Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tips for the Time

My second favorite holiday is this week: Black Friday, the time where generations of American families come together to get up at the crack of dawn, wait out in a dark Wal-mart parking lot for some poor, unfortunate soul to open up the automatic doors, and then trample inside like a pack of wild dogs intent on getting the cheapest presents possible. Even if it means ripping it out of someone else's hands.

(It kind of reminds me of roller derby.)

At any rate, the MPD has sent out a list of helpful tips to start the season. You can find the full list at the MPD's website, but I've picked out a few:

— When possible, shop during daylight hours.

— Dress casually and comfortably (ed: This is just practical. I mean, you wouldn't run a marathon in high heels, would you? No, not unless you were Kelly Ripa.)

— Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible. Keep cash in your front pocket.

— Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card if possible. (Your financial advisors would tell you the exact opposite. Well, except for the carrying large amount of cash part. They'd probably agree with MPD there)

— Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason (Same as any other time of year, really)

— When driving, keep all car doors locked and window closed while in or out of your car.

— Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows (That's if you can find a parking space at all)

— Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car.

— Be sure to locate your keys before going to your car. Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

— When leaving home for an extended period of time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.

— Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.

— Donate to a recognized charitable organization (I like this one. I think they mean as opposed to donating to a charity you've never heard of, but a little good karma at this time of year can't hurt.)

In the event you need to contact the police, call 545-COPS for non-emergencies or 911 for emergencies.

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