The workshop for humor writing, human interest writing, networking and getting published

Erma Bombeck Wrighters' Workshop Banner

Black Friday

Black Friday, a day some women associate with childbirth — a lot of pushing and screaming, but in the end you wind up with a pretty new bundle, sometimes multiples.

I got out of bed and stretched, loosening my muscles for a day of shoving, running and jumping over people who would stand between me and the perfect gift. I dressed in the clothes picked out the night before, not wanting to waste undue time. I wrote my family a note letting them know how much I love them and requested they pray for my safe return from battle. I threw Band aids in my purse (for wartime wounds) and headed out.

The first store on my list is a bookstore to buy myself a Christmas present. I find the book, go to the cafe, order a hot chocolate and muffin and take a seat. From page one I was drawn instantly in and in my head was screaming at the main female character, “Don’t marry the guy.” She married him. What was the matter with her? How could she not notice the red flags?

Somewhere into chapter six two ladies sit at the table next to me and talk about Christmas shopping, which reminds me I need to get busy shopping…but, after this chapter. I find it ironic their conversation is about yarn and knitting needles since the female character in my book attempted to stab her husband with her newly purchased knitting needle before he pushed her down the stairs. If I was to try and kill someone, I would go with the oldies but goodies, like a knife or gun. They’re reliable. I shook my head at her poor weapon selection.

Somewhere into chapter 20, the ladies vacate and are replaced by an elderly couple talking about the parking lot accident they witnessed between two motorists fighting for one spot. The fact the officers were slow to arrive at the scene because they were busy holiday shopping reminded me again, I needed to get busy shopping…but, right after this chapter. The officers, like the detectives in my novel, asked a lot of questions in order to get the true story.

In yet another ironic twist of simultaneous events, an ambulance was called to the crime scene for the injured motorist and the now, unconscious, unsuspecting wife (in my book), who was taken to the hospital.

Somewhere into the last chapter when the cafe’s lights went dark, signaling its closure, so did the lights for the heroine in my book. She never woke from her coma and she never got the chance to use her new knitting needles.

I never did do any Christmas shopping that Black Friday. I consider it the best one ever.

— Cindy Argiento

Cindy Argiento is the author of Deal with Life’s Stress With a Little Humor. Her award-winning columns and essays have appeared in numerous newspapers and in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Click here for her blog.

Reflections of Erma