Blumert Survives a Visit to the Mall, Well Barely
by Burton S. Blumert
by Burton S. Blumert
Maybe it's because they were brought up as slaves to changing fashions. Whatever the reason, women don't have the proper respect for tradition and the institutions which render service to those traditions. Take my wife, for example,
"Look, Blumert, Thom McCann Shoe stores don't exist anymore. They're history. The one that was on Market Street in San Francisco probably closed during the Johnson Administration."
I was going to make some crack about President Andrew Johnson almost being impeached in 1868, but, she wouldn't have laughed.
Instead, I pointed out that, "If the US Government had shown some spunk there'd still be an American shoe industry and a Thom McCann's store. All the jobs went to Tibet, I think. Pat Buchanan wrote all about it."
"I know you were fond of those $13 loafers Thom McCann sold, but let's go to the Mall and we'll find you something just as nice."
Going to the Mall is her solution to every problem.
It had been a while since I'd been to the Mall and I'm sure you'll be thrilled to death with my observations.
It took only moments to realize that there were more cars parked than there were people shopping. This suggests that many of the vehicles were abandoned.
I scratched a note on my shirt cuff to do an LRC article on the mystery of abandoned cars at the shopping Mall.
Well, there was one vehicle that wasn't abandoned; while snooping about, I inadvertently peered into a 1963 Chevy Station Wagon and startled a family of 6 having their dinner.
The back seat, which served as a bed for the children, had been converted to a dining table. (Their main course was Beef Wellington with wild rice and mushrooms) I was invited to join them, and later, while munching a zero carb sandwich at Subway, I regretted having declined.
You won't be surprised to learn that the "Handicapped" have more of the choice parking slots than ever before. I have NEVER, EVER seen a single car parked in one of those Handicapped slots. That record remains intact.
It's time for some class action litigation. Look, my handicaps are just as important as anybody else's. What arrogant legislator or jurist gave them the cushy parking slots?
I look forward to giving testimony at the trial,
"Your honor, overeating is MY handicap. Every time I pass a "Handicap" parking slot I am forbidden to use, I get frustrated, and hungry, which leads to more overeating. Save me from that vicious circle and grant me a Handicap Parking Permit."
Whatever YOUR handicap, join me in this class action. (Sorry, a golf handicap is not applicable.)
The most significant change I observed at the Mall was that the folks manning the aisles and the computers were no longer "sales people". Salesmanship is dead. For purposes of this report they shall be known as "clerks".
Let's quickly dispense with the statistics:
- 37% of the clerks do not speak English.
- 29% of the clerks have English as their second language.
- 100 % of the remaining 34% speak English, but hate the customers.
(margin of error for this poll, 3—4%).
In such an environment, it's no surprise that I didn't find anything like those old Thom McCann loafers. (Tomorrow, I'll look for them on EBay.)
I must admit that I was drawn to an astonishing Nike shoe that had lights and could be inflated by pressing a button.
The young clerk with the shaved head said they were a bargain at $285. He was unimpressed when I told him I paid less for my first family car (a 1957 Ford).
Now that my loafers were forgotten, I became a barely tolerated presence. Tolerated only if I stayed out of the way and spoke only when spoken to.
It was as though I had a Visitor's Day Pass in an enclave meant for Females Only.
Teenage girls were the dominant population. They giggled and raced from one store to the next, understanding every protocol. After all, they were in training, in transit to the lofty status of "Superior Shopper" that every woman achieves.
I was lost in such thoughts when my wife rattled me out of my torpor with a deadly question,
"Which dress (substitute, shoes, purse,) looks better on me, the red or the blue?"
There are a series of dreaded questions every man learns to fear:
"Do you think I'm looking fat? ("Truth MUST be avoided when dealing with this question.")
"Do you like this hair style? (If she's crying hysterically, the answer is, "No!")
"Does she look younger and prettier than I do? (The more beautiful the woman in question, the more vehement your, "No!")
Finally, back home to the safety of my Lazy Boy Recliner, I realized what a close call I had survived at The Mall.
I won't be going back there again soon.
July 2, 2004
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