Forget The Gun And Other Shopping Tips

The holiday shopping season is a challenge for retailers. But amid reports of violence at malls and big box stores, it's apparently a challenge for shoppers, too. Our resident humorist has some advice for holiday bargain seekers.

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Back now with Day to Day.

BRIAN UNGER: With the shopping season under way, reports and photos streamed in over the weekend depicting a nation defined not so much by its holiday spirit, but by the lengths it will go to save a hundred bucks on a high-def TV.

BRAND: It's our humorist, Brian Unger, with today's Unger Report.

UNGER: Long before one crosses the threshold into the zone of super, spectacular, bonanza-like savings of midnight madness, holiday bargain blowouts, everything must go, don't miss it, war zone of fiduciary delight, festival of borrowing, and bankruptcy orgy of ugly sale, the trouble begins in the parking lot, as shoppers compete to park as close to a bargain as possible, trading furious, hateful stares. If we could only drive our cars inside the stores and park in the aisles, now, that would be something. But until that day comes...

(Soundbite of high-pitched whistle)

UNGER: We creep along the asphalt jungle floor stalking our prey, the parking space, looking for a spot to nest. You know, we're a cheetah stealthily hunting a wildebeest on the Serengeti. We spy something walking upright ahead and glide, pulling our car up so close behind on the hooves as not to be threatening, but as to say, I am so taking your spot when you leave. He or she stops at their car - great space - opens the hatchback, and signals to us with a shake of the head and says, I'm just putting my bags away. I am not going anywhere, buddy.

The way we stalk people in parking lots would be in any other setting harassment, all in an effort to avoid walking a tenth of a mile to enter into a mall where, once inside, we will walk a mile and stand for hours. We'll even say the darndest things to each other, like, that's my (squeak, squawk) parking spot, you (squeak, squawk).

(Soundbite of "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year")

Mr. ANDY WILLIAMS: (Singing) It's the most wonderful time of the year.

UNGER: We cannot allow holiday shopping to become an extreme sport. So please, when you go shopping, leave your guns at home. Roll, duck, or cover should not be on anyone's shopping lists this year. Right now, our nation is being measured by its value, not by its values. But while we stimulate the economy, stave off foreclosure, secure financing, score savings, search for bargains, wait in lines, layaway, add, subtract, and multiply, we are, most of all, the sum of our humanity and dignity.

Also, leave your Kevlar vest at home. It will make trying on clothes a lot easier. And that is today's Unger Report. Happy shopping. I am Brian Unger.

(Soundbite of "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year")

Mr. WILLIAMS: (Singing) For the most wonderful time, oh the most wonderful time, oh the most wonderful time of the year.

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