I had planned to avoid the homicidal citizens who tend to shop or work on Black Friday by staying home and reading. However, that was before I was made aware of something worth going out for. I decided to brave the shops and I thought what better time to test out my Ginger Ninja training?! So I braided my hair back, put on my ninja suit (aka black running pants, a black shirt, and some trainers) and headed off to the Barnes and Noble at the Town Center.
Those of you who know the area are probably thinking I’m nuts for braving the Town Center any time, much less on Black Friday. I assure you, I had confidence in my Ginger Ninja training. Also, I didn’t drive, thus avoiding the all too common parking issue.
I managed to cross the street and get through the first set of double doors unnoticed, partially because the crowds seemed to be sleeping and partially because I hid behind a lamp post and waited out a passing group while pretending to read on a bench. Ginger Ninja skills = 1, Homocidal citizens = 0.
Getting through the second set of doors proved to be more tricky as I was greeted by a store employee, given a flier, and told about the free coffee I could get until 10am. The employee was clearly not homocidal (yet) so I let it slide with Homocidal citizens = .5, Ginger Ninja skills =1.
I promptly went to get my complimentary cup of Joe, which was much needed. You know, for increasing concentration and stealth. This is where my ninja skills began to fail me… I was spotted by THREE slightly less than homocidal citizens: the blue-lipped cashier, the blue-haired barista, and the woman in front of me in line with the lovely green and teal dress. While sipping that oh so heavenly drink, I almost didn’t mind the score shifting to Homocidal citizens = 3.5, Ginger Ninja skills = 1. Almost.
I then decided to turn my attention to the reason I was braving the outside world: BOOKS! Apparently, Barnes and Noble has Signed Editions of books every year on Black Friday and I’ve been living under a rock. Anyway, I made my way to the designated shelves without really being noticed. I consider this a success and bring my score up to Ginger Ninja skills = 2, Homocidal citizens = 3.5.
This is where my skills began to fail me pretty hard. Five customers approached me to discuss different books and what they were about. Then, a store employee came over to offer a basket, which was appreciated because my arms were a little overflowing. However, minutes later, a second employee brought me an empty basket and offered to hold my existing basket at the registers. Smart. Good way to get people to spend more. Convenient. Horrible news for my Ginger Ninja skills, leaving my score at Homocidal citizens = 10.5, Ginger Ninja skills = 2.
Feeling a bit down about my skills (and having mostly filled the second basket), I decided to wander a bit and try to blend in with my surroundings as any good Ginger Ninja will do. I managed to avoid notice through the Nook section only to land in an entire section dedicated to Harry Potter…where I was promptly outed as the HP fan I am by the other present HP fans. I won’t lie… I spent almost half an hour in that section. No regrets (except for the already full basket having no room). Regardless, the entire situation brought the score to Ginger Ninja skills = 3, Homocidal citizens = 13.5.
I decided it was time to cash out before I hurt my wallet any more than I already had. I managed to remain unnoticed between the Harry Potter section and the checkout line, but once in the queue I hit yet another snag in my training. I was noticed by three of the seven other customers in line (because I kept touching the books lined up there), the coordinator (who was actually quite pleasant), and the cashier who rung me out (who was also quite pleasant though she admitted to having just arrived). This brought my tally to a saddening Homocidal citizens = 18.5, Ginger Ninja skills = 4.
After paying, I managed to make it to the bench outside with my bags while escaping notice. The bags are actually really pretty so I stopped to take a photo of them, earning me the attention of a couple sitting at a nearby cafe table. They stared… Homocidal citizens = 20.5, Ninja skills = 5.
Admit it. The bags are pretty.
To avoid further surveillance (because no one likes to be stared at), I decided to cross the street back to where I was to be picked up. I made it to the benches on the other side while avoiding detection using my initial hide-and-blend technique. Classic awesomeness. I decided to read a bit while I sat and tallied my score up to Ginger Ninja skills = 6, Homocidal citizens = 20.5.
Naturally, this is the moment a woman came up and decided to have a 20 minute conversation with a strange Ginger Ninja about time and life. It was a pretty deep conversation but she was obviously immune to my Ginger Ninja skills. I figure that puts my tally around Homocidal citizens = 22, Ginger Ninja skills = 6.
Obviously, I need more training before attempting another test of the Ginger Ninja skills but at least I walked away with some awesome autographed books. And, you know, my head.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to hear more about Ginger Ninja, let me know in the comments!