The phenomena known as the January sales should, from now on be renamed 'The before, during and after Christmas sales'.
The January sales used to be a time when you, or more likely your parents could get a few bargains to use throughout the year, a blender or a new vacuum cleaner perhaps. at a time when money was tight the sales represented an opportunity to get something back from the retailers following a thrifty spending period.
Things have changed.
Families traditionally spend well beyond their means to lavish their loved ones with expensive but often useless or ill conceived presents (Golf clubs for the keen fisherman or a mobile phone for the technophobe pensioner). But thanks to the January sales being repackaged as the before, during and after Christmas sale you can get more rubbish for your Rubles or crap for your Cordoba ( Nicaragua).
The dangerous combination of bargain and spend thrift shoppers and marketing gurus eager to maximise profits have seen the sales pushed back, in some cases to before Christmas has even begun.
The majority of the shopping madness begins on the 27th of December and has been dubbed the post-Christmas sales by a number of newspapers. Next, the high street retailer opened it's Oxford street shop at 5am - that's five in the f'ing morning people- to huge queues. The story gets worse as a number of shops around the country had to hire security guards to quell the heaving masses and stop them from killing each other to get at that £2.50 halter neck. The Marble Arch branch of M&S had a queue of 300 people waiting for an hour for the shop to open.
But wait, there's more.
People (if you can call them that) were queuing outside Sheffield's Meadow Hall shopping centre at 3.30am.
Just FUCK OFF.
The Next shop in Manchester's Trafford centre began it's sale on Boxing day. Apparently not able to wait one extra day they opened to queues of people going so far as to queue down the M62!
Last, but by no means least is the story of the 4 women in Birmingham who passed out while battling to grab bargains.
What is wrong with the world?
For a start, what is a bargain? To me it is something you want but cheaper than the normal price. Simple isn't it? Well not if you look at the way these maniacs grab at anything with a red sale tag on, surely they cannot want all those things, they are buying for the sake of buying, it is greed pure and simple. If you don't want it to start with then it isn't a bargain, no matter how much it costs. These desperate cheap skates are ready to hack down their own grandmothers to get at something with a 75% off label on it regardless of the size, colour or style!
My Father likes a bargain too, he is Scottish after all. There is a running joke amongst members of my family that he likes a bargain so much that he would buy dog food if it was reduced even though we haven't got a dog! This is an exaggeration but I bet there are people who make almost as ridiculous purchases when it comes to the post Christmas sales.
Apparently in 1977 the Labour government of the day recognised a threat from Peggy 'Milk Snatcher' Thatcher and it was that she had a "Highly populist appeal to individual materialism". Well the Iron Lady or as i call her -No, wait I cant tell you what we call her in my house- will be pleased to know that her legacy will live on with these sales and she would be pleased to see people getting heaved out of queues by security guards for trying to jump in front of other bargain hunters.
I don't think I am better than anyone else but i have however developed a kind of aversion to material possessions. I'm no Buddisht but I rarely spend money on things I don't need. I love a bargain too but it has to be a genuine bargain. A bit of weening the public off their dependency on material possessions wouldn't be a bad thing.
Now to end on a lighter note.
Barron Hilton, the Grandfather of the ridiculously named Paris has decided to donate all but a fraction of his considerable fortune to charity. He is reluctant to leave unearned wealth to his family members, including the aforementioned Paris, apparently he is unamused at her tabloid existence. Maybe in the future we will see Paris getting thrown out of a Next queue at 5am but then again maybe not.
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