Black Friday Shopping Spree Turns Dark

Amelia Nosehart liked to fly through the malls to get a head start on Christmas. But a policy she’d purchased from California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard literally helped save her sight when “shopping” went horribly wrong.

Amelia Nosehart’s favorite day of the year was the day after Thanksgiving when Rancho Bernardo shoppers could get a head start on their Christmas shopping with early bird specials. Retail stores in neighboring burbs would open at two, three, four, five a.m. in efforts to woo obsessed shoppers just like Amelia. But at Ye Olde Pet Shoppe what should have been a touch exotic, as 3:37 a.m. sprees go, almost turned deadly.

The chain store’s “exotic reptile” section was selling “baby spitting cobras” for an amazing $1.99 each. As Amelia joined the crazed throng of “early birders” she knew she had to have two or three of the venomous little critters, assuming they’d been defanged of course, as pets for her nephews Josh and Andy, both notoriously difficult to buy for. As Amelia nearly “flew” through to the front of the frenzied crowd of typical Black Friday bargain hunters, a glass case accidentally cracked open in the madness and she heard a slight “hsst” and felt excruciating pain in her left eye, the one with astigmatism.

Rushed to the nearest hospital for obligatory anti-venom treatment and eye cleansing, Amelia was obliged to stay overnight as a precaution, and called Matt Lockard, her friendly California Health Insurance agent at his office in Ventura, just to let him know what had happened at Ye Olde Pet Shoppe.

“Matt. Guess who this is? It’s Amelia. I’m in the hospital,” she said.

He kind of recognized her. “Like the legend?”

“Yes, sort of,” she said, “Guess what happened to me on Black Friday.”

“What?” he asked, remembering the policy he’d sold her just a few months back, covering just about any kind of emergency.

She provided the gory details, about the crowds, the frenzy, the early morning madness, and the baby snakes for her nephews.

“You’re lucky you can still see out of that eye,” Matt opined.

“I can’t at the moment. They gave me a patch. It’s still light-sensitive.”

“Oh,” Matt said, “but you sound so happy.”

“Why shouldn’t I be happy?” explained Amelia, “Ye Olde Pet Shoppe not only gave me the baby cobras for free, they threw in an EXTRA pair. They’re all in my semi-private room with me now in a convenient ‘holiday’ Plexiglas case. Josh and Andy are going to be absolutely thrilled!”

“I hope they have been defanged,” Matt offered.

Amelia squinted, feeling a twinge.

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