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MALL MADNESS
by: Dr. Boogie

For me, nothing spells the holidays more than buying people crap that they don't need. That story about the green guy who finds the true meaning of Christmas is pure bull plop: You get the right gift, and you're the beloved friend/son/father/whatever. You get the wrong one, and everyone you know looks you upon with shame, and the Ghost of Christmas Presents comes and kicks you in the stomach. I decided to play this yuletide game of Russian Roulette just the other day.

I had been given $50 with which to purchase presents for the rest of my family. Sure, it seems like a meager sum, but I don't have a job, so fifty bucks is small fortune to me. Originally, I planned on just using a small amount of the money to purchase presents and then put the rest in my secret Swiss bank account (IE, the jar of money I hide in my room.), but I ultimately felt that in the spirit of things, and because I would have to deal with these people for at least another year, they should all get something, no matter how hard-to-shop-for or undeserving they may be.

Now, shopping has never been one of my favorite hobbies. Whenever I do so, I go in with a clear picture of what it is that I want, and barely enough money to cover it. When shopping for others, though, I have to mill around in a store, searching for which item looks, smells, and sounds like it was destined to be wrapped in festive paper, placed under a rotting pine tree, and used briefly before being discarded by a "grateful" family member or friend. Oh well, 'tis the season.

It was a lovely day for shopping. The rain was pouring, the streets were crowded, and the mall parking lot was filled higher than a frothing cup of eggnog. I chose a spot that was pretty damn far from the entrance because I didn't feel like cruising up and down the lanes, dodging people as they walk to their cars to flee the scene so that I could get that one perfect spot near the entrance. Well, that or I just like the freezing rain and howling wind working together to bring me down. Whatever the cause, I crossed the wind-swept lot, dodging cars as they were cruising for said sweet spot, and around old people who were angry that their day for mall walking was taken up by all these damn young people.

Where the hell is my car!?
Later on that day, Dr. Boogie realized that
there was no chance in hell he was going to
remember exactly where he parked his car.

The inside of the mall wasn't a whole lot different from the outside, except that it was a little warmer and it had that distinct smell of panic brought on by last-minute shoppers scrambling from store to store. I just started walking, as I had no agenda and no idea as to what I would get for everyone. Along the way, I saw a Bath and Body Works. I remembered that my sister had said something about wanting a bottle of moisturizer with the scent of many combined, synthetic fruits, which I had simply dubbed "Man Repellent". I wasn't about to go in there, as the smell was already making my eyes water.

Man Repellent
Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a
refreshing tube of Man Repellent.

Further along the way, I began to notice the large number of strollers being pushed around. I noticed them mainly because they were being pushed slowly, and in front of me. How irritating, I thought to myself. I hadn't seen nuthin' yet, for just moments later, the man in front of me pushing a large, bobsled-shaped stroller slowed down, turned the thing so that it was perpendicular to the walkway, and then sat there as though there were no one else around. I asked myself why he would want to establish a roadblock like this, but it didn't matter a whole lot. I just stepped over it, not around mind you, and continued my search. I wondered if I had scared the kids that I had stepped over, but that was only a fleeting concern.

Thankfully, I found that there was a Spencer Gifts close to another exit from the mall. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it is a store that sells pointless novelties for people of all ages, from 50 all the way down to 33.

For my whiny, immature, irresponsible sister, I got a couple of key chains with sayings that accurately stated how I felt about her. I got my brother one that used one of those playful expressions about how the foot and the posterior of two different people should be combined for amusement purposes.

For my parents, I got a Beatles poster and a device that emits crude noises at the push of a button. It's not that I'm cheap; it's just that the mall itself was out of most things, and the rest of the crap was expensive. Expensive relative to my budget of $50, but still…

With gifts in hand, and five dollars that I would be keeping as a tip, I departed. I could still hear the cries of all the children who were tired of sitting around while their parents shopped, and the groans of men as they searched stores like Claire's for something that their teenybopper daughters might like as I walked. The number of strollers increased, and the lanes seemed to grow more and more narrow, as though the mall itself were saying that it would not be beaten by the likes of me. I just spat in its fat face, and spat on its dirty floor as I strode confidently out the door and to my car, which was practically a dot on the horizon.

The various mall Santas get their freak on.
The only mall worth going to is a fake one,
such as the one in The Sims, where you can see
the various mall Santa get their freak on.

The moral of this story is that malls are for suckers. Also, Christmas is about getting good stuff, and returning the rest. No matter what any parents, or TV networks, or clergymen tell you, that is the best part of the holidays.


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