Black Friday and the Other Worst Days of the Modern Year

By Gary Cutlack on at

Oh great, Black Friday again, the one day of the year when it's OK for companies to routinely lie about things being cheap and play model number switcheroo, pressuring us into buying stuff we don't need because only through buying things can we achieve happiness. How much does one of those powerline things usually cost anyway? No one knows. No one's ever bought one at the full RRP.

It's a terrible, invasive day, ferried here by the internet and left to run riot – often literally – at the end of November. Oh but the good news is it's not the worst day we have to get through nowadays.

New Year's Eve

Maybe, historically, it was once of some use, back when people didn't have telly or the internet or promotional calendars and needed reminding of the days, but now? It's when the shoutiest people in the pinkest of shirts get the drunkest of all, and the thing that will amaze you?

You're the bad person for not wanting any part of it. It's the one night of the year when quietly minding your own business becomes an Orwellian thought crime. Look at him, sitting at home, the sick pervert. Probably watching Jools Holland and looking at his phone, and enjoying it.

Special Magic Moon Days

I live in the country, so I'm used to seeing the moon. It's either a silver banana or a puffy Simon Cowell shape, depending on something to do with the sun and shadows and things. The supermoon looks the same. The blood moon looks the same. The red moon is never red. The biggest moon in 173 years that you must see looks the same size as the moon always does. The moon is always the same. People are too scared to look out of the curtains at night anyway.


I wouldn't mind modern Halloween being all about sweets if it was at least about nice sweets, rather than the red and yellow nightmares that have so much rubbish in them you can hear the fans in your liver start up two minutes after eating a few.

If people snapped off three lines of Dairy Milk for visitors I'd be the first person in the zombie Kate Bush costume singing Babushka up the front path of the neighbours' homes each October. But no. Abhorrent toxins for the kids it is. It's not worth going out in the cold for Refreshers.

John Lewis Christmas Advert Day

The wife's crying, but for once it isn't because of something I've done. It's because a shop has made a new advert that is half happy and half sad and Makes You Think and has inoffensive music so bland the words might as well be a shopping list. And to top it all, if you say it's rubbish that makes you the bad person, as criticising Christmas is just not done. You can't win with popular things. Just seethe inside, you'll never change anyone's mind.

Apple Product Announcement Day

Products never used to be Announced. They'd get made, and the first you'd know about it would be when they appeared in the next Argos catalogue and a sensible household member told you if you were allowed to have one or, more likely, not.

Oh but not any more. Now there's a press conference where people clap £27 proprietary connectors and cheer when last year's 3.8 is replaced by one that goes up to 4.4 this year, and you have to pre-order one immediately or you look poor.

And criticising Apple, like trying to talk someone round to your political point of view, is a waste of time.

Blue Monday

It's a day in January when companies think it's time to start doing some work again after Christmas, so they literally pretend it's the most depressing day of the year. It isn't – that's the one in October when the clocks go back and there's more cold, boring afternoon to get through than you thought and you think you might die of boredom so have your dinner at 3:40pm and then... oh god still so long until bed time.

Every Day is a Day of the Year Day

And even the days in between have been taken over by awful pretend days so all the social media accounts have something to talk about. Today's Margarine Pride day, for example, celebrating 57 years and nine months since margarine first went on sale (Wales), so make sure you share your favourite margarine recipes!

Tomorrow is Male Carpet Awareness Day, so take a photo of your stairs carpet and Homebase might retweet it. The weekend has been rebranded the "Geekend" by Currys/PC World as it's got loads of last-gen HP printers it needs shifting before the new ones arrive in March. And so on.

Bring on the End of Days, Donald, we've had enough.