O P E R A T I O N :
B L O O D B A T H
A SOLDIER'S GUIDE TO HOLIDAY SHOPPING
STAFF SGT. DIANA GROVE
Attention, soldiers! Holiday shopping is not for the meek! Due to rampant seasonal consumption, Christmas shopping has become an increasingly dangerous operation! Prepare yourself now with the following guidelines or risk unnecessary injury or death!
Holiday Shopping Gear
Mall Combat Maneuvers
- Never fail to wear proper footwear when entering a holiday war zone. The average shopping mall contains more blood, guts, and carnage than the Gaza Strip during a shower of frogs. Therefore, shrimping boots, toxic-spill rubbers, nurse shoes, or anything that sports a three-inch soul and can be hosed down will suffice. A decisive heel kick can be used for crushing the trachea of an overly zealous mall elf or an advancing perfume sprayer. Also, a secret heel compartment filled with razor blades may come in handy when a fistfight breaks out in Leisurewear.
- Without question, wear expandable pants. Some body parts can swell up to 3 inches in diameter during holiday missions, particularly if there are a flock of girdles within a 20-foot radius. Big pants can be used to store cattle prods and MREs, both of which can completely incapacitate a lingerie saleswoman in less than 6 seconds.
- Tool belts are an absolute necessity. They should be made of either leather or rope and should have plenty of room for expired credit cards or anything else that has dangling capabilities, like folding chairs. Although it can be hard to maneuver around a sock display with an over-sized folding chair hanging from your waist, in moments of exhaustion, this could just save your life. Don’t hesitate to whip it out and unfold it right in the middle of Ladies Big and Tall. If anyone complains about loitering, say you were just admiring the mannequins’ kneecaps and are now considering buying some cake plates in Housewares of the same size.
Collecting the Spoils
- Although no one really wants a sweater with a reindeer on it, this is absolutely no reason not to buy one -- or even several. If the sweater bin is running dangerously low, do not hesitate to throw any unsuspecting old ladies into headlocks if they make a sudden move into sweater territory. This is absolutely no time for weakness! Old women have countless schemes of evildoing up their sleeves (i.e. cross-stitch, pastel sofas, ham loaf). A quick kick to the cane or walker can disorient an old person long enough that they’ll simply venture off to buy a mentholated Yule log or a furry toilet cover.
- If a skirmish breaks out in the closeout pant rack, there is only one practical thing to do: yell “fire” and grab what’s left of the 42-Longs. (Just because no one you know wears a 42-Long doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be snatched up like frozen duck carcasses in a ring of polar bears and dispersed appropriately.)
- Special section for married men (combatant or non). If you are a married man you should have learned this years ago when you were stunt-Christmasing with girlfriends. You should never ever enter a shopping mall during high season! This mission should be left exclusively to females. Why? Because we have a superior kill instinct when arm wrestling over discount slippers. In fact, you should not shop period! You should simply wander around Radio Shack until your clothes develop large, gaping holes and fall off in a clump on the floor. Then, depending on your stamina and virility, you should call me for a debriefing and an honorable discharge (555-5200 evenings, except for 1900 hours when I’m busy re-shellacking my bun).
- Lastly, never forget the karate chop! It’s a practical and dramatic maneuver when you must break through all of the weeping 6-year-olds in the “waiting for Santa” line.
- When all of the cheap, tacky and poorly sized gifts have been bagged and de-tagged, you must then wrap them in pricey paper, which will later be torn off, balled up, and thrown behind the radiator. If time is short and the enemy is approaching (it will probably be “Jean from Sales” asking about an extended warranty for the electric mittens) forego the gift-wrap altogether. Leave the spoils in the store bag and tie with Army-issue grappling rope.
- Don’t worry too much about the care and handling of the recent conquests. Since no one is actually going to like or even use the gifts you just captured, a few dents and dings will not matter.
- When Operation: Bloodbath has been fully executed, it is normal to feel a tremendous amount of relief knowing you've just done something heroic for your country. Take a deep breath, throw the booty in the trunk next to the POW and the bomb wire and consider your mission complete. Semper fi, soldiers, and God bless!