Mauled By a Mall

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ROBERT CLEMENTS

Malls! They’re rising from every corner, huge and looming, sneering at nearby slums, laughing gaily at tall high rises, and seductively filling themselves with millions, nay zillions of shoppers, who trapeze from floor to floor, entering shop, leaving shop, burdened with brimming bundles, crammed cartons, big boxes.

We are becoming infested with malls!

I found myself in one yesterday.

“Slippery flooring!” I told the wife as I gently allowed my feet to slide along glassy floor.

“What are you doing?” asked the wife.

“Slithering along!” I said, “So I won’t tire my feet!”

“Don’t!”

“Why?”

“Security are watching you!”

“Where?” I asked and bumped into a plastic mannequin, “You the security? You look too pretty to be a guard!”

“That’s a mannequin and stop looking foolish talking to it!”

“So where’s the security?”

“TV cameras!” said the wife pointing to one, which seemed pointed at me.

“Invasion of privacy!” I shouted waving at the camera. The wife disappeared into a store quickly and I walked to the mannequin, “How long you been here?” I asked.

“Mannequins don’t talk!” said a child nearby.

“Of course they do!” I said, “don’t you?” I asked the mannequin.

“Of course I do!” said the mannequin, startling the child who didn’t know it was my voice.

“Ma!” Ma!” screamed the child staring at the mannequin and then at me.

“What happened beta?” asked a young mother, appearing from nowhere, grabbing her little one and looking suspiciously at me.

“It’s okay ma’am, we’ve been watching him,” said the security who seemed to have popped out of the camera. “Come with us sir!”

“Why?”

“We have been watching you! We saw you stealthily creeping up to that woman inside that shop, then the mannequin, now the child!”

“I was not creeping, I was slithering,” I explained, “it helps instead of walking, especially when you’ve got miles to go!”

“What is it officer?” asked the wife appearing from inside the shop.

“He was following you madam! We are arresting him!”

I slithered out of the mall with the wife and passed another mannequin, “Don’t!” said the wife sharply, “It was bad enough telling them you were my husband, and then hearing you were making a pass at a mannequin!”

“Bye!” I told the mannequin as the wife looked at the cameras and pleaded with security that we were leaving.

“Didn’t you shop?” asked the kids at home, seeing no boxes or bundles.

“Dad’s not a mall person.” said the wife wearily.

“I was mauled by a mall..!” I said winking at the small shopkeeper next door.

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