Ninja Crouching Black

The totally true story of my Black Friday escapade

Today belonged to me. This was my day to shine. Usually, I was the guy causing unexpected chaos and destruction. Today, I’d be causing expected chaos and destruction along with thousands of others. Yes, I would finally fit in, be one of the crowd, join the hordes of like-minded people gathering in the same place for the same purpose. Oh, how liberating it felt to be part of something bigger than myself, this time without being involved in illegal “human Voltron” experiments.

My eyes scanned the crowd of people waiting outside the closed doors. We were mere minutes away from all hell breaking loose. I could feel the tension and excitement. People were growing impatient, pushing and shoving to get a better spot.

I did no pushing.

I did no shoving, either.

I’d already claimed the perfect spot. One where I could remain uncontested. I smiled. Once again, I turned out to have been smarter than the rest.

The doors would open any moment now. I stretched, anticipating the fun ahead. Finally, two store attendants showed up and made their way to the front of the crowd. They unlocked the doors and began the countdown.

“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six,” at this point, the rest of the crowd joined in, “FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE…”

BLAAAAACK FRIDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!” I bellowed and jumped down onto the unsuspecting crowd below from the second-story ledge I’d been hiding up on. My feet made impact with a few heads and faces, and the rest of my body soon followed. I landed right in the middle of the shuffling mass of people, who were clearly surprised by my masterfully planned, perfectly timed, and impeccably executed stunt. Some of them screamed, others shrieked. All of them were clearly unprepared for the strategy I’d chosen. I used the element of surprise to grab a bag from one of the nearby women while simultaneously performing a leg sweep on the man to her left. This was playing out almost exactly the way I’d seen Black Friday play out on TV. So far so good.

It was only in the middle of taking down the fifth person that I’d noticed nobody else seemed to be participating in this rambunctious, no-holds-barred merriment. In fact, most people looked decidedly appalled and even angry. By inertia, I pushed and tripped a couple of more people, but soon my wild swinging and punching slowed and ultimately came to a complete halt. What was wrong? Why were these people just standing there, as if this wasn’t the one day of the year when we were all supposed to partake in state-sanctioned violence?

“What is wrong? Why are you people just standing there, as if this isn’t the one day of the year when we are all supposed to partake in state-sanctioned violence?” I demanded.

“Because it isn’t, you goddamn psycho!” someone yelled.

I looked around. The people I’d tackled were getting up from the ground, rubbing their injuries and shaking their heads. Everyone else was looking on in what I could sense was severe disapproval. It appeared my understanding of the concept of Black Friday—which, like most things in my life, was based mainly on what I’d picked up from watching funny YouTube clips—was somewhat incomplete. Not to worry: If my similar past experiences were anything to go by, I’d easily find a way to navigate the situation.

“Moron,” the victim of my leg sweep said, “What’s your deal? And what’s with the hideous black rags you’re wearing?!”

“These are not rags,” I declared with pride, “It’s my ninja outfit!”

People in the crowd started muttering and exchanging glances. I could tell by their confusion that they were woefully unfamiliar with the honorable men and women of the ninja persuasion. I continued:

“Ninja—also known as shinobi—were elite covert agents in feudal Japan. They carried out risky assignments, such as–”

“We know what ninjas are, you tool. Why are you dressed as one?” spoke the leg-swept man.

“This is my creative Black Friday outfit. Yes, Black Friday, the day when everyone wears black and heads out to the city to legally fight other people in an effort to win the coveted title of ‘Master Black Friderer.'”

Most people were now giving me a look I was all too familiar with. I seemed to get that look quite often in my interactions with others. It was a special mix of pity, condescension, and disbelief about how somebody could be this clueless.

“That’s not at all what Black Friday is about, dude,” someone said.

“I knew that,” I said. I did not know that. “Duh,” I added.

“Right, well let’s see you explain that to security, buddy.”

Oh no they wouldn’t. Not this time. I may have made the same mistake once, or twice, or a dozen times, but this wasn’t going to be one of them. The truth was on my side. The truth, and the makeshift smoke bomb I’d fashioned out of charcoal lighter fluid, plastic wrap, and stray cat fur gathered over the course of several months. They wouldn’t see it coming, and they wouldn’t see me going.

With one quick, sharp, confident movement that lasted for over half a minute, I pulled out the smoke bomb, dropped it on the ground, picked it up, fumbled for my lighter, struggled to start it, succeeded in starting it, and then held it to the plastic wrap. The plastic wrap was slow to start but quick to melt, covering my hand in a stream of hot goo. I did not quit. I continued to hold the lighter to the plastic-wrapped ball of cat hair, all the while maintaining uninterrupted eye contact with the shocked crowd of people. Finally, the plastic wrap disappeared entirely and the cat hair instantly caught fire. It generated copious amounts of thick, black smoke.

It worked. By the powers of Holy Sky Ninja, it worked! I was fully engulfed by the smoke, just like the movies promised I’d be. By the time smoke dissipated, I’d be gone and the foolish fools would be none the wiser.

The smoke dissipated.

Strangely, something must have malfunctioned. I didn’t find myself magically teleported to the comfort of my own home. Instead, I was still exactly where I’d stood seconds ago, except now I was covered in toxic-smelling soot and my eyes were tearing profusely. Worst of all, the crowd was equally as unteleported as I was. Even more worst of all still, several members of the store’s security team were now approaching me. Moments later, they encircled me inside a square that they formed.

I knew the battle was lost.

I’d be getting arrested once more.

Thankfully, I’d had plenty of experience dealing with that, too…

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Scratching Post

If you build it…they will scratch

In a shocking turn of events that nobody could have foreseen, today’s post is…again about cats.

More specifically, it’s about our cat preparations. While some cat gadgets are undeniably insane, many are useful and even necessary.

Scratching posts are just such necessities. If you don’t provide your cat with some alternative scratching options, rest assured that your sofa will do just fine. We quite like our sofa, so we decided to get the upcoming cats a few good scratching posts. Our friend that’s fostering the cats was kind enough to get us a simple scratching post from the shelter. However, we wanted our cats to scratch in style, so we’ve done research and made a shortlist of a few cool scratching environments…

…only to make an impulse purchase today, while shopping for groceries. Turns out they had a very nice scratching post at the supermarket. It has now been dragged home, carefully assembled, and is awaiting the imminent cat invasion.

Allow me to proudly present to you…The Shreddinator 3000:

Cat Scratching Post Three Levels

That’s right, it even has a rooftop terrace!

To be honest…I think it’s way too nice for the cats to scratch. I’m currently looking for ways to shrink myself so that I can move into this palace. I’ll let you know if I’m successful.

Alright, I promise to tone down the cat post overkill. I’m just excited about the whole cat thing, in case you couldn’t tell. Could you tell?

Blue Shopping Basket

The totally true story of how I went shopping

This was it. I had finally made it!

I stood by the entrance to the supermarket for the first time in my life. I was holding a shopping basket, a box of crayons and a taxidermied frog. I knew that only one of those items was likely to prove useful, but I had to be ready for anything.

As soon as I walked in I realised I was in way over my head. Purchasable items were not arranged conveniently in a 6 x 6 grid for my perusal like they were when I shopped online. Instead, they were stacked neatly into countless shelves that were forming an impossible labyrinthian pattern.

I would not be deterred, I decided, and informed a nearby shopper of my determination, by screaming “I will not be deterred” at him and swinging the taxidermied frog in his general direction for added effect. The man jumped backwards and knocked over a stand filled with chocolate bars. Embarrassing way to behave in a supermarket, as far as I was concerned, but I wasn’t going to judge him. I had better things to do.

I was on a mission: to bring home a jar of bacon-flavoured marmalade that my girlfriend had asked for. I was sure she had asked for it, because I could clearly recall her mentioning both bacon and marmalade at some point in our mutual coexistence. She would get her wish, even if it killed me. Especially if it killed me. No wait, that couldn’t be right.

Blue Left Sign

It could be left, but that would make a terrible pun.

As I cautiously proceeded forward through the maze of shelves, I caught sight of a suspicious lady standing by a tiny table. The table was covered with what appeared to be crackers topped with creamy, cheese-like substance. Every few moments she would pick up one of the crackers and thrust it at passers by, screaming what I had no doubt were obscenities of some sort. I needed to avoid this lady at all costs, but unfortunately the maze of shelves offered no alternate route. I bravely pushed on, bracing myself for her attack and my subsequent retaliation.

“Here, have a Philadelphia cracker!” the lady screamed aggressively in a quiet voice, while smiling at me.

“You’re not the boss of me!” I retorted and flipped her table over to show her just how much of my boss she wasn’t.

For some reason the supermarket crowd didn’t support me in my quest to defend myself. Some of them even attempted to intervene by issuing combative threats in the form of “Please don’t do that”, “Take it easy” and the like. It became very clear to me that I was fighting a losing battle, so I sprinted away from the scene to escape undue attention and regroup.

Group Of People

Groups are the best, when they’re not ganging up on you

My plight wasn’t quite over, as somebody seemed to have called a member of the supermarket staff. I was approached by a woman wearing a badge with the name of the supermarket on it. She started accusing me of everything from disturbing the peace, destroying property and scaring other shoppers. I was going to have to win her over with my well reasoned and calmly delivered argumentation.

“I am an adult and I demand to be treated like one!” I declared, making sure my voice carried an air of authority and sophistication.

“OK, sir, but first I’ll have to ask you to please climb out of the meat freezer.”

Reluctantly, I climbed out of my temporary sanctuary. Assorted packets of meat still clung to my jacket as I did so. A rather large crowd had gathered around the freezer and I saw a few of the people point at me and snicker. That’s when I understood what was happening: this whole situation was an elaborate charade to ridicule me. I was on candid camera. I’d have to show my appreciation for this ruse and win them over with my charming personality.

“Ha!” I said.

“Ha, ha!” I added, after some thought.

“Ha Ha Ha HA!” I cackled wildly to really drive home the point.

The supermarket woman started making gestures that indicated she wanted me to quiet down. People were now whispering to each other while giving me strange glances. A part of me started to suspect that this was not a charade after all. I had to deal with this awkward moment in a mature and dignified way.

I ripped off the loose packets of meat that hung from my jacket, flung them into the crowd as a distraction, and ran through the winding maze of shelves towards the exit. On my way out I grabbed a pack of bacon and a jar of strawberry jam. My girlfriend would have to make her own bacon marmalade at home this time around.

Strawberry Jam Red

It’s a pretty straightforward recipe.

I stopped running when I realised nobody was pursuing me. I was close to home now, so I chose to complete the remaining 23 kilometres on foot.

When I arrived home I kicked open the front door and held the jar of strawberry jam and the bacon proudly above my head.

“I am home!” I yelled, “I have the bacon and the jam you wanted!”

My girlfriend lifted her head from the book she was reading and said:

“First of all, please stop kicking in the door. We’ve talked about that. Secondly, I didn’t ask for any bacon or jam. All I did was ask you to go downstairs to pick up the newspapers. You’ve been gone for 5 whole hours now. It’s less than the last time when you punched that sheep, but not by much. Thirdly, you have to promise me that…”

“DAMNIT!” I screamed, “My crayons and the frog are still in the meat freezer! I must go recover them!”

“Shockingly, nothing in that sentence surprises me,” she said.

I placed the strawberry jam and the bacon on the kitchen table and bolted out the door.

***

There Is MoreFor more of this nonsense, check out:

The totally true story of how I got arrested

The totally true story of how I visited the airport

Weekend diary of a man gone mad