The Black Friday Survival Guide
Black Friday is coming fast once more, and will make landfall in the UK on the 27th of November, causing widespread chaos and disruption. It is heavily advised that you stay in your homes, reinforce all your doors and windows and wait for the storm to pass.
However, many of you will wish to brave the adverse conditions in search of almost legendary bargains and price-saving, while others may be caught outside unexpectedly, should the commercial chaos spread faster than you thought. This guide is for those people; those brave souls who need the quick wits, hardihood and will to survive if they want to make it out in one piece.
This is The Black Friday Survival Guide
1. Navigating the crowds
The first thing a beleaguered citizen stuck in a retail area on Black Friday will notice is the crowds. The crowds will be everywhere, and in the shifting sea of people it is particularly easy to become separated from your companions, to be pulled by a current into dangerous areas or lose sight of your destination, becoming lost. Luckily, there are a few ways you can stay in control when swamped on all sides by a press of slavering shoppers.
- Bring a GPS device
If you are moving outside, a handheld GPS device could save your life. The ability to tell which direction you’re going, how far it is to your destination, and which way the crowd is driving you is a huge help to would-be survivors. The only disadvantages are the fact that it only works outside, has limited battery life (so if you get trapped in a crowd for 4 days, seek alternative navigation options) and relies on the space necessary to draw and operate the device. Some shoppers may also find the cost prohibitive.
- Look at the moss on the trees
If you are trapped in a crowd in a shopping centre that is also in the wilderness, you can use your wildman smarts to figure out which way is North. Look at the trees around you. At head height on the tree, moss will grow on the North side. This trick is also useful with moss-covered clothes racks and shop pillars.
- Use the stars to navigate
If you have ever been a sailor or pirate, and you are stuck outside on Black Friday during a clear night, you can use the stars to navigate as though on the bow of a galleon. In the absence of past nautical experience, you can use the bright North Star to find North and orient yourself.
- Bring a periscope
This is possibly the best piece of crowd-navigation advice out there. Portable, durable, and granting the power to see above any crowd to determine where the shops are, a steel or titanium submarine’s periscope is the perfect tool for getting through crowds easily. Just get the scope out, extend it, deploy the handles and look around for the shops!
It is an unfortunate truth that a person who wants peace must prepare for war. Black Friday is no exception, and may in fact be more of an apocalyptic, everyone-has-lost-their-minds kind of situation, resulting in the need to defend yourself by any means necessary. These helpful defence tips will help keep you alive in the face of a wild-eyed woman who is trying to wrestle away your hard-won flat screen.
- Spend years mastering krav maga
The tactical martial art du jour, krav maga is the official martial art of the US Special Forces and Israeli Defence Force, and is included in the training of SAS operatives. So you know that when a middle-aged man with his arms full of shopping bags and his mouth worryingly foaming decides to attack, you’ll be ready with a standing arm bar or a quadruple back elbow to put him on the ground, where you can pillage his bargains.
For krav maga advice, please consult this handy flowchart.
- Get some armour
Your body is only as strong as its component parts, and those parts may not be strong enough to survive the relentless assault of the masses. What if an overburdened clothing rack falls on you? What if an enormous shopper shoots at you with a longbow they made from primark clothing racks and bargain-bin pantyhose?
You will need armour if you want to make it out of these genuinely probable situations.
If you have the time beforehand, order some kevlar riot gear or a set of bomb-disposal armour from the black market (which is not actually affiliated with Black Friday). If you don’t have the time or money for that, you’ll have to improvise some on the day. Aim for metal panels that can be fastened to your body, and protect your head and torso first. With the right combination of stores, you could whip up some excellent personal protection.
- Mount a big snowplow on your belt
This is perhaps the most efficient way to protect yourself from harm on Black Friday. With a large snowplow attached to your belt, all you need to do is walk forwards and any crazed aggressors or consumer hordes will simply be parted like the Red Sea. Additionally, if you need to quickly move from one area to another, you can run, causing people to be dramatically thrown into the air by your plow-belt. Awesome.
3. Transport and staying mobile
It may be necessary, either because of the huge crowds or because you need to bag as many bargains as possible in a short time, to abandon moving on foot and use alternative means of getting around. There are a few possibilities for staying mobile in the mania of Black Friday, such as:
- An armoured police horse
The impressive vantage point and weight of a horse makes it ideal for navigating the crowds in a Black Friday shopping centre. You may want to spend some time familiarising yourself with your new steed, as it is possible that the horse could panic and bolt when pressed on all sides by greedy shoppers. Armouring your horse will help protect it from shopping bags to the legs and the teeth of particularly animalistic shoppers desperate to take your hard-fought bags of electronics.
- Use ziplines
If you have a grappling gun, or the time to set up ziplines between shops, you can travel above the masses in style by simply whizzing around on the wires! Safe far above the crowd, your only worry is carrying too much cut-price bargain stuff, which could potentially cause the lines to snap and send you careening into the ground, where the crowd would consume you.
- Have a helicopter ready to airlift you on a cable to wherever you need to go
A friendly helicopter hovering over the target area can lift you clear of the crowds like a stranded North Sea castaway, with cables and winches. Similarly, you can load all your purchases on to it, as helicopters can probably carry more than you, and then leap back into the fray, or slide down a cable Batman-style.
- Use a personal jet pack to escape the crowds and fly to your destination
I can’t believe I even have to explain how awesome of an idea this is.
3. Surviving in the wild
Even with excellent preparation, transportation options and a solid plan, it’s still possible that a disaster, freak weather event or surprise extra deal at the Apple Store could strand you among the stores with no hope of rescue. In that case, the only thing you can do is try to survive until Black Friday is over. Remember the ‘Rule of 3s’ – you can survive for
- 3 hours without shelter
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food
Don’t run off looking for food straight away – you need it far less than you need shelter. Move to get away from crowds, possibly by hiding in the expensive section of the shops, or duping staff into letting you into the back rooms. The roof is also an excellent option for survival.
Get shelter sorted first. A big coat is a good start, but if you can build a lean-to out of a half-price flatscreen TV, or an igloo of iPhone cases, even better. If your store has a lot of earth and clay in it, you could even build this efficient house to live in.
If you’ve taken shelter on a roof, you can use your shopping bags and the guttering system to collect rainwater to drink, and set snares for seagulls and pigeons to sustain yourself.
Within the shops, you may need to collect water from condensation on the windows, drinking it from the heating pipes, or using the toilet taps. If food is sold there, you’re in luck. Otherwise, you may need to eat clothing, electronic items and your fellow man to survive until the end of the day.
4. Moving your loot
All your struggle and strife will have been for nothing if you don’t get your sweet bargains home safely.
Transporting the enormous mass of valuable goods you’ve grabbed presents a set of logistical problems that can be overcome in a few different ways, depending on what you’ve bought.
- Deep pockets
If your loot is mostly small or can be broken down, like iPhones, jewellery, or bags of limes, then a large coat with deep pockets may be exactly what you need. Secure, close to your body and streamlined, your deep pockets will transport your new material goods to safety easily.
- A giant fanny pack
If the haul you’re bringing is too big for your pockets, or you fear pickpockets stealing your bargains, you could use a giant fanny pack like the one below to stow all your fresh deals. In fact, buy one exactly like the one below.
- Hire a team of butlers to carry everything for you
Everywhere we look, the decline of truly classy civilization is obvious. Bring back that class by popping in your monocle, doffing your top hat and hiring an entire team of butlers to do your lifting and carrying for you! You’ll look quite the sir and leave everyone else red in the face.
- Hire a Sherpa
The Sherpa, a people native to the mountainous regions of eastern Nepal, high in the Himalayas, have long been revered for their ability to move people, equipment and supplies high into mountains in conditions that would kill most would-be adventurers. If you are doing your shopping in a multi-level shopping centre, or one on a large hill, you might want to consider hiring a Sherpa to be your guide and manage your supply train. A number of mules are likely to be required, but you won’t get lost, are less likely to freeze to death, and can carry way, way more stuff.
- Build a War Rig
For absolute maximum bargain-moving capabilities, you’ll need some sort of articulated truck. Combine the “self-defence” and “survival” problems addresses above by making it a War Rig, an articulated truck specialised for Road War in the desert. These trucks have impressive fuel economy, large tanks for holding the entire contents of John Lewis or MenKind, and are just covered in blades to deter boarding attack and keep your cool new stuff safe. If you’re worried that some jealous shopper will steal the Christmas presents you just grabbed, shredding them on the blades of a War Rig is a pretty solid way to deter them and make sure everyone has a good Christmas.
Besides that shopper and their family, obviously.