Admittedly, the last time I participated in the madness of holiday shopping was several years ago as an observer, which is a little like trying to be an “observer” while standing in a mosh pit. One minute I was leaning on a rack of scarves; the next minute I was being used as a battering ram by two large women trying to knock over an electric cart that was blocking the video game aisle.
The women’s names were “Marge” and “Judy.” I know this because, each time before swinging me forward head first, I would hear the following exchange:
“You bet your sweet ASS, Judy!”
After three tries the cart was cleared and I was tossed — discarded, really — onto a table of wool sweaters, where I remained in a fetal position until the three-hour sale ended.
I have avoided the madness of holiday shopping (not to mention wool sweaters) ever since.
With Black Friday only a week away, we here at LAP thought it would be helpful to offer our readers — yes, even Marge and Judy — some scientific insight into the shopping gene carried by most women. To do this, we assembled a group of highly respected sociologists, psychologists, paleontologists and, because Chris loves her weather broadcasts on the Latin Channel, one hot Spanish meteorologist to help explain the shopping-frenzy phenomena. At a combined cost of more than $3,000 a minute, we held an informative 8-second meeting, during which we discovered that Chris doesn’t even speak Spanish.
With our science budget spent, we decided to utilize a man-on-the-street approach, i.e., no man in his right mind should be on the streets anywhere NEAR a shopping mall between now and Dec. 24.
That’s because a recent study conducted by the American Medical Association determined that women — and I’m paraphrasing here — “are insane while Christmas shopping.” According to the study, the act of shopping in a competitive environment causes the release of a hormone similar to “the hormone released by female cheetahs fighting over a zebra carcass.”
As part of the study, researchers compared footage of women shopping at a Macy’s One-Hour Sale to footage of female cheetahs competing for the hindquarters of a wounded wildebeest. After watching the videos, researchers identified what they called the Three Key Progressions of the “huntress” mentality:
1) In both cases the females began by working together to bring down their prey, which in the case of the Macy’s footage was a teenaged clerk named “Todd,” who made the costly mistake of getting separated from his group. Like the wildebeest, he went down quickly, unable to defend himself and his box of Isotoner gloves.
2) Once the quarry had been brought down, the cooperation ended as the females in both examples began to compete for their share of the spoils. Unlike the unfortunate wildebeest, “Todd” was able to save himself by lobbing handfuls of gloves into the casual wear aisle and crawling to safety beneath a circular clothing rack.
3) The most aggressive female in each group took a moment to display her dominance.
By comparison, men who are put into a “competitive shopping environment” have a different physiological reaction. That’s because thousands of years of evolution has led to the creation of special “turkey meat reserves,” which automatically trigger a sudden stream of tryptophan at the mere mention of holiday shopping. Researchers believe this is a defense mechanism designed to render males unconscious as a way of keeping them out of danger between November and December.
“It’s a perfect example of how the evolutionary process is geared toward survival,” said one researcher. “You can’t find yourself surrounded by a pack of wild huntresses if you can’t make it off the couch.”
So as Black Friday approaches, we here at LAP hope that understanding the science behind the
bloodshed carnage excitement of holiday shopping experienced by many women, as well as the hibernation-like state exhibited by most men, will help create a more harmonious holiday season for everyone.
Assuming, of course, you don’t run into “Judy” and “Marge.”
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