The W.E. Guide To History: Black Friday

The showroom floor of a 1860's Sears, in response to an 8-pence sale on top hats. Two dead, fourteen wounded in the least violent Black Friday in history.
The showroom floor of a 1860’s Sears, hectic in response to an 8-pence sale on top hats. Two dead and fourteen wounded in the least violent Black Friday in history.

LOS ANGELES — As seems to be the case with most if not all of our cherished American traditions, Black Friday has a much “darker” history than the average citizen is privy to. “There’s a story here that has been neglected by most historians,” said Dr. Daniel L. Gallo, Professor of African-American Fridays at Brown University. “It is likely due to the strong retail sales lobby that exerts more and more pressure on our country’s lawmakers, usually in the form of BOGO kickbacks and incredibly discounted prostitutes, also known as retail sales associates. One Democrat Senator from Delaware was given a GAP store seasonal employee for a 30 day love-fest. Sadly, because he was only a temporary employee, he was not eligible for health insurance benefits which would have allowed doctors to sew his sphincter back together. As it stands, he can no longer sit without spilling his guts out his rear like a college student puking out 12lbs of ramen.”

How did we come to embrace such a tradition which places the saving of 40% on a PS4 over the rectal health of an innocent young shirt folder? The Westwood Enabler has rooted around the dumpster that is American History to uncover the hot garbage of truth.

Dating back to 1779, the first Black Friday was an occasion to purchase slavery accoutrements at severely inhumane prices. Wood-carved signage recovered from Philadelphia has been found advertizing 2 for one shackles, monogrammed whips, and other plantation-necessities at barbarically low prices. “With the price of human life this low, you can’t afford Not to take advantage of our deals and any offspring they may create!” said one such ad in a Boston newsprint advertising a “Slave 6 Pack” that included three males, two females and a “mystery slave” that may or may not have been legally obtained.

Throughout the years,  as the markets demanded less soul-shattering holiday purchases, merchants began offering more non-human-rights-violating products at discounted rates. A display offer from 1862 found in Pennsylvania announces enormous savings on, “Prof. Q T Bernborhormeons’s Extra-Virgin Snake Oil: Pressed From The Finest Snakes – Is Your Snake Dry As a Bone? Oil Him Up For Easier Insertion And You’ll Have a Smile As Large As The Mason-Dixon Line! Try Our New Northern Copperhead Flavor And Taste The Rectal Snake Rainbow!” Although the marketing and function of such an item seems incredibly alien to us today, Social Anthropologists and Cultural Historians have assured us that, due to its’ highly contextually-dependent nature, in order to fully understand the ad and its product, “you kinda had to be there.”

Though the effectiveness of such early Black Friday ads is not wholly discernable from any available records, there is a report of an elderly woman being stomped to death during a snake oil sale – though it is unclear if she was caught up in the sale-induced-frenzy, or was merely perceived to be an evil witch. Two years after, Prof. Q T Bernborhormeon was tried and executed in the mud wearing nothing but red long johns and a stupid hat for his crimes against reasonable prices.

By the dawn of the 20th century, Black Friday had long been connected to the feast of nature’s redhead, the turkey – known to most folks in this time as, “Thank You Give-A-Day,” with an optional, “23 Skidoo.”

While the sales events of the early 1900’s began to more and more resemble the blood-thirsty orgies of destruction we see in the Wal Marts and department stores of today, people of the time were much less skilled at ravaging the dignity of their fellow man than today’s generation. “We just don’t see the kind of energy and enthusiasm towards crushing the weak and helpless for pennies on the dollar in the 20th century as we do now in the 21st.” said Dr. Henry Youngfellow, a Retail Historian at Abercrombie University. “The tools they used to assert their desperate need for savings were rather basic. There were hardly any steel toed boots, barbed wire shopping carts, or hidden razor blades in this period. Their combat methods for, say, wresting the last bag of charcoal from a disabled man would have been much more rudimentary. We see almost no uses of pepper spray, little to no sweeping-of-the-leg of grandmas and pregnant woman, and only limited reports on the implementation of the choke-hold on mouthy pre-teens. Put frankly, our ancestors were pussies.”

As the modern age of technology and interconnectivity has well established itself, Retail Analysts were nearly certain that Black Friday would all but be a memory by 2010, given that comparable prices are available to anyone near a web browser, due to the competitive global market. “We thought Americans, generally found to be more educated than zoo animals, would understand that low prices are available year round from the comfort of their own internet connections, without having to bludgeon a blind man with a 30 lb Air Purifier marked down by 30%.” said Retail Analyst Joachim Schmidt. “But apparently, the allure of beating a World War Two veteran into a coma over a pair of matching deck chairs is far greater than the $19 they saved, and could have saved any day of the year.”

But what of the state of Black Friday in the generations to come? Future Anthropologists such as Dr. Madam Caescu have assured us that brutal, apocalyptic mob rule will reassert itself, “wherever blu-ray players are passed off as being twice as reduced in price as they actually in fact are.”

About Nathan Guzik 16 Articles
Nathan Guzik is a write-words-funny-fun-man who was born without a British accent and is constantly trying to make up for it. Co-founder of The Westwood Enabler, and head staff writer and editor. Check out more of his comedy at, and follow his instagram @nathangeles for up-to-date comedy stylings.