It's in the air. Like the strumming of the crickets and cicadas on the breeze of a summer night. It permeates your ears with a tooth-aching pitch. It's getting louder with every passing day.
What is that head-piercing, heart-pounding noise!?
Why, that's the sound of Holiday Shoppers as they get as wound up for the coming festivities as a pack of ravening barbarians at the gates of Rome! Or maybe, Macy's even...!
I've seen this phenomenon of masses of people on the hunt for bargains first hand, and felt it important to warn the uninitiated on the possible consequences of an encounter.
First, be aware that this is no typical crush of people entering a stadium for a football game between the towering titans that clash on a field.
That is a rowdy, but for the most part, fun-loving crowd, just there for the hot dogs, beer and uncontrolled enthusiasm. While it can turn ugly in defeat of a favored team, there are typically no real casualties.
Not so the Holiday Shoppers that attend large events! They are transformed into a slow moving mass of humanity, with thousands of jutting elbows and stomping feet and don't forget the jabbing purses and protruding parcels they hoist at eye-poking level.
There's the body-slamming of professional wrestlers going on in this frenzy of bargain seekers and no referee to ring a bell. Unless you can count the ceaseless jingling of bells by people who willingly dressed like giant elves, prancing around and reminding one of gnomes on steroids!
Second, be aware of the real threat to anyone under five feet. This includes children and senior citizens, who should have known better than to attend a holiday event in the first place!
There is always the real danger for the Holiday Shopper with child in tow, finding they have actually been holding the hand of someone else's kid for the last half-hour, or worse yet, one of those damn elves prancing about!
The Holiday Shopper faces many challenges indeed, as they undertake the search for the most unusual gifts, the perfect memento of another holiday celebrated with loved ones and friends.
I think we all need to remember the risks they faced as they willingly stepped into the flow of festive fanatics!
But then, I'm just a writer sitting sedately in my booth, behind my cheerfully decorated table and signing books for the people smart enough to buy a book as a gift.
I just have to wonder though; if they are so smart...why were they here in the first place?