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Christmas shopping as a contact sport: A pre-Covid, pre-Amazon tale of holiday humor

Like a sudden outbreak of dengue fever Christmas somehow got started in October this year.

By the time shoppers were buying the Thanksgiving turkey they already had brain cramps because they’d fallen behind in the holiday scramble. Before December peaked over the horizon, housewives were stumbling back from shopping plazas looking like walking wounded in a film about WWII – or it might have been WW I, some of them had aged a lot.

Whatever, the pace of Christmas retail madness clearly has stepped up this year. Nonetheless, I don’t have my entire shopping arsenal in place. Still needed: flack-jacket (protection against elbows and sharp-edged weapons wielded by fellow shoppers); knee guards (for when I’m brought to my knees by a low blow from some nice, blue-haired old lady who wants to get ahead of me in line); protective athletic cup (see previous blue-haired lady item); crowbar (for wedging my way out of throngs laying siege to sales counters); steel-toed running shoes (for obvious reasons); cattle prod (ditto); the third volume of my shopping list (the Qs through Zs). Also my official 1990 Christmas Schlepping and Battle Guide hasn’t arrived yet.

You may ask why I need all this stuff. It is only because I feel that the Christmas season shouldn’t necessarily involve more than one squad of paramedics.

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