It’s Black Friday next week. I’m not sure which day: feel free to ask someone.

Black Friday really took off in the UK in 2014. That was when we saw people in supermarkets fighting over discounted TVs.

Two million years of human evolution had been leading up to that moment.

If you look carefully at cave drawings, you’ll see that the people pictured walking with spears are beginning the long journey to the electrical goods section of Asda.

In 2015 I wrote a News & Star feature about Black Friday in Carlisle.

British Home Stores and Argos were opening at 6am.

I was tasked with reporting on the hordes of bargain-hunters who would doubtless be beating hell out of each other in the quest to purchase a half-price duvet cover.

My dismay at being up so early increased when I arrived in the city centre at 5.50am.

It was all but deserted. Only one person was waiting outside BHS.

It was like Brunton Park at five to three on Saturday afternoon.

I interviewed the one-woman queue. What was she planning to buy?

It turned out she was a BHS cleaner waiting for her shift.

I sensed that a shopping frenzy with no shopping and no frenzy might not be the most exciting thing I’d ever written about.

A year earlier I’d been appalled by the rampant consumerism I’d seen on my TV: a TV I’d been foolish enough to pay full price for.

Now I’d have killed for a couple of people playing tug-of-war with a coffee machine.

Black Friday is an American invention, like proms and obesity.

The name can cause confusion over here for its similarity to Black Eye Friday.

This is the last Friday before Christmas, when many workplaces have their parties.

The day often culminates in a punch-up... I sense a theme emerging.

I’m just glad I’ve never been asked to report from Next’s Boxing Day sale, which usually starts at 6am.

What compels people to queue for clothes in the early hours of a day when sensible people are too bloated to move until noon?

A more civilised alternative is late-night shopping.

In Carlisle this year, late-night shopping goes on until 9pm.

In Workington it ends at 8pm.

I wouldn’t count on having a wild party with anyone for whom these times constitute “late night”.

“Right - I’ll get the first round in.”

“No, I’m going home now. Have you seen the time? It’s nearly eight o’clock.”