February 1998
s m u g
by lemon

If the Mall Fits

Region is such an important thing to some people. People tend to assume they know everything about you based on the area you live in. In the play Pygmalion, the lead character Henry Higgins could pinpoint your origin to the street you live on just by hearing you speak a few sentences. Sounds like a pretty cool feat. I can do something similar. I can deduce if you are stupid by hearing a few sentences. This is rather easy. Someone will talk about the bands they like, and I will calmly ask them "Why do you listen to such shitty music?" They respond with something along the lines of "Shut up." I then deem them to be stupid.

Well, if you can't tell by my written dialect, I live in Minnesota. I don't own any cows, and I don't say "yah" ever. People can assume a lot of things by the fact that I live in Minnesota. They may assume I listen to the musicians that originated there - Replacements, Husker Du, Prince and Bob Dylan. They may assume I like shitty movies that were filmed there such as Drop Dead Fred and Jingle All The Way. The primary assumption however, is that I enjoy what Minnesota has become synonymous with - malls. The first enclosed mall was built in Minnesota, and the largest mall in the country, The Mall Of America, resides there. This behemoth has four floors, about 1,000 shops, and a theme park in the middle with roller coasters and shit.

Minnesota has many malls. There's Rosedale, Southdale, Knollwood, City Center, and the aforementioned Mall of America. I hate going to malls. In fact I often get kicked out them. I find them an incredibly horrible surrounding. I hate any place where there's a lot of people, and I hate buying things. The exchange of money is a deplorable concept to me. Why is it that people formulate their entire lives around acquiring the means to get things? Things never really make me happy, and I really doubt it does anything for others.

I see all these go-getters every day. They are more wealthy than me, that's obvious, but there's something telling in their eyes. When they get out their Saabs I see this emptiness. They think to themselves "I can fill this void with things." So they buy big screen TVs, microwaves, decorations, and other piddly worthless pieces of junk. They realize that doesn't work. So then they think "Maybe it's human contact I'm missing" So they carry cell phones, and pagers, and business cards. They get married and sloshed at parties.

Now I see nothing wrong with getting hammered, but I'd rather do it alone. I don't mind being around other humans for a few hours at a time, but after that I think about how nice my apartment would be.

Back to cell phones - I wonder why people carry these things. When I'm away from my telephone it is implied I do not want to be bothered. I often think that people carry these things simply to look important. They speak in loud voices, shouting "Huh? Yeah! No! I'm at Walgreen's! Yeah, Walgreen's! What? Oh, just getting a few things! So how have you been!?" As my roommate says (and I do so often steal her quotes) If you were that important, you wouldn't have a cell phone. You'd have some lacky screening your phone calls for you.

By this point in my essay you are most likely saying to yourself "What the hell are you trying to say!?" Well, you shouldn't talk to yourself like that. People will think you're insane. I know. I get odd looks from people every day for doing that.

Notice now how I digressed rather than explaining my digression. Well, trust me. I don't know why you'd trust me, seeing as how you don't even know my personal character, and if you do trust me I think you are a bit too clingy and possessive. I am going somewhere with this, I promise.

I mentioned earlier I get kicked out of malls a lot. It's a dastardly thing, I've gotten kicked out of malls for videotaping, screaming at customers, and "being a smart ass". I guess I'm just not the mall type. Maybe I just don't look like a potential customer. If that's the case, I'm delighted.

My unacceptance of malls is some sort of odd Zen thing, I think. We are diametrically opposed. I don't see movies in theaters, I don't like candles like made into some sort of Precious Moments figurine, I don't need new shelves, or new stereo speakers, or and I don't care what book Jerry Seinfeld just wrote. I don't belong in a mall, so I choose not to go to them.

And we can all choose not to go to malls, that's fine. The concept still lives on however. You are accessing this webpage by using the biggest mall ever created - The Mall Of Earth. I have seen quite a few shops in this mall.

Arm and Hammer is a baking soda and toothpaste site. There is an option where the system will send you spam every other month reminding you to change the baking soda in your refrigerator.

Vivarin is a super-turbo site where it drops all kinds of GenX lingo to get you to believe Vivarin is the hip thing to do. If you give them your address, they'll send you a free pack of the shit, apparently. But I never got mine.

Mayo.com is a site put up by Kraft (a subsidiary of Philip Morris for all you anti-smoking folk) When you reach this site you are on planet mayonnaise and you can have an option to send a friend an e-sandwich. I of course sent one to myself, as I wouldn't bother my friends with such tripe. What you get is a recipe for a sandwich which requires a lot of Kraft's low fat mayonnaise (which has lower fat than the leading brand)

There are more, and the number is daunting. dhc.com (Dayton-Hudson Corporation) motorola.com, disney.com, embassy-suites.com, look on any bus or commercial, and you'll see pieces of a what began as a scientific medium; those pieces that just want your money.

The entire country is a mall, and I don't fit into that either. Every time I leave the house I am urged to spend money. Make money, spend money, make more. I guess that's another reason why I stay at home so much.

And the colors of this national mall can be so pretty at times. Things will look so bright and delicious, and sometimes sexy. But if you aren't willing to conform to the wills and desires of those who run it, the security guards kick you out. And the only thing to do then is to check into another mall (there are many) and try to find some society where you can fit in and be thought of as useful. And that is life in a capitalist system.

See, I managed to tie that all together.



in the junk drawer

and such
and such

·feature· ·net worth· ·bumping uglies· ·smoking jacket· ·ear candy· ·feed hollywood· ·target audience· ·three dollar bill· ·compulsion· ·posedown· ·the biswick files· ·mystery date· ·and such and such· ·blab· ·kissing booth·

·contents· ·freakshow· ·fan club· ·junk drawer·

copyright © 1996, 1997 fearless media