back to article Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid

This may come as a total surprise to you but today is Black Friday. Yes! It crept up on us unawares without anyone mentioning it once. Indeed, they mentioned it not once but at least a dozen times – each. But this year's Black Friday has a very different feel to those in recent years, especially here in Britain where it is …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Plus one...

    for the George Mikes reference!

    1. Colin Wright

      Re: Plus one...

      I thought it was a nice touch in a nice article.

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    Black Friday ?

    I shall simply ignore it. I have enough tat & don't really need any more.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Black Friday ?

      According to some nondescript store in Kensington High Street (Uniglo or something like that) it seems that "Black Friday" actually runs from Thursday 22nd November through to Wednesday 28th November. Quite how one day can last a week I am not sure but to me it is an indicator not to buy anything tagged "Black [whatever]" in the knowledge that it will be previously unsold, warehoused tat from 2 years ago.

      No, I shall be British and wait for the proper sales that start on Boxing Day, when we all queue up in an orderly fashion, stampede into Harrod's and lay waste.to the china department, safe in the assumption that they buy in cheap and nasty china just for the occasion.

      (Beer, 'cos it's Black Friday today)

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Black Friday ?

        Quite how one day can last a week I am not sure

        Hmmm..last time I got dragged around the shops by The War Department, she assured me it was only for "an hour or so", but it felt like a week :-/

      2. Florida1920 Silver badge
        Coat

        @macjules Re: Black Friday ?

        Quite how one day can last a week I am not sure
        I've had days at work that seemed like years.

        The one with the obsolete big-screen telly in the pocket.

      3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Black Friday ?

        Quite how one day can last a week I am not sure...

        " ...You ask how I know of Toledo, Ohio? Well I spent a week there one day..." - John Denver

      4. Mage Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Black Friday ?

        Carphone warehouse (a long past its sell by date name) has had a "black tag" sale for ages.

        Curiously it's usually empty, while there is often a queue at the mobile phone booth in Tesco. The same Mall has Vodafone, Three and Eir shops, mostly busier than CPW, but less busy than the Tesco booth.

        Yet again Which? is warning that the deals are often bogus or for things you shouldn't buy. Perhaps Dabsy's timely warning should have been LAST week, though Cyber Monday (the worst day of the year to buy online) is not yet arrived.

      5. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: Black Friday ?

        The beer in question is Guinness, then?

    2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Black Friday ?

      But but, shiney!

  3. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Windows

    @ Dabbsy

    Sir are you not able to claim dual nationality, British and also that of your wife, by dint of being married to your wife, or somesuch?

    Thereby we can keep our brother Scots within our beloved Union.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: @ Dabbsy

      Depends on the country she's from. My wife is German, but unfortunately Germany doesn't allow dual-nationality - otherwise I'd consider it to ensure I keep an EU passport for easier travelling. Ahh well!

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: @ Dabbsy

        "unfortunately Germany doesn't allow dual-nationality"

        To be pedantic, lots of countries don't like dual nationality, and will make a big deal about you giving up your old nationality, but it's legally almost impossible for them to do so.

        In general you can't ever not have a nationality, nor renounce your current one if it's your only one. There are some odd exceptions, but in general that's the case.

        When you gain a new nationality, one of two situations occurs. If your current nation won't allow you to gain another one, then you gain the new one, then lose the old. Otherwise you keep both. You can then choose to give up one of them. You can also have one taken away by the nation it belongs too.

        But at no point can nation A remove the nationality of nation B from anyone. Ever.

        The Dutch are even more picky than the Germans, and they admit that, legally, if I'm granted citizenship that I cannot be made to renounce my current nationalities (British and NZ).

        Actually getting nationality is slightly more tricky if you don't actually live in the country.

        According to the draft agreement, anyone who has been in another EU country for 5+ years gets permanent residency (ie nationality less a few bits) immediately upon brexit. If less than 5, then keep current rights, get residency after 5.

        I'm also 99% sure that if the Dabbs household moved to the ancestral home of Mme Dabbs, then Dabbsy gets to come with, and gets to live and work while accumulating the 5 years. Same for children. Exactly which blood relatives are something that is in the haggling details.

        The actual agreements are well worth reading. The UK stays in the EU, follows EU rules, agrees to pay an appropriate contribution and the ECJ is the top court still. But no votes. Even knowing some of the finer haggling points, I don't actually see what the UK has gotten out of this, other than moving the deadline a couple of years down the road.

        Oh, and for the fuckers who tried to pull this shit off, I don't think it's worked. The anti money laundering stuff is part of the deal, including full details of all beneficial ownership.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: @ Dabbsy

          I think Germany want to see actual proof you've renounced your previous non-EU nationality before giving you German nationality.

          So before Brexit you can have them both, after Brexit, Germany will want to see the letter from your caring sharing Home Office saying fuckity bye. However even so you can then go back to Home Office later and pay a lot of money and (hopefully) get it back again.

          Meanwhile, e.g. Spain wants you to solemnly pinky promise you will renounce your previous nationality at the ceremony where you get your Spanish nationality, but doesn't do much more than that.

          As for permanent residency, most EU countries allow the foreign partner to stay with their family whatever his of her income. The exception is, of course, the UK where high income threshold test is individual instead of per household and it doesn't matter if the partner is forced to leave as Skype apparently ticks the "right to family life" box.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @ Dabbsy

          "I don't actually see what the UK has gotten out of this"

          It's Taken Back Control.

          Yes, I know it's meaningless. It always was. But it was what a fraction of the nation voted for.

          Now some of them have realised they won't actually done that come Brexit day.

          What they haven't realised yet is that if they get a hard Brexit they still won't have taken back control. Half the world's map isn't coloured pink any more. The sun set on the empire long ago. There is no control to take back.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi

            Re: @ Dabbsy

            In general you can't ever not have a nationality,

            Ever heard of stateless persons?

          2. Jamtea

            Re: @ Dabbsy

            "Yes, I know it's meaningless. It always was. But it was what a fraction of the nation voted for."

            It's a bigger fraction that has ever voted in anything than has voted for anything else in British history. If you want to diminish the voting majority by trying to disparage it as an insignificantly small fraction, no vote ever has tallied the numbers that Brexit has, and there are many elections that have had smaller majorities.

            Agree or disagree with the outcome, campaigning or whatever you like, the legitimacy of the actual referendum vote itself is indisputable. 72.2% of voters turning out with over 33.5 million votes isn't too shabby for any vote. With a 3.8% majority in favour, it's a clearly legitimate majority also.

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

              Re: @ Dabbsy

              Well, what with all the insecurity around brexit, I am glad I could get Dutch citizenship (having a Dutch mother and being born and raised in the Netherlands), but much to my surprise I could simply keep my British citizenship (which I got automatically through having British father). In the past they did a lot of huffing and puffing about dual nationality, but now suddenly there wasn't a problem. I still have a good five years of validity on my UK passport, and given the price of these things, I was glad I didn't have to discard it and get a Dutch one instead (and yes, I have Scottish and Dutch ancestry).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ Dabbsy

                If you are (un)lucky enough to be born in NI then you are at least guaranteed dual nationality - British and Irish citizenship.

                Given brexit, there have been some surprising characters who have exercised this right who would otherwise denounce their Irish-ness...

                (AC because it's a whole other can of worms)

              2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: @ Dabbsy

                The Netherlands huffs and puffs about dual nationality, but I don't think any country would (or even could) make you renounce a nationality which is yours at birth... the only thing is you just took a while to get it officially recognised.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Dabbsy

        "[...] but unfortunately Germany doesn't allow dual-nationality [...]"

        When did that happen? Back in the early Noughties a young friend from Turkey (Turkish father, German mother) was saying that when he reached conscription age he was allowed to choose between Turkey or Germany for his military service. Presumably he chose Germany as he later went to university there.

        1. Alistair Dabbs

          Re: @ Dabbsy

          I’m not sure how I feel about “nationality”. I was born and brought up as an Anglo-Scot and even though I suppose I’m a bit of a Francophile, I’d only be pretending if I acquired a French passport. It’s a bit like those annoying men and women you meet from time to time who evidently benefited from a comfortable middle-class upbringing but pretend to be working-class heroes.

  4. Naughtyhorse

    plus 1

    for the dan reference shoehorned in at the end.

    good work that man!

  5. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Are you crazy Malheureux! If people stop buying crap, economy would collapse!

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Quote

    Bah humbug. When Black Friday comes, I'm gonna dig myself a hole.

    You'll need the queue for the shovels, then queue up at the official hole digging area (might be a bit of a wait due to all the MPs/cabinet ministers currently digging)

  7. chivo243 Silver badge

    Queue Jumping

    Ever been to the Netherlands? I think they were an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the Netherlands ... an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

      I was in a Dutch bank some years ago. The branch was virtually empty, one customer being served at the single staffed counter position, and there was no queue. I stood generally in the vicinity of where a queue should be formed, having seen nobody around, let alone one with with a sort of "I am waiting my turn" cast to their general demeanour.

      The customer being served finished, and as they walked off, I went the few steps to the counter, then...

      .. apparently from nowhere, a random and somewhat angry Dutchman appeared and remonstrated with me, presumably for stealing his place in the queue. I am not sure how I was supposed know the queue was actually behind a curtain, or the large pot plant, or where ever the hell it was he had been hiding away, and not at the pole in the vicinity of the counter, where it seemed likely any queue should be formed, but hey. I didn't much see the point in arguing. It would have been tricky in any case, what with me not speaking any Dutch.

      Presumably it was a spatially dispersed queue, where all parties have to to play a sort of Netherlandish version of hide-and-seek, and join the queue by first finding the last person in it, then remembering who and where they were, before hiding themselves so the next-comer can join in the fun.

      This may only have been a uniquely Delft tradition though, and not typical of the Dutch at all. I don't recall it ever happening again, but then I did start checking more assiduously for any superficially nonchalant "I'm not waiting in a queue" body language that concealed a true, darker purpose.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: the Netherlands ... an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

        I learned early on to count the number of people in the room, these days anything remotely important with a queue has a paper chit with your number on it. Perhaps you forgot to take a number?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the Netherlands ... an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

          "Perhaps you forgot to take a number?"

          Many years ago it took us some wasted time in Sweden before we twigged the number issuing machine and the number annunciator.

        2. Phil Endecott Silver badge

          Re: the Netherlands ... an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

          > Perhaps you forgot to take a number?

          Trouble is there are inevitably two buttons on the take-a-number machine.

          I remember in somewhere Scandinavian the two buttons were labelled roughly “Homtyfomtybumfluff” and “Expedition”.

          I asked the person behind me if she could possibly translate these for me and she said, “I’m sorry I don’t know the English for Homtyfomtybumfluff, but Expedition is Expedition”. Since I wasn’t going on an expedition, I pressed Homtyfumtybumfluff. Some sort of klaxon went off out the back and a new person with a different uniform appeared in a new window whose curtain was raised, and my number appeared above it. I walked up purposefully to ask for my “three stamps for postcards to Scotland please’” and found this was the counter for passport applications, driving licenses, gun permits and so on. I sheepishly returned to the back of the “expedition” queue.

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: the Netherlands ... an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

        Sounds like you encountered a version of the "Barber Shop" queuing system

        1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: the Netherlands ... an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

          The barber system

          The old look around and getting the nod of latecomers to approach the hallowed barbering chair.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've already done my black Friday shopping, I had to fight off three nuns and a priest, but I got the last “Peace on Earth” wall hanging.

  9. Mycho Silver badge

    Scottish passport

    True fact, many years ago I went to university on Scotchland in case they were about to declare independence so I could say I lived in both.

    It's a decent place if you like chips, cold things and sore ankles.

    1. DuchessofDukeStreet

      Re: Scottish passport

      We have IrnBru. No further discussion required.

      And whisky.

      QED

      1. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: Scottish passport

        And Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Scottish passport

          and intestines,liver and kidneys boiled in a sheep stomach (perhaps they dont taste nice deep fried?). Mmm hearty breakfast (not a mickey take I do like haggis)

          1. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: Scottish passport

            You can get Irn Bru and Tunnocks in the South of England.

          2. PerlyKing
            Thumb Up

            Re: Haggis

            And lungs. Don't forget the lungs!

            1. Mycho Silver badge

              Re: Haggis

              Yes, they have lungs in England too.

  10. andy gibson

    payday

    Speak for yourself, I'm paid on the 20th.

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: payday

      Lucky you.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: payday

        Does it matter? I have credit cards.

        1. FlamingDeath Bronze badge
          Meh

          Re: payday

          Mine pop back out of the reader with an "Eeeek" sound

  11. Gio Ciampa

    Today IS payday...

    ...as the 25th is at the weekend, so they bring it forward for some reason...

    ...not that I've read any of the 3 million (it seems) special offer emails I've had this week.

    (That said, I do have a couple of things I need to buy soonish, so I'll be playing the "what odds on those things not being in a sale" game later...)

    1. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: Today IS payday...

      It's a curious indictment of British pay that pay dates can vary so much. Currently I'm waiting until next Friday for my pay as I'm now paid on the last working day of each month. But historically I have been paid also on the last Friday of each month and on the 25th of each month. This can then cause issues with bills when you align them with one pay date to then change jobs and discover that all your bills now leave the bank the day before you get paid.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: Today IS payday...

        I ended up making sure all the bills were timed for the first fortnight of the month for that very reason.

        (I've gone from "Last Tuesday" to "28th" to "Last Friday" to "25th" over the years...)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Today IS payday...

          "I ended up making sure all the bills were timed for the first fortnight of the month for that very reason."

          As a variation I used to get bank statements in the middle of the month so I could work out how bad the remainder was going to be and prioritise things accordingly.

          (Current bank adopted the practice of sending statements whenever there was a full page to print. It's now abandoned that practice and apparently sends out a statement after some random fraction of a full page has been generated. What they never seem to have worked out is what every other bank I've used over several decades has accomplished: print monthly and shove as many pages as that requires into a single envelope. The wonders of modern banking IT.)

          1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge
            FAIL

            Re: Today IS payday...

            Strangest pay system I encountered was a big blue megacorp who paid you in advance for the month you're about to work.

            It meant that when you join / they borg your employer you get an extra month's pay.

            It also means that when you leave to go to a company with normal backpay, you had best had a month's wages saved up to live off.

            I then went to a company that paid on the very last day of the month, however once they started pushing that out to the 1st-3rd of the next month (and presumably skimming the interest) I started looking to leave. They claimed they would pay for any fees relating to missed payments, what they wouldn't answer was how they would repair any damage to employee's credit records.

            I'm now paid 25th-ly, or the nearest working day beforehand. Which is strange when it is about a week before the end of the month, most of my bills come out at the start of the month, I look at my wages and panic. But then remember I'm a few weeks off the next pay.

            Once had a standing order to a company who didn't understand how bank holidays worked. It was due to go out on the 1st, but if that was a Saturday and there was a bank holiday (or two!) the money might not transfer until the Tuesday 4th or Wednesday 5th. Cue phone calls "Where's our money?" "When the bank sends it"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Today IS payday...

        I generally dealt with the variability using two techniques that I called "budgeting" and "saving" that meant that I didn't run out of money at the end of the month.

        One place I worked a colleague complained that being paid a week early at Christmas caused problems because the money had to last an extra week. I'm glad to say that all 3 of us in earshot had the same reaction.

        1. A.P. Veening

          Re: Today IS payday...

          "I generally dealt with the variability using two techniques that I called "budgeting" and "saving" that meant that I didn't run out of money at the end of the month."

          At the end of my money, there is always some month left ;)

        2. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

          Re: Today IS payday...

          Some people are just not good with money, personally, I can't help but see money as worthless bits of paper with some mugs face on it that I have this urget to get rid of it as quickly as possible

          Economy?

          Yeah, once upon a time, this word economics used to mean something entirely different

          Now it means propping up a failing system

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Today IS payday...

            ours is down to when the accounting lady presses the BACS button on the payroll website.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Today IS payday...

          I generally dealt with the variability using two techniques that I called "budgeting" and "saving" that meant that I didn't run out of money at the end of the month.

          That has a pre-requisite. Being adequately paid.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Today IS payday...

        Don't quote me on this but I think it's to do with how the company accounts are run, monthly = end of month, 4 weekly = 28th.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Today IS payday...

          "4 weekly = 28th."

          There are only 3 occasions every 4 years when the 28th of one month is followed 4 weeks later by the 28th of the next.

      4. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

        Re: Today IS payday...

        The slow descent into idiocracy

      5. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Today IS payday...

        It's a curious indictment of British pay that pay dates can vary so much.

        No, the curious indictment is Universal Credit has so many problems dealing with them.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Today IS payday...

      ...as the 25th is at the weekend

      We get it (oo-er!) on the last Thursday of the month. Whether we want it or not..

  12. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    TBH, "TV sets built in 2006" doesn't sound bad. You could probably find one with decent enough specs, but without any "intelligence" or connectivity.

    1. j.bourne
      FAIL

      Being black Friday - and given the 2006 manufacture date it'll probably be analogue only....

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      TBH, "TV sets built in 2006" doesn't sound bad. You could probably find one with decent enough specs, but without any "intelligence" or connectivity.

      Damn straight TVs unencumbered by 'Smart' sound positively wonderful.

      Stayed in a Hotel recently where the TV kept jumping to some app from regular viewing due to some stray signal from the remote operated by the person in the next room.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Stayed in a Hotel recently where the TV

        If you can't find an off switch, there's always the power switch on the wall.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, sneaky Dabbsy knows his stuff. He chose the year specifically to put it in the LCD-with-shitty-backlighting age.

    4. Mage Silver badge
      Flame

      "TV sets built in 2006"

      Ireland uses DVB-T only, no DVB-T2 for HD, but even SD uses the MPEG4 / H264 + MHEG5

      We were still getting UK market models AFTER Analogue switch off in 2012. I think some UK owned chains STILL selling models that ONLY work via HDMI and SCART etc.

      Don't get me started on Tesco's "HD Ready" Techika models either. "HD Ready" = Inferior panels that can display the HD input on HDMI, downsampled.

      So no a 2006 TV is a seriously bad idea.

      1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: "TV sets built in 2006"

        A few years ago I visited Ireland and wondered why all the TVs were 'Walker' brand, it turns out they were the only Soarview compatible TVs.

        And HD Ready stickers were as useful as the old Vista Capable stickers.

    5. wayne 8

      One that doesn't "watch" you?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You need to work for the FCC

    Every day is a Pai day

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: You need to work for the FCC

      "Every day is a Pai day"

      Is that how it's pronounced? I always assumed it was closer to 'pie'.

      1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: You need to work for the FCC

        I think it's a visual pun rather than aural. The Pai man himself is rather good at visual jokes as he seems designed to be disliked at first glance, even if you don't know what he does.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You need to work for the FCC

        I always assumed it was closer to 'pie'.

        Every day is pie day? Sounds good to me. Pass the HP sauce.

  14. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Interesting...

    Interesting that the first picture is of a row of washing machines because my current one has been on the blink for a while, and I have been waiting to see what deals would be on offer. I've just bought one online today that is a genuine £200 cheaper than it was a few months ago when I first thought I'd need to buy a new one.

    I'm not buying anything else though, and I'm certainly not going anywhere near any physical shops until I absolutely have to.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Interesting...

      "I'm certainly not going anywhere near any physical shops until I absolutely have to."

      I did this morning, it wasn't so bad. Got some milk and a croissant. They weren't on offer though.

      1. John 110

        Re: Interesting...

        "I did this morning, it wasn't so bad. Got some milk and a croissant. They weren't on offer though."

        But were they Black...

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          Re: Interesting...

          ".."I did this morning, it wasn't so bad. Got some milk and a croissant. They weren't on offer though."

          But were they Black...."

          Wait...what...? Black milk??

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Interesting...

            Black milk??

            Now with added charcoal. To make sure any nasty toxins are mopped up.

            Alternatively - proper stout. No - not that stuff they make in BlarneyLand, but the stuff they make in the Midlands (and sometimes in Laaandun)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Interesting...

              "Now with added charcoal. "

              That's a French cheese. It used to be a layer of ash to seal each day's top surface. Nowadays it is rather more clinical to preserve the traditional appearance.

              1. BlartVersenwaldIII
                Mushroom

                Re: Interesting...

                There are several black british cheeses incorporating charcoal, not just ash-coated cheeses. One example they stock at my local deli is this one from oop norf;

                http://www.thegreatbritishcharcuterie.co.uk/charcoal-cheddar-2

                I'm not much of a cheddar person, but this one definitely sits in my "cheddars that are actually very nice" pile.

          2. Spanners Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Interesting...

            Wait...what...? Black milk??

            From black cows of course...

        2. DJV Silver badge

          "But were they Black"

          Give em a week or two...

        3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Interesting...

          Black milk I don't know, but black cheese is a thing around here.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
            Trollface

            We have brown cows in a pasture a few clicks from my village.

            I told my niece and nephew that that's how they get their chocolate milk.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Interesting...

          "But were they Black..."

          I bought a 500g punnet of black grapes from Waitrose this afternoon in the small window of opportunity after they do a final*** price slash on "last day" fruit and veg. £2.50 down to 89p.

          ***If you go 15 minutes before closing time - they often do "everything 10p" that's still left in the "last day" trolley. Works really well if in the shelf restocking they have suddenly discovered nice things with expiring dates. Recently the lady on the cheese counter came looking for me as I was browsing the trolley. She offered me an overlooked 1.6kg unopened pack of Blue Stilton for £2.90 a kg. Several neighbours' households shared in that windfall.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Interesting...

            Stilton has a sell-by-date these days? It's bad enough that they have to make it with pasteurized milk. I guess that makes it official ... Britain is no longer what it was.

  15. N2 Silver badge

    Meanwhile in western France...

    You'd think it would be Vendredi Noir, mais non c'est Black Friday

    The shopping 'mall' at our Leclerc was almost deserted, no surging unwashed crowd having camped the previous night fighting over the remains of a dis-embowled television.

    We did go for a Black Friday three course lunch with wine reduced from 12 euros to 12 euros and very nice it was too.

    1. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

      Re: Meanwhile in western France...

      reduced from 12 euros to 12 euros

      That's not what I call a bargain.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile in western France...

        @FrogAndChips: That's not what I call a bargain.

        Three courses and wine? Doesn't sound bad for €12.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile in western France...

        "That's not what I call a bargain."

        By all accounts some stores raise their prices just for Black Friday.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Meanwhile in western France...

      "You'd think it would be Vendredi Noir, mais non c'est Black Friday"

      Black Friday is a disgusting Anglo-Saxon custom and merely to say the words "Vendredi Noir" would defile the language, so it remains untranslated.

    3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile in western France...

      The shopping 'mall' at our Leclerc was almost deserted,

      I thought "Leclerc" was the master-of-disguise member of the French Resistance in "'Allo 'Allo"...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile in western France...

        Actually, that's also how French main battle tanks are called...

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile in western France...

          "Actually, that's also how French main battle tanks are called."

          Well, you can buy tea at Leclerc, and char is the French abbreviation for tank, so it all adds up.

    4. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile in western France...

      Similar thing here; no Viernes Negra just Black Friday.

      I had to go shopping for timber to build a new work bench in my workshop both Leroy Merlin and Brico Depot (AKA B&Q) were deserted, as far as I'm concerned every day can be Black Friday here if it makes shopping that easy.

    5. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

      Re: Meanwhile in western France...

      To be fair, the ongoing gillets jaunes protest has meant most supermarket's have been deserted this week even in mid week. Especially when you get outside of Paris, it has been common to see a roundabout with gillet jaunes slowing traffic, although also as given outside of Paris most people seem to support this, its all very polite and controlled and just viewed as a minor thing that was brewing over years of the particular cause repeating itself ( Edouard Philippe completely ignoring vast swathes of the country outside of Paris who were most affected, who didn't want either this or the 80km limit etc).

      What I'm *really* shocked at is to get this far down the comments and unless I'm blind, not seeing *anything* by ledswinger, phil o'sophical and all the other brexit troll's who usually inhabit these sections. Their handlers must be cutting back on the wage bills by only having them work in single time periods :-)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile in western France...

        I think you meant to typo "Gilet's jaune's"?

        Even French greengrocer's know how to spell ...

  16. Dr_N Silver badge
    Stop

    And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

    Just stop it.

    1. james_smith

      Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

      We're celebrating getting shot of a bunch of religious nutters. Sadly they've been breeding though.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

        And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

        ??

        I've never heard of that yet. We used to have Harvest Festival when I was a kid, not sure if it still goes on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

          " We used to have Harvest Festival when I was a kid, not sure if it still goes on."

          My neighbour's son is at a UK Catholic secondary school. IIRC he has to take a tin of something for a collection for the needy about that time of year. Presumably the ongoing legal requirement for a religious assembly allows the school to dragoon all their pupils*** into a Christian Harvest festival service.

          I would be surprised if the CofE churches don't still make such collections for display by the altar - although probably much diminished. The Waitrose food bank basket probably outdoes them all year round. Today it was starting to overflow with boxes of mince pies and biscuits.

          "We plough the fields and sca-tter the good seed on the land". Enough childhood repetition makes permanent memories even for atheists.

          *** I wonder if atheists are recognised exceptions these days. That word wasn't even part of the vocabulary in my 1960s non-denominational secondary school. Assembly separation was limited to RC and Jews. Everyone else was basically in the set "CofE" - including the various brands of non-conformists and one Mormon.

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

          "I've never heard of that yet. We used to have Harvest Festival when I was a kid, not sure if it still goes on."

          Since the Cameron and May governments came to power, charities have had to collect produce for the poor 365 days a year, not just one Sunday.

          And yes, it makes me angry.

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

            Ah. And a downvote from someone who obviously hasn't got a clue what is happening in this country outside his little bubble.

            A lot of the people who are having to use food banks are in work. I know people who work in them, anyone who tells you they are not needed is a liar, or perhaps a Conservative MP - but I repeat myself.

            1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

              Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

              Indeed a recent UN report denounced UK inequality at 'Dickensian' levels.

              This news was handily buried by all the Brexit too-ing and fro-ing and resignations.

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: And to those Brits who celebrate Thanksgiving:

      It we Brits had a day off on the anniversary of every time we'd stolen land from natives, we'd never get any work done.

  17. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Meanwhile in Welsh Wales

    the preferred term for the day known by USAians as 'Black Friday' is Diwrnod Gwario Gwirion - Stupid Spending Day.

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Meanwhile in Welsh Wales

      Nice one. Though google translate gives "mindless" for your stupid, and thinks Day should be Days.

  18. David Roberts Silver badge
    Windows

    Having a bad week

    Twinged my back and on pain killers so somewhat spaced.

    I bought a Black Friday bargain bluetooth speaker and kept thinking "I know there's some reason I shouldn't have done that.".

    Now waiting for it to charge before playing the linked track by steel....and thinking "Steelers Wheel? Steeleye Span? I'm sure I know that wierd looking guy holding the blue knob...".

    Sigh.

    1. Martin
      Thumb Up

      Re: Having a bad week

      Steely Dan, as I'm sure you know really.

      And it's a great performance, marred by rubbish sound until the 4:04 mark - and then suddenly something goes "click" and it's excellent sound for the rest of the video.

  19. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    I am really surprised

    I am truly astounded that in this age where some snowflake or other will twist the meaning of almost any word in order to claim that it is offensive to some minority group or other, that the mere mention of the words, "Black Friday" does not lead to an immediate teeth-gnashing outcry from "those who know best".

    1. Boo Radley

      Re: I am really surprised

      I always refer to it as African American Friday just to be pc.

  20. Mage Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Crap's Chocolate?

    "L'article « Crap's chocolate » n'existe pas sur ce wiki !

    Vous souhaitez le créer ? Vérifiez auparavant que le sujet n'a pas déjà été traité dans les résultats ci-dessous, puis assurez-vous qu'il est admissible dans l'encyclopédie.

    Pour créer « Crap's chocolate », suivez le guide !"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Crap's Chocolate?

      Not sure how many people in the UK, particularly England, have learned French in recent years. Even the Baby Boomers were only guaranteed such lessons if they passed the 11+. Before 1944 the Junior Technical Schools were specifically barred by law from teaching foreign languages. The few pupils nowadays who do choose Modern Languages seem to prefer Spanish or German.

      From my time working in Luxembourg there are a large number of French "comic" books on my shelves - mostly Asterix but also a few of the purely adult ones like Lauzier.

  21. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    With perfect timing

    As I reach the end of the comments I get an email trying to sell me crap I do not want.

    It's like Booking.com and its belief that because I once stayed in Harrogate I want to stay there every time an hotel there has a vacancy. Yes I did once buy a laptop from you. Six months ago. So why do I want to buy an old model inferior spec laptop from you?

    I would be all in favour of creepily intrusive monitoring and AI if it would do a decent job, work out that I never, ever buy stuff from emails, and stopped sending them.

    1. Andy A

      Re: With perfect timing

      The number of traders who spam everyone whose email address they can get their hands on is very annoying.

      I once used an email address to allow a company dealing in bathroom fittings to tell me when they would be ready for collection. They seem to have assumed that I would be refurbishing my bathroom at least three times a week. As soon as the goods were collected, they were added to the Always Block list.

      I can count on one finger the number of traders reaching my inbox who get it right.

      Having bought something for car restoration from an online trader which was difficult to source elsewhere, they started sending me their circulars, usually once or twice a month. All are about their special offers, are for different types of product, or are pointing me at a video showing their products being used. When I buy more items (about once a year), they recognise that I am already in their list, and don't send me multiple mailshots. When they asked me about GDPR, I happily ticked the box to continue the relationship.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: With perfect timing

      "It's like Booking.com and its belief that because I once stayed in Harrogate I want to stay there every time an hotel there has a vacancy."

      The only sensible way to deal with booking.com is to have the email server control open on another tab ready to click to set the email address you gave then to bounce the moment the confirmation email hits your inbox.

  22. mad_dr

    I love Black Friday

    It's such a convenient way to unsubscribe from all those mailing lists I should have been more careful to opt-out of (or didn't intend to sign up for in the first place) over the past 12 months.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're doing it all wrong

    You need a holiday on Thursday where you stuff yourself to the gills, watch some football – your kind or ours, it doesn't matter.

    Then you'll wake up Friday morning full of energy for shopping.

    (And to the nutters that insist on calling us USAians – you know who you are – just stop it. You know the proper word. Just try telling a Canadian that he's an American too and see how far Canadian politeness really goes.)

    1. peter_dtm
      Stop

      Re: You're doing it all wrong

      No, no, no !

      Canadians are North North Americans- the rebels south of the border are USA-ians

      (Though it does sometimes take a while for a N N American to count to 2)

      1. DanceMan
        Happy

        Re: You're doing it all wrong

        We Canadians had Thanksgiving back in October. Leaves us more time for shopping when Black Friday comes around.

        And we still have Boxing Day.

  24. spold Bronze badge

    Culturally myopic

    Singles Day 11/11 in China out-does this by a factor of 10 (closer to 30 this year actually).

    Originally routed in a day to celebrate being single as opposed to Valentine's day... (And the 1 is similar to the Chinese character for single)

    Alibaba steals the show ;-)

    1. spold Bronze badge

      Re: Culturally myopic

      Oh really - 40 thieves do I have to try that hard :-)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happiness is ... being an indignant, humourless bastard.

  26. Deimos

    All the world should celebrate thanks giving

    And give Thanks we are not Americans...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All the world should celebrate thanks giving

      Correct me if I am wrong but wasnt the tradition of eating turkey at Thanksgiving starteď when the native Americans gifted some turkeys to the first settlers?

      I wonder what we'd be eating at Thanksgiving if the gift had been - say - little pussycats

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: All the world should celebrate thanks giving

        The turkey probably wasn't all that important originally. See this page for a pretty definitive rundown.

        As for the pussy, what you choose to nibble on in the privacy of your own home is none of my business.

  27. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Happy

    Speaking of queuing..

    You forgot the Black Friday tradition for idiots waiting for hours in the freezing drizzle outside of Wal-mart or similar at 5AM for the doors to open so the first 50 can grab a child's bicycle or Tickle Me Elmo for half price. There have actually been stores with a police presence outside to maintain order when the doors open.

    Now grocery shopping is a different story on Black Friday. Everyone is eating leftovers after the US Thanksgiving holiday, no one wants to face the thought of buying/preparing more food, and all the idiots are Christmas shopping. So there is practically no one in the grocery stores. It's blissful.

    1. #define INFINITY -1

      Re: Speaking of queuing..

      Sounds a bit harsh to me... people who hunt for bargains often are, you know, cash strapped. Like maybe a few steps down the ladder from those who don't need to.

  28. Toilet Duk

    I work in the cyber-security department of a bank and I'm currently on cyber-weekend overtime watching Netflix and eating chocolate biscuits while nothing happens. I'm getting double-time plus time off in lieu so I'd like to thank the fatties and thickos for making this happen.

    1. #define INFINITY -1

      Groan! It isn't the 'fattys and thickos' making this happen, it is the capitalistic system. I will refrain from mocking someone to whom this isn't as clear as freshly cleaned toilet (?)

  29. Tezfair
    WTF?

    Bullshit prices

    Few weeks ago, Ebuyers Home and Business 2016 Office somewhere around £158. Last week had to buy one (16/11), £174.99, Black Friday deal, £157.49. ex VAT prices.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Bullshit prices

      During the meanwhile, LibreOffice is £0. WTF indeed.

      (Yes, it DOES work in 99.9999% of all cases ... but I'm certain you can find an really good excuse to be in that 0.0001% of the "Special" people ... )

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Bullshit prices

        "During the meanwhile, LibreOffice is £0. WTF indeed.

        (Yes, it DOES work in 99.9999% of all cases ... but I'm certain you can find an really good excuse to be in that 0.0001% of the "Special" people ... )"

        The problem is the manager who has managed to produce a Word document which Word allows but which breaks every rule of sane layout and typography, and the helots have to do something with it. Probably even the previous generation of Word won't render it properly, let alone a different office suite.

        As that's the intended effect, it's a feature not a bug.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Bullshit prices

          As I said, the "special" people. The ones that intentionally or unintentionally make life difficult for the vast majority of us.

  30. Luiz Abdala
    Pint

    Everything for half of the doubled price...

    In Brazil, this event is aptly nicknamed Black Fraud day.

    Every item that cost 200.00 the week before now has a sale sign "From 500 to 250".

    To top it off it doesn't apply JUST to Electronics. Oh no. Supermarkets. Soft drinks. Beer. In stacks that defy gravity and the safety of customers should they collapse. As if I needed a discount to buy Pilsen, Lager or Coca-Cola in large quantities.

    Apparently black ballons were on sale too, because they were used for decoration. It looked like a birthday party for Goth children, with mostly black clothing, black nails to match, and purple hair. A complete mockery of what it should have been.

    I was going to buy Heineken regardless, not included in the event ---> icon

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Everything for half of the doubled price...

      "I was going to buy Heineken regardless"

      They don't sell beer in Brazil?

  31. Slx

    Amusing trademarks work both ways.

    Look up what Pajero means in Spanish. I cannot believe people in the UK and Ireland drive around in cars with it printed on the back.

    Let's just say it begins with w and rhymes with banker.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Amusing trademarks work both ways.

      Don't be silly. Pájaro, translated literally, means bird. The word for wanker in Spain is gilipollas; in much of Latin America it is el pendejo (for boys) or la pendeja (for girls).

      Now, colloquialisms and slang can make pretty much any word mean pretty much anything ... and there are a lot of colloquial versions of Spanish around the world.

      1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: Amusing trademarks work both ways.

        It's like the old urban myth of the Nova / no-go, which was renamed in South America. (Spain used the Opel Corsa name like the rest of Europe).

        Or the actual case of the Toyota MR2, which didn't go down well in French (Merdeux) and was renamed MR-S.

        And the Citroen Evasion which was renamed Synergie in the UK, as 'Evasion' tends to mean 'Getting away *with* it' all rather than *from* it all.

      2. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

        Re: Amusing trademarks work both ways.

        *cough*

        https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/spanish-english/pajero

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Amusing trademarks work both ways.

          *cough*

          http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/pajaro

  32. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The paving slab laptop doesn't sound too bad. Build quality and serviceablity we'll never see again in the name of shaving a few more microns off the thickness.

    On other fronts - I was looking for a box to build a new MythTV system. Oh, look here's one in $PopularVendor's list on Black Friday offer. It's the one that takes a full height* optical drive. The options for slim-line and slot-loading are full price. Are they trying to shift old stock.

    *For pedants - yes I too remember when that size was called half height. If I put my mind to it I can probably find an original full height, i.e. the same as and 8" drive, 5 3/4" floppy drive in the garage.

  33. drkw

    Old Shopper

    I decided at last to get a 1TB £117 SSD on black Friday. Made an order and it was accepted by the usual big retailer. Shortly after I was informed that delivery would be from end of Dec to Feb. Not really miffed since it was for me, not a Christmas present for someone else (the bill would then come much later). Also I had been looking on Currys site at Dyson vacs, but even 10% discount was not enough to tempt me. Next day my web viewing was showing ads from Dyson Direct. Among the offers was an older version (V6) at £180, which I took. How did a Currys view generate a Dyson Direct advert?

    My opinion is that older stuff can be better than newer, since manufacturers' research is often directed at product cost cutting rather than improvement. Mr Dyson may be the exception, but improvements are often just tiny increments and not worth the price hike (eg Intel). The gadget Show recently compared old with new and a 12 year old secondhand sound system soundly beat a new one at a higher price. I rest my case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old Shopper

      "My opinion is that older stuff can be better than newer, [...]"

      My old dishwasher was advise as uneconomical to repair. The modern one - as advertised - is much quieter. Unfortunately many dishes now need hand washing before a (hopefully) sterilising machine wash.

      Ditto the old clothes washing machine. The new one has a special device to stop inlet water leakage into the drum between washes. The old one never had that problem - the new one is often half full of water that has to be emptied before it can be used. To rub salt in the wound the new one is a cold feed only - so cannot use the more economic source of hot water via the gas boiler.

  34. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Applause

    Applause. Though British are not the only ones to queue orderly. As illustrated by this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxqwXNfYmOQ

    Around 3:20

  35. cpage

    Continentals make fun of our tendency to form queues

    A few years ago one of my colleagues, visiting from the Netherlands but very familiar with this country, said that he was walking along a London street and stopped for a minute to look at an interesting building, considering taking a photo of it. Almost immediately a queue formed behind him, assuming that he was at the front of a queue for some reason.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Black Friday (well, around here anyway) will always be the last Friday before the Christmas shutdown when everyone hits the town and gets absolutely bladdered. Its probably more enjoyable than the imported version, although as expensive and you do still go home with bruises.

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