We’ve all had to do it, especially recently, take a trip to the terrible world known as the mall. In order to survive such a trip into the devil’s anus, we thought we’d do you all a favor and let you know the various types of people you’ll run into on this non-pleasure cruise. We do this because we care. And also because it’s fun to mock other people. Can’t forget that. Anyway, without further gibberish, here are 11 types of people you’ll see at the mall.
Photo credit: coolinsights, Flickr
11 Barney Fife
No matter what mall you find yourself wandering in, you’ll find this dude, a poor, hapless Police Academy reject who looks like some terrible mutant hybrid of a cop, a mountie and a park ranger. It’s tempting to laugh and make fun of the way they’re dressed or the way they strut around, wielding their miniscule power like it’s the ring of Sauron or something but that would be a mistake because like all dudes with small, uh, “power” they tend to be very angry and very, very willing to throw around that tiny bit of power just to ruin your day. So steer clear of the mall Barney Fife. Oh, and a quick word of advice: they will chase after you if they find you fishing coins out of the mall’s fountain. Trust me. What? These are tough times. Don’t judge.
10 The Hot Topic Goth
Teenagers have it rough. School sucks, their parents are assholes and Jerry Sandusky won’t stop stalking them on Facebook. So naturally they turn to… the mall? Yeah. No, I don’t get it either. But they’re there, in every mall, and they all look miserable and self-obsessed, hanging around outside of Hot Topic blathering about suicide and cutting themselves so they can just feel something damn it, because no one understands them, especially not dear old mom and dad, and OMG that guy behind the counter totally looks like he’s in a band and if I just stand here for a while maybe he’ll see me and turn me into a vampire.
9 The Bewildered Old Man
This particular mall patron spends all his time wandering around in a daze, like he’s just been transported in Doc Brown’s DeLorean to a magical future world filled with strange stores filled with weird futuristic gadgets that must be tools of the devil. After being helped by no less than half a dozen store employees, he finally manages to select one of these magical items and then spends half an hour in line confused by the credit card swiper before a frustrated clerk finally stuffs a handful of change in the old man’s wrinkled paws. Then he spends an hour trying to find his way out of this futuristic devil’s marketplace, gets lost in the food court and accosted in Chinese by an employee of Panda Express, before Barney Fife finally shows up and walks him to his car, which sets off another terrible adventure, which we won’t get into here. But avoid getting stuck behind him in line at all costs. At. All. Costs. Trip him if you have to. Lie to him and tell him that he’s in the wrong store. Point him to the bathroom and tell him the line is over there. After all, the mall is a strange and terrible place, and it’s no place for the weak or merciful.
8 The Hoveround Pilot
In just about any mall you can find some sad Jabba the Hutt doppelganger drifting through the aisles in their special electric pleasure barge, seemingly completely oblivious as they clog the walkways and get in the way of every other mall shopper. Either that or they just don’t give a shit. I mean, let’s face it, they’re in that chair for a reason and it’s not because they’ve spent their lives being conscientious and dedicated to anything other than sloth and cake. How can you expect them to care about you and what you need when they so obviously don’t even care about themselves? Just take the time to circumnavigate the ocean of misery that surrounds them and thank God or Buddha or Patrick Swayze or whoever that you aren’t them.
7 The Family Circus
Nothing is more annoying than being swarmed by the goddamn Duggar family when they decide it’s time for a trip to the mall. Dad spends all his time pretending to look at, well, anything that can give him a plausible reason to ignore his brood and mom just stands back and looks like she’s about to pass out from exhaustion. Meanwhile, the brats all run around and beat on each other, shoppers, mall employees and anyone and everyone that gets in their way. They knock stuff off the shelves and then fight about what shitty food court restaurant they want to eat at before the littlest one starts throwing a tantrum because mommy and daddy won’t let her ride on the dumb little train operated by some faithless meth-head who just wants to go home and do some crank. Have fun, everybody!
6 The Power Walker
This maniac – usually a cousin of the Bewildered Old Man – can be seen stomping from one end of the mall to the other and then back again, a deranged look on his face as he treats the mall like his own private gymnasium, sweating all over everyone he pushes his way past, not stopping until he’s walked his five miles or until Barney Fife shows up and throws him out. I don’t know why so many people choose to use the mall like it’s an indoor track, but they do. Maybe because it’s free? I don’t know, but it’s annoying. But what the hell, at least they’re not doing squat thrusts in the food court. Be thankful for small miracles.
5 The Kiosk Huckster
Every mall now has little kiosks set up in the middle of the walk-way, filled with everything from novelty key-chains to prepaid cell phones. And in all of these kiosks can be found “independent businessmen” or as they used to be called – hucksters. These oh so special folks will be quick to tell you that for only $19.95 you can get a shitty tee-shirt with your worthless face airbrushed all over it! Who can pass up a deal like that? Or they’ll spend all their time chasing you down and haranguing you about buying one of their special energy crystals that is guaranteed to cleanse your aura and give you magical fourteen hour long boners or some such nonsense. The key, just like in the jungle, is to avoid eye contact at all costs and hope that they snare another, slower prey before they latch onto you and drag you down into their annoying little corner of hell.
4 Bored Teenagers
Yeah, entertainment options for teenagers are kind of limited. You can’t drink (well, not legally anyway), you can’t get into any good clubs, you can’t even get into the good movies, and worst of all, you probably don’t have any money. So, naturally, you end up loitering around the mall. This is probably the most clichéd type of person on this list – the mallrat. I mean, they made a movie about it and spellcheck even recognizes “mallrat” as a valid word. And it’s the most clichéd because, goddammit, these bastards are everywhere. Go to any mall and half the people in there are just feckless teenagers, aimlessly wandering around, getting in everyone’s way, harassing all of the employees, snickering at anyone who isn’t them, never buying anything, never doing anything other than just… standing there. It’s ridiculous. Go home, steal your parents’ liquor. Get hammered and have unprotected sex. (A Guyism lawyer just tried to kill me with a blowdart like in the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And now another one just sued me for saying one of his colleagues tried to kill me.) Just get out of the damn mall and also, get off my lawn!
3 The Last Minute Shopper
You all know this guy – mostly because I’m guessing that you all ARE this guy. This dude hates going to the mall but ends up there anyway on Christmas Eve, desperately searching for last minute gifts for his friends and family. Just stay out of his way. Pity him and let me, errr I mean him, do his thing.
2 The Hapless Employee
As bad as all these other types of people are for the rest of us, just imagine how awful they are for the poor employees, who make minimum wage in return for having to put up with all of these idiots and assholes every single day. Going to the mall a few times a year is bad enough, imagine having to be stuck there eight hours at a time and imagine having to put up with it day after day after… you get the point. These are the martyrs of our time. Pray for their poor, beleaguered souls. Or at least, you know, don’t be an asshole to them. I mean, you don’t want to be the one to finally make them snap and start raging on all the customers, including yourself, do you? There’s nothing admirable about getting your ass beat by the fry cook at Der Wienerschnitzel or the clerk at the Disney Store.
1 The Guy Just Trying to Survive
Look, we’ve all been this dude or lady dude. All we want to do is get in and get out with both our sanity and our lives intact. This means successfully navigating the mad world of the mall and all of the people described in this article. If this is you, congratulations, because this list was for you and if you’ve made it this far then you’ll be better armed than the rest of those poor souls just trying to make it out in one piece. During these holiday times, strange and terrible as they may be, the mall is our Vietnam. Stay frosty out there and I’ll see you back at the VFW.
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