04 November 2010

My visit to the mall, or two hours I'm never getting back

I've just returned home after two long hours subjected to loud noise, bright lights, poor air quality, insulting surveillance and rude staff. No, not the drunk tank... the mall. Madeleine's Pathfinder group was working on a merit badge (evidently something to do with fashion) and I disqualified myself as a parent volunteer due to my complete lack of knowledge or interest in fashion and my very poor attitude towards the entire endeavour. Thus freed (though feeling like a prisoner) to roam at will within the mall's confines, I wandered aimlessly, looking at what was on offer.

There seemed to be a tremendous number of phone vendors. Back in the day, when a phone was stuck to the wall and came with the house, there were no phone stores. Then someone invented phone jacks and people could choose to put phones in different rooms and there was one phone store in the big malls.  Now that every single human needs to carry a phone and it must never be more than two years old, ever, there are umpty-six different places to buy a phone and a plan in the mall.

I stumbled into a store that specializes in selling products that are advertised on television. They quite helpfully display the commercials on little monitors attached to the shelves. This is in case you haven't been swayed by the obvious merits of whatever gadget you are looking at. The entire store was filled with cheap crap from China and not an item in it filled any human requirement for function or beauty. Especially not beauty.

I was surprised to see a pet store that still sells sad little puppy mill dogs on display in sad little cells. I guess I had assumed that public pressure had forced all the pet stores to stop, but I was wrong. Obviously, people are still buying these puppies of dubious provenance, otherwise the asking price would not be so astonishingly high. Presumably, a puppy doesn't have a particularly long shelf life, but I'm sure it feels long to the poor creatures.

I eventually escaped with Madeleine, who was feeling as woozy as I, and vowed never to set foot in there again. If I ever feel the need for some retail therapy, I will substitute a healthier coping strategy - like drinking.

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