Thanks for shopping
For those non-Americans who think Thanksgiving is just a made-up holiday in which to stuff yourself with Turkey, watch American football and generally act like a sitcom, you'd be mostly correct, except that Thursday's over-eating frenzy is usually just fortification for what follows a few hours later; Black Friday.
It is, in actual fact, Black Friday that Yanks get most excited about, the day which marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and which tends to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Most people will tell the inquisitive foreigner that Black Friday is so called because it is the day retailers typically get back to black, becoming profitable in one mega day of sales.
It's not uncommon to hear of suburban mothers rubbing shoulders with the homeless, sleeping outside Old Navy just to be one of the first 75 shoppers in line to receive a ‘free' copy of Lego Rockband with every $20 purchase.
It's also not uncommon to see grown men come to blows over the last Nintendo DSi on the shelf, even if it is a girly pink.
And the Apple store... lordy, don't even get me started on the Apple store. With discounts of up to 20 per cent on sought after Macs and iPods, the usually blissed-out shop was a little slice of chaos in San Francisco on Friday.
Walmart too, which flung open its doors at a rather lazy 5am on Friday (many shops opened just after midnight) was sold out of LCD and Plasma TVs by 9am.