A few questionable observations at the mall

My favorite part about visiting a mall? Meeting new friends!
My favorite part about visiting a mall? Meeting new friends!
We live in a small town. The closest thing we have to a mall experience is one-stop shopping for a bottle of Smirnoff, a chicken sandwich and roofing tar thanks to having a True Value hardware store, Subway restaurant and liquor store all joined by a single parking lot. This is the number one complaint by visiting teenaged tourists, who are often found rocking themselves into a coma when their devices lose cell service and they raise their heads to find they are in a wirelessly foresaken land of mall-less-ness.


But today I am laughing at them! Ha-Ha-HA! What makes today different? Because I am doing so from a really big mall. How big, you ask? I don’t mean to brag, but let’s just say it has an escalator. In fact, I can go ice skating, ride bumper cars and buy over-priced merchandise without even breaking a sweat. At least not until I get my credit card statement.

However, as exciting as that all sounds, within the first 15 minutes I’ve made a few observations I find unsettling…

See the guy on the far right? The way he's staring, maybe the store should be named "Forever a Felony."
See the guy on the far right? The way he’s staring, maybe the store should be named “Forever a Felony.”

At first, I didn’t think much about it when I ran into these guys. They are well dressed and seemed to be having a good time seeing the sights. Or, so to speak. I mean… never mind…

If I were a mannequin, I would totally hang out with these guys. Actually, I'd probably hang out with them after a few drinks.
If I were a mannequin, I would totally hang out with these guys. Actually, I’d probably hang out with them after a few drinks.

That’s when I looked across the aisle and saw these lovely ladies who clearly had the gentlemen entranced. How could blame them?

These two trios were positively made for each other. Possibly even in the same Chinese factory.
These two trios were positively made for each other. Possibly even in the same Chinese factory.

Once I saw the name of the store I had wandered into…

I suppose it sounds better than "Dry Seal."
I suppose it sounds better than “Dry Seal.”

…I understood there’s a lot more that goes on after closing time than I realized…

No mouths? Quite possibly the world's most perfect children.
No mouths? Quite possibly the world’s most perfect children.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time to leave for home. I seem to have a stalker…


(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

66 thoughts on “A few questionable observations at the mall”

  1. Thank goodness that it’s early enough on a Thursday and my Mountain Dew is still on ice. Classic Ned and I just loved it. What were we just saying about deleting the selfies????
    Actually, this post reminded me of the time my BFF and hubby scoped out Caesar’s Palace in Vegas. We were so bored (i.e. tipsy) that my friend and hubby started posing next to the mannequins in the fancy stores and copying the various, sometime compromising poses.

    I’m saving the photos for a rainy day blackmail opportunity πŸ˜‰

    1. Yeah, I kind of walked into that one! Haha! What happens in Las Vegas stays in someone’s iPod. And as for those rainy day blackmail photos… remember I live in Oregon where it rains β€” a lot. πŸ˜‰

  2. So many feelings from the 80s coming over me. Andrew McCarthy having relations with mannequins, that creepy girl in the Twilight Zone movie with no mouth…and then the Wet Seal, which is where all those women in the Premarin va-jay-jay dryness ads should start shopping.

  3. i just want to know if there was a printer ink cartridge refill store there. it must be one of the most boring jobs on earth. perhaps not, and i just don’t understand all of the nuances of the profession. no mall is complete without it.

    1. There’s only one store that could rival printer ink cartridge boringness, and that would be the battery store; an entire mall store filled with ever battery you could want. Imagine the fun on inventory day.

    1. Ha! Thanks for noticing! They’re my favorites. My wife got them for me last year for my birthday. Then for Father’s Day
      this year she got me Spider-man Vans. I’m a geek at heart.

  4. Reblogged this on thedailygrime and commented:
    Malls are indeed strange places. We have them in England too, but they don’t seem to be quite as odd as yours. We tend to go for pun based names over here. Book shop chain called “Buy The Book”. push bike shops called “Cycle Logical” etc etc. I’m sure you have that kind of nonsense in America as well.

  5. EVERY town should invest in a mall..even a mini mall…it’s a convenient place to keep teenagers

  6. So I have a mall close to my house, and it has two shops called “Allen Cooper” and “Lee Solly”. Looks like Allen Solly and Lee Cooper made out in there. Does that count?

  7. have you ever seen like the live models they have? I’ve seen more and more malls doing it… and the first time I saw one it startled the crap out of me… cause the women were frozen in position just like a mannequin and so I thought they were one and I barely even looked at them and then one moved and I bout jumped out of my skin… πŸ˜€

  8. Oh, and this was a very enjoyable read, a departure from your usual enjoyable read, not that your usual enjoyable read isn’t enjoyable, it’s just that this blog is a unique departure from your usual enjoyable read, which is really enjoyable.

  9. I no longer will be able to view Jiffy Lube, (okay so it always sounded porn-ish) or write, type, peck anything containing the word “seal” without cracking a “Ned Hickson corrupted my brain” kind of grin.

    My family wishes to send their sincere thanks for this, as it seems like I’ve become a tad…overworked.
    See definition: boring πŸ˜‰

  10. You went with the wife didn’t you! Busted!
    I also end up sitting on a bench quite often, looking sad and wondering why I ever agreed to come along in the first place. Has to be said that I haven’t moved into the dark side by taking pictures of mannequins, so I’m still fine.
    (There must be a support group out there for this – please help Ned)

  11. What do you call a store mannequin that fell off the shelf? An off-the-wall mall doll! Okaayyyy so much for my feeble humor…..Loved this post . My first time here – – found you on “Must Be This Tall.” We both use Splendio theme. We both have lots of kids. We both have similar humor (only you’re hilarious!) We’ve both said, “Let me explain myself.” But my readers are still scratching their heads. Love your blog. Can’t wait to click follow.

    1. “Off-the-Wall Mall Doll” is something I wouldn’t want to attempt saying after a few margaritas without really good health coverage!

      Thanks so much for following, Debra, and for the kind words. I can tell right now I’m going to like your stuff. I’m on deadline today but have already clicked follow so I can spend more time rifling through… I mean, checking out… your stuff over the next day or two.

  12. I think finding myself surrounded by faceless mannequins would creep me out! You can tell I am not a shopper – when did they stop putting faces on mannequins?

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