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Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Friday

There's a whole weekful of days that are called "black" in memory of some terrible event that happened on that day. For some reason, i'd had it in my mind tht Black Friday originally referred to the 1929 stock market crash, but those days are appropriately referred to as Black Thursday (October 24) and Black Tuesday (October 29).

I'm not the only one who makes that association, though.
When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor
When Black Friday comes
I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out
I'll be on the road

sang Steely Dan on the 1975 LP Katy Lied.

More recently, Black Friday has come to refer to the day after Thanksgiving, the kickoff of the holiday shopping season and commonly assumed to be the busiest shopping day of the year. Generally it's not. By most accounts the term was originally a negative one, although more recently people tend to say the Black Friday marks the time when the ledger books change their ink from red (for a net loss) to black (for a net profit). I kinda suspect this is simply a folk etymology.

So, what's the point of writing about Black Friday? I'm getting there. Bear with me another paragraph or so, and your patience will be rewarded.

See, one of the things i really like about Durham is that, with very few exceptions, all of the good things are accessible. Very few restaurants require reservations to enjoy a good meal, for example. Most evenings, you can walk up to the ticket window and get seats at a Bulls game, or at the Carolina Theater. Same with Duke women's basketball. Even if you're one of those people who likes the mall on Black Friday, it's going to be pretty much navigable. I don't like it when one of my favorite haunts gets written up and becomes inaccessible, which almost happened to the Oyster Bar's Friday special last February, after the Indy highlighted it in their Valentine's Day oyster eaters special report. So i'm a little nervous about mentioning this next item.

But it's a good deal, it supports a good cause, and it's put together by good people who assure me that, regardless, i won't be iced out even if it gets too crowded.

Here at DE we're thankful for the work of Pop The Cap, who successfully lobbied the General Assembly a few years back to allow the brewing, sale, and consumption of high gravity ales and lagers in our state. Next time you're in Sam's Blue Light ogling that wall of Belgian imports, or picking up a Dogfish Head 90 minute, say thanks to Sean Wilson for his hard work. And think about coming out to his Black Friday Beer Fest (BF2) at Rigsbee Hall this Friday afternoon and evening from 3 to 7 pm. Bring a new, unwrapped toy (to be donated to Toys for Tots) and a twenty dollar bill, and enjoy some of the finest in dark and high gravity beers from the state and around the country. There'll be snacks from Pop's and Rue Cler as well.

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  • Please stop, Barry. Between this and your wonderful entry about Prattsburg, you're making me mighty thirsty, man. :)

    By Anonymous John Schelp, at 1:10 PM  

  • Gary gets all the props for the Prattsburgh.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 1:20 PM  

  • True. (And I had left praise for GK's Prattsburg account over at ED.) But, all this talk about Prattsburg, Pinhook, grog shops, taverns, Sam's Blue Light, Pop the Cap, local watering holes and Dogfish Heads was leaving me a wee bit thirsty. ;)

    By Anonymous John Schelp, at 5:02 PM  

  • Damn you: now I've had "Black Friday" running through my head since I first read your post. :)

    Another "Black" day I thought of was Black Sunday by Thomas Harris, who's the same guy who wrote the Hannibal Lecter books.

    By Blogger Joseph H., at 9:55 PM  

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