Friday, September 29, 2017

Mall Mutants and Other Travel Tales

Being on the road a lot for my job, I know pretty much where all the important spots in Connecticut are located. No matter where I am in the state, I know where the nearest Mobil station is if my car is low on gas, and where the nearest Dunkin Donuts is if I am low on glazed crullers.

I also know exactly where all the malls are located. This is not because I enjoy shopping, but rather because I’ve learned that malls have fairly clean restrooms. I used to stop at fast food restaurants if I needed to use the facilities, but it seems in some of these places they clean the restrooms about as often as Hillary Clinton says, “It was my fault.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel very comfortable when I walk into a men’s room and can’t tell what color the porcelain is because it’s covered in a quarter-inch layer of moss and mold. Besides, it’s very difficult to use the bathroom while wearing one of those full-body, Haz-Mat suits.

Whenever I stop at a mall, I accomplish two objectives. First, I answer the call of nature. My second accomplishment is the fact I get some exercise. This is because it’s a federal law that no two malls in the country can be constructed in the exact same configuration, which means all the stores and all the restrooms are located in different spots from mall to mall. OK, maybe it’s not a law, but there must be some kind of solemn pledge all mall owners take, promising to lay out their buildings in such a way that even experienced visitors have to wander around quite a bit to find what they want.

All this walking gives me a fairly good workout. And on those occasions when the nearest parking space is half-a-mile away from the mall entrance, I get a fantastic cardiovascular workout — not so much because of the long distance, but because by the time I reach the men’s room, I’m practically sprinting, fearful that I’m about to do something I haven’t done since age 8, when I dreamt about being at Niagara Falls and woke up rather damp.

Anyway, visiting malls has made me realize a new semi-human species has evolved in recent years. The technical name for humanity is Homo Sapiens. My guess is scientists have named this new species Victorius Secretiens. Most of the clothing stores in malls now display in their windows larger-than-life photos of this mutant breed. (At least I hope the photos are not actual-sized. Otherwise, these freak chicks are twelve feet tall!)

The distinguishing features of these bizarre creatures include large eyes, large lips, large breasts, and abdomens no bigger than my forearm. When I look at the shoppers in the mall, the normal humans, I also see a lot of large — but in different places.

The strangest sights in the mall, however, are the many normal humans who are wearing the exact same clothing worn by the semi-human creatures in the oversized photos. A skimpy, midriff-baring outfit looks odd enough on a body that is twelve feet tall, 105 pounds, with measurements of 48-18-34. But when that same skimpy outfit adorns a normal human body that is five-foot-two, 165 pounds, with measurements of 34-38-42, it’s a little scary.

The only thing I can figure is this new semi-human species possesses some kind of sinister mind control power, which causes normal humans to lose sight of what they really look like. Thankfully I still know exactly what I look like, and we’d all be a lot better off if everyone wore what I wear while out in public: a full-body, Haz-Mat suit.

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