It’s Black Friday, the day when stores open at ungodly hours to offer holiday shoppers ridiculous, money-saving deals. In fact, you’re probably getting ready to go wait in line for a $200 flatscreen television right now. But if you change your mind and want to skip out on the mall madness, see our suggestions for other things you could be doing instead of facing the discount-hungry crowds.
1. Watch classic mall movies. There are plenty of classic flicks that take place in a mall to remind you of how much you don’t want to be in one:
– George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (or the 2004 Zack Snyder remake). The classic zombie film has survivors taking refuge in an undead-filled shopping mall.
– Mallrats. Kevin Smith‘s 1995 flick follows two dumped boyfriends seeking solace at a mall, where we learn about spooning, the stinkpalm, Lois Lane’s inability to have Superman’s baby and more.
– Chopping Mall. The 1986 horror film is about homicidal security robots who take over the mall and kill teen employees. The tagline: “Where shopping costs you an arm and a leg!”
– Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Watch as two dimwitted slackers travel back in time to snag historical figures for their history class presentation. To get Lincoln, Beethoven, Freud, “So-Crates” and others acclimated to modern times, they drop them off, of course, at a shopping mall.
2. Play Dead Rising (again). Why? So you can take your frustration out on a crowded mall full of shoppers… shoppers looking for flesh, that is. The 2006 Xbox 360 game took a page from Dawn of the Dead and has players trying to survive in a zombie-infested mall using only things that are readily available. That means over 250 items in the game are usable weapons; besides the standard guns and bats, you can also use mannequin limbs, guitars, frying pans, shower heads, cash registers — basically whatever you can get your hands on to fight your way out. It’s just like being at Walmart at 5am.
3. Watch game shows about shopping. If you’re looking for something less gory and weird than the aforementioned flicks, you could always watch reruns of classic shopping-themed game shows like The Price Is Right. Video clips are available online, so you can see that smug jerkwad bid $1 on that dining set… again. And there’s always the classic ’90s programs Supermarket Sweep and Shop ‘Til You Drop, which features contestants running frantically around a fake grocery store or mall trying to spend as much money as humanly possible. If you think about it, would-be contestants for these shows are probably at the front of the lines today.
4. Just shop online. If you’re not going to boycott spending money today, at least avoid the crowds. Plenty of stores and companies are thankfully offering online deals — Amazon, Best Buy, Dell, Target, Walmart, etc. — that start even earlier than the physical retail stores. So you’ll still have to wake up early, but you can stay in your PJs and bypass the possibility of being trampled to death. Sweet deal, indeed.