Black Friday is like having a pack of cigarettes stashed in the freezer.

For a few years after I stopped smoking, I kept a pack of cigarettes in the freezer.

I didn’t touch them, not because of any feat of willpower, but because I would have had to dig through a lot of frozen broccoli first, and even if I did get to them, they’d be cold and that’s just weird, so I’d have to wait for the cigarette to return to room temperature before smoking it, and that was way too much work to satisfy a momentary craving that I knew would pass by the time I did all that and located a lighter. But I liked knowing that the cigarettes were there. If I really wanted to, I could smoke them.

That’s exactly how I feel about the stores being open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night or at midnight on Black Friday. I think that the early openings of stores are disgusting, and the chaos in the Wal-Marts is terrible for people, never mind the fact that like the cigarettes in the freezer, Black Friday shopping is both inconvenient and cold.

But I also like knowing that if I felt like it, at any time tonight, I could go out shopping.

It’s the sort of thing that warms an insomniac’s sleepless little heart.

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