Sunday, January 15, 2012

An American Tradition

I hate malls.

I know it’s un-American to not want to spend hours upon hours every weekend roaming from generic store to generic store with multiple excursions to the food court for some highly-processed American food, but I can’t help myself. I. Hate. Malls.

No matter what city you’re visiting there’s sure to be a mall to waste time in rather than seeing the actual city you’re visiting. Why go on vacation to visit a mall? People do. I don’t understand.

Are we defined by how many malls we can visit in our lifetime. When we die do they have a counter at the Pearly Gates telling us how many hours we’ve spent at the mall. If the number’s too low are we sent to hell for eternity or are we immediately reincarnated so we can right the wrong and spend more hours at the mall?

Why do malls all have the same stores? Is there something extra special about buying a Gap t-shirt in Minneapolis that’s different from buying the exact same Gap t-shirt in Miami? It’s just one more thing to throw in your luggage for the journey home.

Years ago I worked at a mall restaurant. The food was cheap and of the poorest quality. Oh but everyone loved the restaurant. It also had the highest rate of 911 calls for cardiac arrest. They actually weren’t cardiac arrests. They were msg attacks masquerading at cardiac arrests. The slimy owners of the restaurant would never say the food was soaked in msg. Without the msg there wouldn’t be any of that delicious mall flavor. I heard the restaurant’s no longer there. Maybe the owners ate their own food and succumbed to actual cardiac arrest.

The children play areas in malls scare me. They’re a pit of pink eye just waiting to attack your child. And no one’s going to tell me all those toys and rubber balls and play pens are properly cleaned every night. Germs. Germs. Germs.

And yet people love malls. It’s an American tradition... and addiction.

Maybe I should start a tour company and feature “Mall Tours of America.” For a few thousand dollars you could be escorted onto an air conditioned bus and taken across America stopping at every mall there is. I’d offer discount coupons to the food courts and as a special treat you’d receive a special t-shirt from every mall you visit that says “Mall Tours of America” with the name of the mall emblazoned across the chest. Then when you return home you can roam your hometown mall proudly displaying the many malls you visited.

Who needs to see Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore when you can spend your vacation in a mall?

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