When Kent and I saw the movie Contagion in theaters, we came out shaken but resolute. Lessons learned:
- Food storage is useless unless you have guns and ammunition with which to defend it.
- Guns, ammunition, and the addresses of people who are likely to have food storage are cheaper to obtain and maintain than is actual food storage.
- One must actively project the image of being the kind of people who would not have food storage.
- In an emergency situation, money is less useful than tradeable goods like cigarettes and insulin.
After this weekend, I would add 12″ Disney Frozen dolls to that list of tradeable goods worth stocking up on to use as currency in a national crisis. Just like when Toy Story came out, Disney/Pixar underestimated what a massive hit they had on their hands in Frozen and somehow undermerchandized. I know it sounds like a violation of the physical laws of the universe for Disney to undermerchandize anything, but it’s for real. Not only did the voracious public sweep up all the 12″ Barbie-size Elsa’s and Anna’s from the Disney Store, but they also devoured all the cheaper (is that possible?) department store versions.
If you happened to stock up on Anna’s and Elsa’s for about $18 a pop, you could be reselling them on Craigslist or eBay now for $75 each. Somehow, Santa had the foresight to procure an Anna for Fluffernutter on Black Friday, but for a birthday party this weekend, I scoured the internet testing inventory in all the local stores. I made Kent drive out to the Fair Oaks Toys R Us on Saturday night where in the center of an otherwise empty wall, a single Elsa doll hung in the light of the winter moon like a magical talisman of blessedness. Laaaaaaa!
Someday when we make it through this, we can tell our grandchildren how we all survived the great Frozen Doll Famine of 2013-14.
Meanwhile, I shouldn’t be telling you this, and maybe you’ll forget by next November, but here’s my Black Friday secret. The mall, including the Disney Store, opens at midnight, and the Black Friday doorbuster sale with the deepest discounts continues until 9am. The midnight crush is cruel and unusual punishment. Avoid. It tapers off substantially in the morning hours, but by then, all the cool stuff is in danger of being gone. If you wait until morning, you might miss the worst of the line but come out with only a Pocahontas dress and a Merida’s bear/mom doll. Now you need a cover story for why Santa hates your daughter. Solution: Buy everything the week before, then take in your receipts at 8am (just to make sure you reach the register before 9) for a price adjustment. That’s what I did this Christmas which ensured that I got the right size glittery dress, the coveted Anna doll, and all that other plastic crap the kids wanted for rock bottom prices without getting up at an hour any more unholy than preschool drop-off. The cashier seemed mildly annoyed at having to process each item as a separate price adjustment transaction, but then, she had been working all night at the Disney Store Black Friday sale. I have to believe it wasn’t entirely my fault.
In retrospect, I wish I had seen the movie and realized I should have grabbed an Elsa, too. Or 10 Elsa’s. I’d be a rich woman today!