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Red Alert: Stay Away From the Malls Because Tax-Free Weekend is Here (Unless You Really Really Need to Go)

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If you woke up this morning with a sinking feeling in your stomach that you couldn't explain, there's a good chance it's because subconsciously you know about the dark cloud hanging over Texas the next few days.

Tax-free weekend has returned.

Those of you who made the mistake of deciding to stop by the mall "real quick" this morning already know the horror, but for the rest of you safe in your offices and homes take this advice: do as little shopping as possible this weekend.

It's just not worth it. Yes, you do save a bit, but at what cost? Is it really worth it to have to fight past hordes of crazed shoppers looking to save, store workers in the midst of nervous breakdowns, and the worst parking lot traffic you'll see all year?

Heaven help you if it rains.

Take our advice: do something else. Go to a movie. Have a picnic. Print out the Houston Bucket List and knock out a few things that don't involve malls, strip centers, or big-box retailers. Visit your folks. Take a nap. Avoid the chaos.

We know some of you will not heed our advice. Some folks can't resist a deal. Some folks just like to play with fire. Whatever the reason, if you absolutely, positively must get in the car and go looking for clothes, shoes, and school supplies be safe. Know your surroundings. Bring a snack; who knows how long you'll have to wait in line.

The rest of us will be anywhere else, away from the chaos, waiting for the madness to end.

Or we'll be shopping online because we live in the future and getting stuff sent to your door is the best. Yeah, it costs a bit more, but at least we're not going to have anyone try and run us over walking to the front door.

It's scary now, but come Monday it'll all be over, and once again it'll be safe to visit your local shopping center... at least until Black Friday comes around. Here's hoping our suit of armor arrives at our doorstep before then.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.