I write as the sounds of police sirens retreat from local high street stores towards the end of what is mysteriously dubbed “Black Friday”. A far better name would be “Greedy Friday“. As I grow older, there are lots of things I simply do not “get”. Facebook, Twitter, Strictly Come Dancing (in parts) Nigel Farage (in his entirety), food progammes, and ISIS, all of these plus certain humans’ reactions to signs proclaiming a SALE. It would seem that thousands of usually reasonable people besiege stores well before opening times with the clear intention of seriously injuring anyone who comes between them and a 48” plasma television set (REDUCED BY A WHOPPING 30%!!). Or indeed a pop-up stainless-steel cruet set.
I have discussed this U.S. Black Friday import extensively with my lady wife and the young man with the wire in his ear. Both gazed at our mysteriously larger television receiver and agreed that the heaving, grasping, violent crowds were, in the words of the young man with the wire in his ear, “a bunch of losers”. Indeed, a substantial young woman interviewed fleetingly outside our local Debenham’s store whilst clutching one half of a paisley-patterned armchair, “Well, its not what I come in for, but maybe I’ll get the other half next year.“
Of course, all of this set me thinking. These people are indeed “losers”. But what have they lost? Pride, decency, politeness, humility? I know not. Perhaps their behaviour is inherited. Is it in our genes? Does it hark back to our primitive days when the strongest and meanest got the best bits of the brontosaurus? Is winning more important than the prize?
One thing is certain. The theme for next Sunday’s sermon has chosen itself and I will deliver it from a rather splendid stainless steel and smoked glass lectern I seem lately to have acquired.