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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

shopping - 2

My somewhat tongue in cheek soliloquy continues.

The “Mall Experience” that really took the cake, cooked my goose, upset the apple cart and slammed the auto of good intentions into the large tree of bad experience, happened several years back. This was before I retired and I was on vacation the week after Christmas. Blinded by the love I had for my wife and a bad memory, I foolishly suggested taking her on her favorite excursion, a visit to THE MALL!!

If any day could be worse than any other day to go to the mall, the worst possible day would be December 26th, but that is when we went. As we approached the parking lot, it was as if one could sense a dark ominous cloud of complaint and discontent hanging over the whole area as hundreds and maybe thousands of miserable souls were returning or exchanging gifts because of defects, wrong color or improper size.

As I parked the car I knew I had made a grave error in judgment about the place I had consented to come and the time we had arrived. My mind desperately fought the rising panic and I cast my eyes and mental faculties around the inside of our Honda to find some wellspring of strength to bolster my sagging confidence.

Times such as that can bring many questions to one’s consciousness – If I get separated from my wife, can I find my way back out? -Or- Could I even find a place to pray inside the mall? In my desperation I realized I was clutching in my sweaty hands about a half of a large bag of gummi bears, squishy confections of little multi-colored and flavored animal shapes. Small comfort though they were, going on their strength, I managed to get myself out of the car and inside the mall.

Meekly I followed the one I had chosen and vowed to love – all through the endless rows of hanging clothes and displayed merchandise – ever vigilant lest we become separated (we didn’t have cell phones back then).

Between glances at the spouse I read the ingredients contained in the little gummi bears in the bag. These were fairly acceptable with one exception – among the artificial colors was one that stood out – “Red 40”. Even that was not enough to keep me from nervously consuming the only source of comfort I had, but later the questions came.

What about the other 39 Reds, did they kill an unacceptable amount of people? – Cause mental problems? – Create an addiction to the stuff? – Cause people to write crazy things? At the very least, they created more questions than answers. And questions are much harder to answer than answers, unless the answers are disguised questions and meant for those that are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”. ec

To be continued.

3 Comments:

Blogger Bonita said...

You manage to come up with such endearing comforts - now, I was never one to highly prize the gummy bears, but, I'm glad they came to your rescue.

1/24/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger adannells said...

December 26th is the one day I know never to go shopping! They say it is worse than Chrismas Eve! I actually wait until January to do any shopping at the mall. :)

1/24/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bonita - Their comfort was "beary" much needed. :)

adannells - It was definitely the worst shopping mistake I have ever made. ec

1/25/2006 08:09:00 AM  

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