
“Good point,” the cashier said.
Walmart said it will not enforce a Thanksgiving dress code for customers, but does request that women come in their formal halter tops while men should at least wash their toupees.