It’s Christmas again, and yesterday that meant it was time for She Who Must Be Obeyed to drag me off to (drum roll) The Mall.
As far as I am concerned malls are vampires that suck money and will-to-live, all glitz-and-mirror with endless rows of cheap jewellery shops, pedicure booths and smartphone outlets. They are identical from Melbourne to Luton – hey, I even found one in Bangkok (the Siam Centre) that could have been transplanted from anywhere else. All of them home to endless hordes of once-were-humans, the shopping dead who amble vacantly in witless circles, slack mouths breathing that dread word – ‘credit caaaaaaard…’
Shopping in the mall for me consists of hurtling into the place, picking up essential bloke stuff (1/16 PzKW VI Tiger I model, engine oil, power tools, that sort of thing). Then getting out. Fast.
She Who Must Be Obeyed has other ideas: ‘That’s a nice coat. Try to look interested. Now we need to get cards and. OOOH, SHINY! Yes, we need to get to the – er – Matthew, stop wandering off. CROCKERY SHOP! Oh how about those towels, we need new towels, why don’t we sit down at this coffee place or try that Indian take-away even though it made you sick last time and…IS THAT A FLYING SHARK?’
There is no escape. Malls are the Hotel California. Even if you can find an exit, it’s guarded by armies of young mums with toddlers zing-splat bungied to their wrists, four year olds who back into you, randomly squealing like ambulatory car alarms, dads with a blank look and hang-dog expression, honk-voiced teenage boys who smell, old ladies with walkers, lost husbands…and…and…
Copyright © Matthew Wright