The holiday meal has ended and the sun has set. The Thanksgiving Day is done. Dawn is hours away but there's no time to waste. Black Friday is about to begin.
Mom and Aunt Edna are ready. They've been planning this shopping excursion for weeks. They know the mall will be a madhouse and the traffic will be terrible but they've done it all before and this year they are fully prepared. They are veteran Black Friday shoppers and they know what to expect.
The family is up before 4 AM Friday morning, and by five they are at the mall. Mom divides the family into four groups and each is armed with a shopping list, store circulars, coupons, gift cards, cash and a two way radio.
Dad purchased a set of Motorola TALKABOUT MR350R Two Way Radios for a camping trip earlier in the year and Mom knows they will be crucial for their shopping trip today. But there will be four groups of family members roaming the mall this year, so she purchased a second set of MR350R radios and some extra batteries from buytwowayradios.com the week before, and they arrived just in time. They are now good to go.
Communication between the groups will be critical to the success of the shopping trip through the mall, and Mom wants everyone to stay on top of the deals and in touch with each other throughout the day. She makes sure the batteries for each radio are fully charged and ready to go. She also checks to be sure each group has the extra batteries and there is a 12v charging adapter in the car, just in case.
Mom and Dad discuss some last minute details and the four parties head off in different directions as assigned. It's like a scavenger hunt, Dad notes aloud and says he hopes they find everything before it's gone, as the four groups dive into a sea of other shoppers and quickly disappear.
Dad and young Barry are headed for the other end of the mall in search of a large screen TV, while Aunt Edna and the sisters are headed for the Gap. Mom and Molly are looking for toys and Uncle Bob is stealthily making his way through the crowds to the golf store on his own.
The call comes over his radio first. It's Aunt Edna. She wants to know if he can locate an appliance at a store nearby that she overheard another shopper say was just placed on sale. Uncle Bob begrudgingly puts down a shiny new club and says he's on his way.
Immediately Aunt Edna gets another call on her radio. It's Mom. She found that toy for the twins they wanted but there is only one left. She wants to know if Aunt Edna can find one at the other toy store and at a comparable price. If not, they'll have to get the twins something else. Aunt Edna finds three and they are two dollars less than the one Mom found. Mom tells her to buy them.
Fifteen minutes later Mom's radio crackles. It's Aunt Edna and the girls at the Gap. She asks Mom to temporarily switch to another channel for a private chat. Their TALKABOUT MR350R radios have 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, so this is not a problem. Mom switches to the specified channel.
Aunt Edna tells Mom the slacks Edna wanted to buy for Uncle Bob are gone. There are different slacks in the same color but there is only one pair left. Mom asks what size they are. The girls tell her. Mom informs them the slacks are a bit long but she can work with them to make them fit Uncle Bob. The girls buy the slacks.
Meanwhile Dad and Barry are checking out the TVs. The one Mom circled in the flyer is not available. They find it at a different store, but it's also a different price, about fifty dollars more. He radios Mom. She tells him it's still within budget, but he doesn't have enough left on his credit card. She can put it on her card but she needs to get it to him ASAP before someone else buys it. Mom gives the card to Molly and tells her to sprint across the mall to Dad as quickly as possible.
Molly starts off but Mom calls her back. She gives Molly her TALKABOUT MR350R radio and tells her to call Dad if she can't locate him or in case of an emergency. She tells Molly she will meet everyone at the pre-arranged rendezvous point in the food court in half an hour. Molly takes the radio. It's a big mall, but the MR350R has a strong signal and great range, so Mom isn't worried.
Molly arrives at the store but Dad is nowhere in sight. She becomes anxious and calls him on the radio. He is in the restroom but fortunately for Molly, Dad is wearing his headset and responds immediately. His MR350R radio features hands-free Vox functionality, so Dad is able to answer Molly without delay and prevent a panic. He meets her a few minutes later in Electronics and buys the TV.
Twenty minutes later the family meets up at the food court with their purchases. Everyone, that is, except Mom. Molly insists Mom said she would meet them at the rendezvous spot directly and there is no other stop scheduled on her list. Since Mom gave her radio to Molly, there is no way to contact her, either.
Dad formulates a plan. Since the mall is divided into four areas, one team will scour each area in search of Mom and notify everyone when she is found by pressing the red emergency alert button on top of the MR350R radio and then broadcast her location. That is where they will meet.
The groups split up and search for Mom, store by store. Presently a loud alert blasts over all four radios simultaneously. It's Uncle Bob. He tells them Mom is sitting on a bench at the west end of the mall, fast asleep.
The family meets at the bench. Barry suggests they wake Mom but Dad says to let her sleep a few minutes more. After all, he says, she earned it.
When the family arrives home, Mom tells Dad she is glad she purchased the second set of TALKABOUT MR350R radios. She says they really made Black Friday a good one. After all, she says, the family that shops together, stays together. Dad wholeheartedly agrees.