Pavlov would have enjoyed the black Friday extravaganza

The promotion was supposed to be the lowest prices of the year, but even the parking guard giggled when he repeated the phrase and said he would put the statement in quotes.

Still Walmart was crowded Saturday night and shoppers searched for those promised deals. There was beefed up security, and even the entry hall was filled with stuffed toys and youngsters’ bikes.

In Costa Rica black Friday was last weekend. Walmart Escazú starting its marathon Friday night. The store was open until 12:30 a.m. Sunday to accommodate shoppers. Other stores did similar.

Typically black Friday in the United States is the day after Thanksgiving, but in Costa Rica retailers wanted an early start on the holiday madness. And Ticos do not observe Thanksgiving.

The day is completely a marketing ploy. Although the term originated in the 1960s, there was a span of some years before retailers exploited it.

The black, of course, refers to the bottom line of the merchants who employ the discount delusions with loss leaders and all those social psychological tricks to capture the shoppers money.

Still one cannot help to be impressed by the boldness, including 50 feet of Barbie dolls linked up even before shoppers enter the store proper. Even some of the not-so-little girls were attracted to the display,

Perhaps the poster family of black Friday are the parents and two children trying to get a seven-foot long flat screen television carton into a six-foot wide back seat of a car. They may be there until White Christmas.

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