No Black Friday Shopping for Doc

The day before Thanksgiving I thought Slim Randles would have a heart-tugging thoughtful piece about all the ways he is thankful, but he surprised me. Not that this isn’t a thoughtful piece. Doc makes a lot of sense if you stop and think about it. So help me welcome Slim as my Wednesday’s Guest today, and have a piece of pumpkin pie while you are reading. We always need to test the pies the day before Thanksgiving. At least that was the rule in our house. Enjoy…

“Hey Doc,” said Herb, reading the latest copy of the Valley Weekly Miracle, “did you see all these specials they’re having in the city? Just for the Friday after Thanksgiving, too. You know, a guy could get a lot of Christmas shopping done then and save some money.”

“I guess so,” Doc said, putting his cup down so Loretta could top it off.

“You’re not going to go shopping?”

“Not on Black Friday.”

Herb looked at Dud and Steve along the philosophy counter. Like buzzards circling a battlefield, they could sense a story.

Dud asked, “Any special reason, Doc?”

Something inside Doc swelled up and he seemed much taller than usual. He was prepared to expound, and we braced ourselves. We always listen to Doc. Besides being one of the world’s kindest people, he has more initials after his name than most governmental agencies.

“I don’t shop on Black Friday,” he said, “because it’s expected of me. I don’t attend church on Easter or Christmas, either, even if I go regularly the rest of the year. Every Labor Day, I work instead of going fishing or going on a picnic.

“Now, I do celebrate Valentine’s Day with a card and flowers, because I like Mrs. Doc and plan to keep her happy. But for the big expected holidays, I defer. You see, boys, man was put here on this earth to break trail for others. To set out on his own to make traditions, not follow them. Everybody else waters grass to make it grow and when it does, they cut it down. It takes time and sweat and money to do that. You know how I garden … leave it alone and if something grows that offends me, I take it out with a shovel.

“I tell you, guys, we are fashion setters, not fashion followers. Our mission is to set examples for others, not blindly go do something because everyone else does it. You remember when we were kids, our mamas told us not to play in the street because it was dangerous and we told them the other kids got to do it, and they told us if the other kids jumped off a cliff, would we do that, too? Sure you do. Every mother in the world has said that a dozen times. So why should we just follow along like sheep when someone on Wall Street decides we should go out and stand in long lines and spend money on one certain day?”

Herb nodded. “As usual, Doc, you make a lot of sense. I never really gave it that much thought.”

Doc smiled back, “Besides, I’ve already done most of my shopping online.”


Brought to you by Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing 

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