Americans love to camp. That much is obvious from the research. But this year, Mr. Black Friday, as the Internet is calling him, has taken camping to the next level thanks to his love for the holiday shopping season.
A full two weeks — 336 hours — before the doors open at Best Buy for the annual shopping extravaganza, Jarvis Johnson has already set up his tent and camping gear in the parking lot of the electronics store in Avondale, Arizona.
Johnson has camped out for Black Friday every holiday season since 2006, but last year, his setup attracted national attention. In fact, Best Buy even paid Johnson to start in their national ad campaign, which is scheduled to air this month.
In the wake of his newfound fame, Johnson decided to extend his campout from four days to two weeks, and was able to recruit some help from nearby businesses. Rent-A-Center lent him several couches, Super Pawn gave him a microwave, and Damri MMA and Wadaa Street Tacos lent him canopies for his tent.
“Even if nobody got behind me, I would still be out here because that’s who I am,” said Johnson. “It’s a mental thing really, to be honest – like can I do this? It’s an uphill battle.”
Last year, Johnson’s tent housed a bed, a television, and a heater, which he powered with a 200-foot-long extension cord.
According to local Arizona TV station KTVK, Johnson had to get a special permit from the city to set everything up. He also had to take a number of days off from work to participate in his annual Black Friday ritual.
Why does he put so much effort into preparing for Black Friday?
“I’m here early because they say the early bird gets the worm, and the early, early, early bird gets the biggest worm, and I guess I’m the bird and I’m trying to get the worm.” he told KTVK. “That’s why I’m here.”
Photo attribution: By Michael Rivera (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons