WD Fyfe

A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society

Black Friday And The Rocket Man

rocket-1027577_1920Unless you live in a cave on the northern slopes of the Himalayas, you know that yesterday was American Thanksgiving and today is Black Friday.  Black Friday (for all you cave dwellers) is a strange American retail phenomenon that’s slowly circling the globe.  A number of different countries — including mine — are starting to cash in on Black Friday’s consumer spending frenzy.  Personally, I don’t see the attraction, but I don’t have a philosophical problem with people beating each other over the head once a year to save 50 bucks. (I kinda figure it’s like The Purge with credit cards.)  My point is nobody but Americans could a) think up something as silly as Black Friday and b) make it work.  Let me demonstrate.

There’s a guy in California who’s going to launch himself into the air on a homemade rocket to prove that — wait for it — the Earth is flat.  Wow!  Think of the irony!  And this isn’t some Star Wars wannabe, blogging from his parents’ basement.  Oddly enough, Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limousine driver, has already “slipped the surly bonds of earth.”  Back in 2014, he managed to build a rocket, get it airborne (with him in it) and soared for a kilometre or so through the skies of Arizona.  Unfortunately, what goes up must come down, and when Hughes’ DIY project did, he ended up in the hospital.

Aside from the fact that this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard of (and I’ve heard a lot of stupid stuff in my time) I do believe this is a quintessentially American story.  The thing is, Mr. Hughes, dumb as he might be, actually did built a rocket and actually did fire himself into the sky.  Now, question Mikey’s tenuous grasp on reality all you want, but any way you slice it, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.  And this simple tale of one idiot in California is a deep look into the American character.  They are a dynamic people.  They don’t really care what their government, science, mathematics, the natural laws of the universe and sometimes even common sense tell them, ordinary Americans truly believe that — if they work at it — they can do anything.  And then, incredibly, they frequently do.

So, while people all over the world are chasing the American Dream of a 50-inch-Big-Screen-TV, I’ll just say this: “Good luck, Mike Hughes — and Godspeed!”

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8 comments on “Black Friday And The Rocket Man

  1. Darling Doormat
    November 24, 2017

    Hilarious. Five stars all over, no discount 😀

    • wdfyfe
      November 24, 2017

      I know Crete had the original rocket man — Icarus — but do they have Black Friday on Crete?

      • Darling Doormat
        November 24, 2017

        They do for two years now. Cretans are never in a hurry, except for spending money 😀

  2. Rob Alberts
    November 25, 2017

    I just have been working on Black Friday.

    By the way I skipped Thanksgiving.
    Seen enough Turkey or pumpkin.

    Kind regards,

    • wdfyfe
      November 25, 2017

      Our Thanksgiving was in October and Black Friday is an American invasion I don;t worry about.

  3. Dick
    November 25, 2017

    I think it was last year I first heard of Black Friday. This year I received over 25 mail informing me from all sides of grandiose sales opportunities and mayor benefits just for the taking.
    So, however it invaded my life it wasn’t slowly and it certainly managed to irritate me. Even today the mails came in to tell me that many firms decided to give me a second chance and perpetuate this black circus over the weekend. Lucky us. I am not too fond of this American madness and these rubbish mails they sent me, well they might just as well have sent to outerspace or somewhere thereabouts. As you may have guessed I did not grab the oppotunity to enjoy any of the many benefits offered.

    But let’s not complain and have a beer, WD, and say cheers to all American trash rocketed away from earth

    • wdfyfe
      November 25, 2017

      Definitely! Cheers back to you Dick

  4. C. J. Hartwell
    November 27, 2017

    I successfully avoided all the chaos and stayed safely home. I didn’t even read the next day reports on whether all those poor retailers were pleased with the results. That’s how callous I am. I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

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This entry was posted on November 24, 2017 by in Holidays, Popular Culture, Social Comment and tagged , , , , .
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