I'm not a Black Friday shopper. Years of retail have served as a cautionary tale against becoming one of the door-busting deal junkies, and I still feel a lingering moral solidarity with the poor cash jockeys. That, and I just plain hate getting up early.
Tempt my lushy proclivities, however, and you've got a whole different ball game on your hands. I'll brave wee morning hours, arctic wasteland temps and even â shudder â the shopping public if you offer me booze.
That's just what was on the itinerary this morning when, in an unprecedented show of initiative, I and two of my friends ventured out into the frozen hell that was 4 a.m. on a quest for fame, glory and Lakefront beer.
The prize: limited-edition 22-ounce bottles of Black Friday imperial India-style black ale, sold only at the brewery and only on Black Friday. It was the first time they'd done something so exclusive, and we wanted it.
So, we caffeine'd up and hit the road not-so-bright and early. We got there at quarter to 5, and it was dead.
We sat in the car for about an hour and a half and watched as the first intrepid beer monkey took his place at the double doors, followed by a handful of other brave souls â including a few who had been holed up in their cars since before we arrived â who chose to start lining up down the ramp.
I have no idea why. Call it a paranoid chain reaction on account of the 300 special-edition pint glasses up for grabs, but there were maybe 20 people, tops, freezing their hops off waiting outside for no reason.
Eventually we caved and subjected ourselves to the windy death tundra, but in the end we only waited about 45 minutes before the lovely Lakefront folks decided enough was enough and let us all in early (but not before taking a couple pictures of the scene from the warm side of the waiting room window, the teases).
We gratefully defrosted, grabbed our prize and were on our way by 8. I'm glad we got there early since the line was well down Commerce Street by the time we left, but good God did those 45 frozen minutes go by slowly.
I'm now the proud owner of three Black Friday pint glasses and three absolutely gorgeous bottles of black ale. And, despite now being one of "those" people, that pride is still surprisingly intact.
I'm not sure I'll be able to say the same for those bottles of ale for very long, though.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Renee Lorenz
Published Jan. 11, 2013
Classic gangsters loved a good embarrassment of riches. And for a movie like "Gangster Squad," showing off is fine. But, when the swanky style of the era meets the stylized swank of the movie's own excesses, things get out of hand.
Published Jan. 3, 2013
It feels like not a week goes by without someone posting something about how Facebook's invading everyone's privacy, spying on your browser history, etc., ad nauseum. (These posts are usually made on Facebook, by the way.) I understand the generic concern over the Orwellian slippery slope, but it doesn't take me too long to re-assess and arrive back at my old conclusion: Who cares?
Published Dec. 31, 2012
Although outsiders may not see Milwaukee as a hotbed for the performing arts, locals know there's plenty of talent to go around. And, there are numerous venues across the city that proudly show off area actors, dancers and musicians. But, despite the wide array of opportunities available, Katie Rhyme and Karen Zakrzewski still felt something important was missing.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Merry Christmas, "Les Miz" lovers - I'm about to hate all over your musical.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Well, it took director Quentin Tarantino 20 years, but he finally got his Western ... kinda. Although it's fair to say he's been preparing his entire career with his raucously bloody shoot-'em-ups, Tarantino's time warming up has been well spent if "Django Unchained" is the final result
Published Dec. 21, 2012
Unlike most middle-aged men, Judd Apatow can afford a whole garage of Camaros and Mustangs. So, it makes sense that his mid-life crisis would manifest not with a youthful car buy, but by splurging on the production of a new movie.
Published Dec. 19, 2012
They say time flies when you're having fun. I don't know who "they" are (probably those terrifyingly upbeat "glass half full" people), but they nailed it. My 2012 is a blur of exciting times and memorable moments, most of which my lawyers have advised me not to discuss in detail. There's still plenty to talk about, though, and I've shared the highlights below.
Published Dec. 18, 2012
Well, another year of movies is (almost) in the books. Full of many memorable ups and seared-in-my-brain-forever downs, here's my take on the best (and worst) of 2012.
Published Dec. 14, 2012
Eleven years after "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" introduced audiences to the majesty of director Peter Jackson's Middle-earth, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" makes a triumphant return to the mythical land with a new trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
Published Dec. 12, 2012
After being tasked with putting together an actual wish list, I'm legitimately afraid of the death glare I'll get if I hand over my ultra-practical, completely un-whimsical list of stuff I want. So, I'm posting it here.