Are we just accepting Black Eye Friday as part of the Christmas tradition then?

How can it be that the depressing trend for people getting silly and fighty a few days before Christmas gets its own pet name?

'Black Eye Friday'

A couple of weeks ago I became aware of (and more than a little confused at) a load of talk regarding the very bleak sounding Black Friday.

After further investigation (aka a chat with Big Bro Fred) I discovered that this wasn’t a day to be afraid of (unless you had planned to pop into Tescos for a pack of six Peppa Pig yoghurts and wandered into the electricals aisle by mistake). Instead it was a day of joy... at least I’m pretty sure it was joyful for the people trying to sell other people stuff.

It was all about Christmas shopping (and more than a bit of shoulder barging as it turned out) and saw thousands of people frantically running around to get the best deal they thought they could get on massive tellies and many other pluggy-in good besides.

What everyone was getting themselves in such a flap for is beyond me.

They should have just included whatever they wanted in their letters to Santa Claus. Then they could have just stayed at home - being good - and waited for their materialist wishes to turn up on Christmas morning.

Fred reckons this has been a foolproof method throughout his seven Christmases so far, and I know better than to question what he’s saying when he’s talking in his serious voice. About Christmas presents.

Anyway, despite my despair at the silliness of people who think a telly is worth trampling on another person for, I was actually more angry at the way the crazy scenes in shops all over the country were being reported by the people on the news.

The breakfast TV sofa-dwellers were displaying a ridiculous collection of ‘what are they like’ smirks and shakes of the head as they showed footage of people hurting each other in the name of bargain hunting.

Why weren’t they horrified? Why weren’t they exploring what has got the British public to a state of affairs where this kind of behaviour is seen as something which ‘just happens’?

I was reminded of my stampy-footed sadness at this rotten display earlier this week when my ears clocked someone talking about so-called Black Eye Friday. ‘Here we go,’ I thought. ‘More un-needed shopping...’ (or the lesser possibility that an coach load of pandas were en route). But I couldn’t have been more wrong - or more depressed at what the actual meaning of Black Eye Friday is - that is the Friday before Christmas when it is apparently widely expected - and worse, accepted - that people go out to celebrate Christmas... and end up having a bruise-worthy fight instead. Where’s the goodwill in that? And how come we’re just allowing this to be weaved into the tradition of Christmas time?

It’s ridiculous that this kind of behaviour warrants a pet name... and I for one am proposing today that we rename the end of this week, Festive Spirit Friday - and ensure it lives up to its new moniker with an epidemic of hugs, handshakes, consensual mistletoe kisses and all associated polite behaviour which could be expected of a civilised society. Let’s not forget that’s what we’re supposed to be.

P.S. if someone wants to counter my campaign with one to bring in a coach load of pandas, I may be persuaded to switch allegiances.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer