In advance of the holiday shopping season, Consumer Reports asked its readers to name their biggest holiday shopping pet peeves. Not surprisingly, doing so made their readers come off as whiny, ignorant bastards.
Don't want to end up in this line? Then stay home.
Bitching about crowded malls around Christmas and Thanksgiving is such a tired trope that not even the lamest of lame comedians would bother touching on it during a set. But bitching about people bitching about holiday shopping? Now that's fresh material!It'd be easy to pin all the blame on the people surveyed who chose overcrowding (29 percent) and difficulty parking (28 percent) as their biggest holiday shopping pet peeves. Trying to shoehorn your way into a mall anytime in the winter months is an experience designed to turn a saint into a sociopath. Anyone who still doesn't understand this deserves to find themselves on the bottom of one of those human misery piles that inevitably builds up after a terrified Wal-Mart employee opens the stockades at 5 A.M. on the day after Thanksgiving.
But to only blame the people who bitch is to miss the point. Bitching is what we do. It's our inalienable right, our favorite hobby, our preferred way to pass the time. It's in our marrow, for god's sakes.
No, in order to properly pass the blame around it's also necessary to fault Consumer Reports, the people who gave others a venue for their bitching. Did it really take a special-interest magazine to determine that your local, neighborhood Target somehow mysteriously relocates itself to the Seventh Circle of Hell come Christmas Eve? No, no it did not.
It took a lot of effort to come up with this survey. And it's going to take a lot more cash to reprint it as a full-page ad in USA Today. But what's most galling is that Consumer Reports is wasting all their time, energy and money in the name of helping their readers when they're avoiding the simplest fix of all: encouraging online shopping.
If Consumer Reports really wanted to help their readers they'd remind them that all the crap their kids can't live without is also available on Amazon. And all without the personal nightmare that is getting stuck behind an Octomom-sized stroller.
Confident in your pick of the Nintendo DS as a safe, kid-friendly hand-held gaming device, Consumer Reports? Then you should be equally confident that your readers are trusted enough to buy it with one-click.
Otherwise you have a dim view of your readers. And humanity. Which, ironically enough, sounds a lot like the symptoms suffered by those holiday shoppers you've been surveying. Too much time in the malls for you too?