WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 27, 2014
version 7, draft 7

Black Friday: Hand To Hand Combat Survival Guide

Its 3 a.m. and a cold wind whips your clothes about as you prepare yourself before the onslaught. There is a buzz amongst the people around you, but you don’t have time to listen, you have a mission and you will damn well accomplish that mission. Black Friday is serious business; it’s buy or be bought, a mad dash to the latest games, cheapest clothes and comfiest slippers. It’s a sea of hyper-aggressive soccer-moms, slow moving Grandmas and the Aunts and Uncles! They’re the ones that’ll get you when your guard’s down. With this simple training course you should be able to fend off throngs of sweat-suit wearing, comfy shoes wearing (so they can readily step over you if necessary), over caffeinated Black Friday shoppers.

1. Attire

Firemen and women wear fireproof clothing, Police Officers wear bulletproof vests and your attire should reflect your intent and purpose too. Always wear black tight fitting clothes to minimize pull-back incidents when you have your hands on that coveted copy of Destiny for the Xbox One. The black works as a measure of intimidation. To minimize risk of being pulled away from your sought-after white-whale of a gift, consider shaving your head, if you don’t have hair they can’t pull it.

2. Your Pack

Make sure to choose a pack that can carry water, food and bandages in case of a stand-off. Added consideration should be taken that your pack’s shoulder strap is strong enough to swing around like a medieval mace, and long enough to choke someone from behind if they’re approaching the last ’My Little Pony’ figurine. For men, choose a man-purse for its strap and for women, a fanny pack is the ideal balance between an unruly purse and something that has the word fanny in it.

3. Weapons of opportunity

Anything can be used as a weapon or at least a diversion tactic in the case of close shelve to shelve engagement. Baby powder can be used to cover your retreat once you have those fluffy pink slippers for mom, or use it to slick up the floor in front of something you must loop around to grab. Use a toilet brush and a fishing rod as a bow and arrow, it may not permanently take out your target, but I guarantee they won’t expect it and it stings like a mother.

4. Movement

You will be traversing a highly hostile environment, due to overstimulation from coffee, not enough sleep and the pure unadulterated high that only buying a snow blower at 70% off can give someone. These aren’t people, they are one minded shopping machines with a memorized list of objectives (also known as gifts amongst them) and if you get between them and it you will be steamrolled. When moving through the area of engagement, keep your knees and hips limber so you can out maneuver anyone or anything that tries to take you out. Stretching while waiting in line outside the department store should get your blood flowing and muscles working.

5. Preparation

Reconnaissance is a crucial part of any mission. It would be ideal if you can acquire the plans of the building that you intend on moving through, but, if that is not a possibility you can also visit the space and take as many recon photos as you can. Once you get home, make a cardboard scale model of the space and your intended lines of action. If you are taking another individual with you, brief them about the plan and designate areas for maximum penetration and to ensure that all objectives are obtained.

As with anything that can erupt into violence, special precautions should be taken in the case of self-injury or the injury of a group member. Carry enough first aid for at least three people when alone, and at least 5 if within a group of up to three. Do not go over three people per group as this may inhibit quick withdrawal when the mission is accomplished. You don’t want to leave anyone behind and you want to get home safe.

Are you considering to go shopping on Black Friday? Then you might have some tactics that I didn’t touch upon and you would like to share. You can leave them in the tactical comments section below.  

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