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The Mall

The mall. The first time I heard those words I actually said, “I’ve read about those. What are they like?”

The looks people give you when they think you’re strange. You know what looks I’m talking about. Their brow furrows, sometimes an eyebrow goes up and their eyes focus on you like you have two heads. Honestly these looks seem to be common place. Seems like I see it everyday… less and less of late. Of course, I chalk this up to being in the outside world for nine years.

The first year was the worst. I really knew nothing about the world. Granted I knew nearly everything you could learn from a textbook, but the real world is so much more complicated than you realize. For instance there is specific ways to eat a variety of foods. Oreos and Peanut Butter cups for example, of course, that wasn’t the subject of this entry. Maybe another time.

No the subject was the Mall. I hadn’t really gone in all my years out here on the run. But the other day I was driving by and decided to stop. I wasn’t really in a hurry. Miss Parker hadn’t caught up to me yet, so there I was circling the parking lot looking for a parking spot. Seriously. It is really hard to find parking at the mall.

So I finally parked and went in. It was weird. There was a directory right as I walked in but it was of little help. It really explains nothing but at the same time kept me interested in everything in the mall. Little did I know I would be somewhat disappointed.

Regis Hairstylists: I’m not so completely out of it that I don’t know who Regis is, but I couldn’t figure out why his hairstylist would have a store in the mall. Of course, once I got to the store, they assured me it had nothing to do with the talk show host. This was something of a disappointment because I was also hoping to meet Kelly. She is funny and I think the perfect match for Regis. Needless to say I didn’t stick around this store.

Gap: Is this some sort of sign warning of impending danger? As I discovered it is not, but still the name was strange though I found the clothing very intriguing. I love the look of things. Since I’ve been out in the world I’ve noticed the styles people wear. I can’t say I’m a big fan of everything in the store but it is very stylish. Though they don’t know it, yet, the Centre just bought me a large portion of a new wardrobe.

Foot Locker: This puzzled me as I read it off the directory. I would go so far as to say I was concerned about it, but as it turned out it was an ingenious name for a shoe store. I like shoes, but I got out of their quickly. The man took one look at me and told me my shoe size. How could a complete stranger know so much about me? They must be owned by the Centre.

Limited Too: Limited Too? This name had me wondering. Too as in also? So what else was limited? As I entered the store, and went back out to make sure I had the right store, I found my self wondering how anything in this shop is limited. I asked the store clerk but she didn’t seem to know or was just humoring me. Of course, as I left I turned back to look at her and there was that eyebrow raised above her normal brow line. I kept going.

Wet Seal: Now being a literal person I was actually expecting exactly what the name implies. I expected to see a space set aside for the lovable creatures. Instead I found clothing, handbags, and accessories. Not at all what I was expecting and definitely not where I wanted to be. Again, I left.

Auntie Annie’s Pretzels: Refreshing. At least I got what I expected, a pretzel. I love these things. Of course, according to the man behind the counter I couldn’t tell Auntie Annie that her pretzels were wonderful and that I enjoyed stopping by her shop. And then there was the look. Yep, again with the look. I decided it was best to move on.

Body Shop: When I saw this on the directory, along with Foot Locker, my Centre radar went up. I actually wondered if Lyle would visit such a shop but when I got there I was a bit surprised. Lotions, bath oils… all of these things reminded me of Miss Parker. I bought a few things. I hope she’ll like them.

Mrs. Field’s Cookies: Great, but again Mrs. Field’s wasn’t available for my comments. This time though the people behind the counter laughed. I’m sure I turned red. A very nice girl smiled at me and told me that this store was just one of many nation-wide and that Mrs. Fields isn’t actually at any of them. This made me think about Auntie Annie’s Pretzels. No wonder I got the look.

Sweet Factory: This seemed very logical to me. A factory of sweets. I entered, I saw, and I left an extremely happy man with bags of goodies to try. The clerk, Shelly, was very happy to help me go through the different types of candies. She picked out a few of her favorites and was beyond shocked that I didn’t know what some of the things were. M&M’s I’ve heard of but Every Flavor Beans are definitely new to me. There is also the Coca Cola gummy bottles. They aren’t as good as the real thing but very intriguing.

Vans: Of course, I expected the automobile but what seems to be a reoccurring theme in this place… again I was surprised. Vans are shoes! You might have known this and hopefully your eyebrows are staying at your normal brow line. The point is I didn’t expect shoes, but happily I inspected the different styles. I just don’t picture myself wearing those. I’m a leather guy.

Hot Dog on a Stick: When I read this I wondered why they didn’t just call it corn dog. I asked Erica, she works there, and she chuckled and said it didn’t sound as interesting. Then she said something that made me smile, “The name got you up here didn’t it?” Yes it did. And truth be told, the hot dog on a stick and the cheese on a stick are delicious. Loved the lemonade too. Very good. I suggest stopping by at least once.

Lids: I found it strange there would be a store dedicated to lids. Of course, at the same time I was happy because I’d lost the lids to a container I like to store my candy in. It kept the candy safe from ants and it stayed fresh… even candy can start tasting bad. Problem was, when I got there and the store was nothing but hats, I was dumbfounded. I really asked the clerk where the lids where and he laughed and said all over. I looked… didn’t find even one. This place disturbs me.

Things Remembered: This sounded intriguing because there are people in the world who can’t remember things and I thought this place helped those people. Not so, but on the upside they have pictures of memorable people. I thought I was memorable the man at the store didn’t think so. To each their own… opinion that is.

Icing: I like icing. It is after all the best part of the cake. Sometimes I make… usually buy icing and eat it all by itself. Sometimes I get chocolate icing and smother it over a graham cracker. Very tasty. When I saw the sign and what was in the store I wanted to scream. I was so looking forward to icing but instead I got jewelry. Not at all what I wanted. As you can guess, I didn’t stick around.

Hot Topic: This store seemed like it could help me with what was really the ‘hot topic’ amongst the people of the world. Have you been in this store? Very loud. But not bad really. I was intrigued by the shirt that said, “Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver.” They are right, duct tape is silver but how would they know silence is golden? Then I suspected they meant it was preferred and chuckled to myself as another loud song started. I kept looking because it seemed like the stores I got my gothic cloths at when I was trying to help Frank Bracken find his daughter Jessica. Some of the people who work here have tons of piercing which still intrigue me but I can’t insert myself, easily, into any walk of life if I try out the piercing look.

Spencer’s Gifts: Last on my list to investigate is Spencer’s Gifts. Sounds like a store dedicated to selling gifts a man received but didn’t want. When I got there I realized I was right and went back to Hot Topic to ask what the shirt that said, “my other car is a warthog,” meant. How can a car be a warthog?

All in all, the mall was an interesting place. All those stores in one place. Very smart idea. I’m reminded of a project the Centre wanted me to work on. It had to do with the most efficient way of laying out a city. I suggested putting the necessities together. This isn’t what I meant.

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