If you are gullible and slightly dim, I have just the thing for you. Next Friday will be Black Friday. It’s that big day of the year where people are tempted by what aren’t really bargains and buying things they don’t really need at a slight discount or perhaps no discount at all.

The history is really not history at all. In the US of A, business folk decided they would be able to fleece huge numbers of shoppers by introducing Black Friday right after Thanksgiving. From 1952, Shops would open early, hype the thing to death and sell loads of stuff. We are not always quite so quick on the uptake but our tradition began, oh way back, in 2013. Within two years, Black Friday became the biggest day in shopping all year. This year, stores up and down the land are preparing to break more records. Is the world going completely mad? Yes.

When people tell you they don’t fall for all that media hype, they may be telling you the truth, but many won’t be. It reminds me so much of Monty Python’s Mrs Nickerbater who wanders by “her” friends with a large diesel engine. When asked why she bought it, she replies because it was cheap. And that, in a nutshell, is Black Friday.

Do you remember the scenes of fighting among customers as they attempted to get their hands on a widescreen TV that enjoyed a £10 discount? The police were forced to intervene all across the land to stop people killing themselves in the name of rampant consumerism. It is fortunate indeed that the police obviously have little else to do these days.

My advice, as someone who loathes shopping, is quite simple: work out what it is that you need and then surf the net and visit a few shops. The former will cost you nothing in terms of travel or stress and the latter you can visit if, by some miracle, something is actually cheaper in a shop than it is online. I am not some kind of Money Saving Expert or anything like that. I will wager, though, that you will save just as much money, if not more, via some gentle surfing than by risking a blitz on your blood pressure by fretting about the biggest con since – well, Christmas.