The Mall...

Anyone who was raised in the suburbs (and probably a few who weren't) know that the social and cultural center for any teen or pre-teen is the mall. It's where all the magic happens. I never understood why, at the time, the mall was always the default destination if we couldn't come up with something better. I never had money to buy anything. I'd patiently wait as my other friends would peruse video game stores for the latest and greatest. Normally we could sucker one of our parents to drive, but occassionally had to resort to (ack) the bus. Our staple mall was Yorktown Center in Lombard, IL.

One of the challenges that came with each trip to the mall was to see if we could "out-obnoxious" our previous trip. A few of our favorite pasttimes included:
  • Buying super-balls, going up to the second level, and bouncing the ball down to the lower level and across to the other side. We learned the hard way to avoid doing this in front of a shop that sells crystal or Hummels.
  • Playing "Killer" (a tougher-sounding form of hide-and-seek) in one of the anchor stores like Marshall Fields. Every now and then they'd be serving cheese & crackers in the furnture department if you were lucky. Kids gravitate towards freebies like moths to a flame.
  • Once we bought a helium balloon and poured a jar of that green slime stuff (you know what I'm talking about) and released it while the slime dripped down upon unsuspecting shoppers.
  • We'd go to customer service and see if we could convince the person working to page someone. I know you're thinking we'd use names like "Mike Hunt" or "Phil McCracken", but we got enough of a kick out of using regular names that we never had to resort to that. We were weird.
Of course, there were always mall security to contend with, as well as frustrated retail workers that had enough shit to deal with besides annoying mouth-breathers like us.

Nowadays I loathe the fucking mall. I avoid them at all costs. The nearest one to me is about 1.5 hours away. Suits me just fine. I've eaten enough Sbarro pizza to last a lifetime.


Anonymous said...

Oh Chris... I laughed so hard about you using regular names to page. I don't know why that is so funny to me.

I went to the mall all the time, too. Almost every Saturday. It was never as exciting as what you described, though. Probably because I'm a girl and I went there to shop and boy-watch.

lulu said...

At Woodfield there was a fountain that had a sort of sheet of water-waterfall kind of feature that you could walk behind. I put an open mouth jar of dishwashing liquid into the fountain and casually wandered away. Bubbles everywhere!

Megan said...

Super balls?

The Boob Lady said...

Chris, contrary to popular belief, moths are not attracted to flames. I get your point though.

My favorite page in my mall was "Anita Beaver". No shit.

Anonymous said...

Superballs - the greatest toy even invented

Slinger said...

Lulu - I remember that waterfall thingy. That is hilarious, I wish I could have seen the bubbles!