Choose America’s First Black Friday Mascot

What’s Black Friday? Why, that’s the day when retailers rejoice as their balance sheets pass at last from red to black. To sentimental companies like Betabrand, it’s a holiday more momentous than Easter, Independence Day, and Christmas combined. But why is there no Easter Bunny, Uncle Sam, or jolly St. Nick to represent Black Friday? Why doesn’t this venerable holiday have its own Tom Turkey, Guy Fawkes, or Elvira?

Because this Friday is so very important to the health of our economy, Betabrand recently convened an emergency meeting at the National Department of Commerce and Folklore to create a mascot sure to raise consumer confidence during this all-important holiday. Here are the three finalists, for your consideration:

1. Ulysses the Unicorn: Legend has it that one moonless night many ages ago, the mighty black unicorn Ulysses, brave Equine Lord of the Magick Realm, did gallop through the tiny village at the foot of Mystic Mountain, whinnying and neighing in dismay, for none of the shoppes were advertising blowout sales. So, as Ulysses clippity-clopped down the cobblestone street, he did perforate all the shoppe signs with his deadly obsidian horn, slashing their posted prices as he went.

2. Olaf the Bear Slayer: Throughout December 1993, holiday shoppers in the Yukon Territory stayed indoors due to an explosion in the local black bear population. Even trips to the outhouse and the smokehouse were postponed for fear of bear mauling. That is, until Olaf Pfinkle, legendary hockey enforcer from the Sookum Flyers, escaped from an insane asylum and proceeded to roam the streets in a slobbering rage, slashing bears he mistook for hirsute defensemen from the Klondike Marmots. Suffice it to say, Mother Nature’s ursine siege was lifted, and the territory’s shopping-starved citizens soon swarmed its six or seven stores, consuming with a fury no less savage than Pfinkle himself.

Ever since that fateful night, Yukon families have celebrated Black Friday with a hearty meal of braised bear loin stuffed with bear cub, which is then stuffed with a harlequin duck — a dish commonly known as Grrrr-ducken.

3. Torro the Toro: For most of the year, Benito the Bull lives an unassuming life on the professional rodeo tour. But on Black Friday, he dons his black mask and becomes Torro! — savage stimulator of holiday sales. The cleverly disguised beast can be seen rampaging near America’s malls, shopping centers, and discount outlets, chasing terrified pedestrians off the streets and into places of commerce. Penny pinchers and nay-saying economists beware: get bullish about fantastic after-Thanksgiving savings; otherwise, a certain pair of gigantic horns may gouge the letter “T” into your midsection.