How To Survive A Trip To The Mall

mall 3Do you have to go to the mall, Modern Philosophers, and fear that you won’t make it back alive?

I’ve decided to expand on my First Date Survival Tips posts and branch out into the frightening realm of Mall Shopping.

I had to go to the mall today, and not only did I make it out alive, but I also found a couple of incredible deals.  It’s usually close to impossible to find a pair of running shoes for my size 15 Monkey Boy feet, but I picked up two pairs at Foot Locker for $95.

Now that I have two new pairs of sneakers.  I shouldn’t have to go back to that horrible place anytime soon.

I’m sure some of you will not be so lucky, though, so pay attention.  I’m about to share some Deep Thoughts that very well could save your life.

mall 1Always go in with a plan.  NEVER go to the mall to window shop, look around, or check out the sales.  Go there as a last resort only (by that, I mean you’ve gone to Good Will, yard sales, and checked dumpsters first) and ALWAYS have a plan of attack.

Know what store you’re going to first and have a back up store ready in case the first one doesn’t pan out.  Don’t stop to look at the map or to ask for directions at the information desk.  Those are traps designed to keep you in the mall longer and steal your soul.

Memorize the layout of the mall so you can get where you need to go without having to stop for directions.  If the store isn’t where it’s supposed to be, ABORT THE MISSION!  Get the hell out of there because it’s just another trap.

Pretend the mall is an enemy country and you are an intelligence officer on a secret mission.  Everyone is a threat.  Assume anyone you encounter will turn you over to the authorities.  If you are captured, you will never see America or your loved ones again.  You will be tortured for information and then imprisoned and forgotten.

Keep your head down, act like you belong, and don’t draw attention to yourself.  Complete your mission and get to the extraction point as quickly as possible.

mall 4Go in hungry, but avoid the Food Court.  If you go to the mall hungry and have some self control, it will motivate you to get in an out as quickly as possible so you can return home to feed yourself.

The last place you want to be is the Food Court.  That’s where they really get you.  Everything is pricey, and once you’ve decided to eat, you tend to want to make a day of it, or at least walk off your meal.

Use the bathroom before you leave for the mall.  I’m not advising this because mall bathrooms are gross, but because two women were recently stabbed in the bathroom at the Bangor Mall.

So, if you use a mall bathroom, you might end up leaving behind more bodily fluid than you intended.  Hold it if you have to, Modern Philosophers.

mall 2Get there when it opens.  Arriving when the doors open is smart for many reasons.  You won’t have to deal with crowds, the best merchandise is still available, and the salespeople are more likely to be available and have not yet gone into “annoying sales mode” where they try to keep you from leaving until you buy everything in the place.

When you get there early, the pests with the spray bottles aren’t out yet to spritz you with foul smelling fragrances as you try to pass without being noticed.

Don’t be afraid to walk out.  If you can’t find what you want after you try the Alpha and Bravo locations, you need to leave.  It will be tempting to go from store to store until you find that item on your list, but that was not in the battle plan.  Deviating from the plan of attack in anyway decreases your chance of survival.

Mall prisons are filled with ambitious shoppers who thought “just one more store” would solve all their problems.  Now their family members cry themselves to sleep at night and wonder why those shoppers never returned from the mall.

mall 5Keep in constant contact with the outside world.  As we established earlier, the mall is a self-sustaining enemy state.  Its leaders want all of your money and do not care how they get it.

You need to remind yourself that a world exists outside of the mall, and you are expected back there shortly.

Check your smartphone every fifteen means to maintain contact with the real world.  Carry on a phone conversation with someone you know and trust and are certain is outside of the borders of the mall.  Constantly update your Facebook status and Tweet about your whereabouts so search parties can be sent for you if you vanish.

Park near an exit.  Remember, your visit to the mall is not over until you have left the property and arrived at a location that is governed by a non-mall authority.

Just because you are out of the building, doesn’t mean you’re safe.  You want to get to your vehicle ASAP and get the hell out of there.

NEVER take public transportation to the mall.  Buses drop off shoppers all the time, but they never seem to take anyone out of the mall…

Mallrats 2Avoid the Mallrats.  You know who they are.  The slacker, stoner, layabouts who have nothing better to do than to hang out at the mall all day.

How can you trust anyone who thinks the mall is cool?  Those punks are nothing but trouble, and I heard a couple of them beat up the Easter Bunny.

Never go to the mall on a date.  If you would even consider going to the mall on a date, then you are a lost cause.  I weep for you and will remember you in my prayers.

If you follow the advice I just shared with you, then you should always come home from the mall safe and sound.  Of course, the best way to survive a trip to the mall is by never going at all…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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23 Responses to How To Survive A Trip To The Mall

  1. This: ‘Go in hungry, but avoid the Food Court’. Such a risky game to play…even a good amount of self control in such a testing situation means it’d be like going in for a round of Russian roulette. 🙂

  2. Pamela Edwards says:

    Excellent advice Austin ! I too loathe shopping at the Mall & rarely go , really only as a last resort .

  3. grannyK says:

    I haven’t been to a mall in a decade, at least! I’m not a shopper, and I would rather go someplace close to home when I do shop, or shop online!

  4. With the exception of the two women being stabbed, this made me laugh. I love to go to the mall and I can’t seem to go without eating at the food court. It happens to be right next to my favorite bookstore and they give out free samples that makes me hungry every time. I know it is a trap but I love it.

  5. ambradambra says:

    Better still, avoid the mall at all costs. Travel far and wide to long-forgotten outposts with dusty general stores if you have to, just avoid the mall. Your soul won’t be destroyed.

  6. donedreaming says:

    Thanks International Man of Maine, your advice came just in time. With dog food provisions at an all time low I was sent packing to the nearest hound dog emporium which is located 10 miles away in a shopping centre (mall to you). So heeding your words, and with no breakfast inside me, I headed for what I hoped would be a quick in/out. I managed to park right outside the store (handy because there’s enough rain for Noah to start knocking together another Ark) and I headed in. Three minutes later and I was back in the car with my salmon and rice for sensitive dogs and heading home thinking Austin would be proud of me. By this time I was so hungry I could have eaten anything … let’s just say once I arrived home I had to slink in past the dog with a half opened bag of dog kibble. I’m sure the Marines have eaten worse …

  7. Joseph Nebus says:

    I’m not avoiding the chance to buy a pack of Peanut Chews at the freestanding kiosks near the food court.

  8. kriskkaria says:

    Great advice for mall shopping, I avoid malls whenever possible, too. Can I narrate this one, too? I’m almost finished with your dating advice series. Those were really fun.

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