The foreshadowing is too striking to ignore — hordes of crazed men and women plowing through the doors of Wal-Mart in a hell-bent race to the goods.
There’s a meme floating around the Internet comparing imagery from Black Friday with that of the classic zombie film, “Dawn of the Dead.” The similarities are spooky. Both groups, zombies and shoppers, are on single-minded missions to get what they so desperately crave. The zombies have a taste for human flesh. The shoppers are out for huge-screen televisions and discount phones.
It comes down to the same thing. These people will hurt you if you get in their way. They’ll fling you aside or knock you down. They’ll trample or kick or bite to get their hands on what they’re after. The police and security forces will try to manage the frenzy, but they’re badly outnumbered. In the end, it’s every man, woman and child for himself and woe be unto the slow-moving or faint of heart.
Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
That’s right, I’m one of those crazy people who firmly believes that the American Way of Life will someday be shoveled into a giant heap and burned down. And that the fall of our once-great empire will come from within rather than from without.
When it happens, it will happen fast and it will be Black Friday everywhere you look. What do you think is going to happen when government checks stop landing in mailboxes? What do you suppose is going to happen when the last bottle of water and the last can of tuna is grabbed off the shelf by a wild-eyed shopper who had to beat a man unconscious to get it?
Oh, they’ll be coming to your neighborhood, all right. They’ll be drawn like moths to a campfire to your nice, neat cape that smells of sizzling beef on Friday and sweet pasta on Wednesday.
If a fellow will stomp across the back of a pregnant woman to get a 50-inch Emerson, what do you suppose he would do to get at your pantry when his stomach is rumbling? How many thugs will coalesce into pirate armies to storm the gates of your little suburban castle?
It will happen fast and furious, oh, yes, and most will be taken completely by surprise. But how can we be surprised by this when foreshadowing is everywhere, beamed electronically into our living rooms night after night?
Black Friday is a glimpse of things to come, but so are programs such as “The Walking Dead” and “After Armageddon.” The news is full of dire warnings — tensions in Russia, the Islamic State stomping across the Middle East, race wars in the U.S. where an increasingly divided population grows angrier by the minute.
Riots and unrest everywhere you turn, our economy a house of cards, corruption fuzzing up all levels of government like poisonous mold.
When that happens, the can’t-miss shopping deals will be at your house — in your medicine cabinet, your liquor shelf, your cupboards. When the stores have nothing left to offer, the crazed mobs will turn down your street in search of sustenance because that’s what our self-absorbed, entitled way of living has produced. The Black Friday stampedes should serve as a premonition, but they don’t. Not for most people, anyway. Most people will just roll their eyes as they watch the news reports and mutter, “Boy, you’ll never catch me at the stores the day after Thanksgiving.”
Maybe not, friend, but what will you do when you ARE the store? Lock your doors and call 911? That’s what we did during times of security and order, after all, but those times are slipping away, faster all the time.
Stop, look and listen, but above all, think. Get your face out of your Samsung and think about what a volatile place the world has become. Zombies are coming and if you’re not prepared, they will eat you.
And that’s my sandwich board warning for the day.
Mark “The End Is Near” LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. Email survival tips to email@example.com.