Aug 242004

Here’s a little tale of an old man, who never learned to appreciate the necessity of fashionable clothing… or should I say…who developed a serious neurosis for shopping malls?

7:50: I’m coming out of the bathroom after having a shower wearing nothing but my slick, fiery red bathrobe. Walking into my cabinet (yes, you CAN walk IN actually), turning around and searching for pants. ‘Mmmmh..again just one left, didn’t I do the washing just a week ago?’ And a thought strikes me, that makes my neck-hair stand up straight: ‘May be its time to get some new ones?’.

8:27: Over a cup of tea the determination and confidence is rising. ‘Yes, this is the day, weather conditions are good, the enemy does not expect me coming, everything’s to my favor’. I WILL enter the mall and buy me some new pants! And while I’m with it, why not a new pair of jogging trousers, a few new shirts and a pair of shoes as well? Oh lord, I’m getting over-confident!

Behind enemy line 1

8:53: The enemy opens its gates at nine. So, slipping into my armor, checking guns for the 7th time, one last deep breath, power and glory…here I come! Slowly walking down I can feel my heart beat in my throat. ‘Is this the right thing to do, is this really a good day to die?’ My black mare awaits me impatiently in front of the door, its seems like she feels my nervousness. But with her typical roar spitting fire she sets off carrying me closer to the battlefield.

9:16: Carefully I hide my mare in front of the huge building, no need for her to get injured, this is gonna be a sneak attack, ‘so you better stay here, my friend, until my return, but be sure to ride fast, when I’m back! We might need to get out of here quickly!’ Walking over to the huge, intimidating gates, I can see the enemy at work! Swallowing people with unappeasable hunger, hundreds of unsuspecting innocents being sucked in, deprived of all their savings and spit out again with bags full of useless goods. I will be one of them soon.

9:17: I step in. In front of me 7,500 square meters of battlefield, and the battle is on. I can see the pain on their faces, the lust of killing for possession, the ultimate blood-rush in their eyes. ‘I’m sorry, guys, don’t look to me for help, I got my own battle to fight.’ I’m hesitating… it looks different to when I was here last time…so obviously intelligence about enemy lines is useless, have to do the scouting myself!

9:20: Moving from cover to cover, silently, leaving no traces behind, I finally manage to have a rough idea about the positions of the enemy. Strange, the things I need are at the most far ends…might this be a trap? ‘Anyway, now I’m here, there is no turning back, not without the prey in my hands.’ Each step carefully outlined in my head the final run begins…

9:21: I’m arriving alive at the shelf with the pants. Ducking I reach down, grab something while watching the ongoing fights around me… ‘mmh…3 pieces, size L, 4,99, okay.. thats it, take two!’

9:22: 20m to the right, reaching there without getting injured, I can feel the sweat dribbling down my spine…’Jogging trousers…thats easy…just take any, XL, 4,99. Color? Doesn’t matter!’ Done.

9:23: Its getting more difficult…shirts now…another 50 m to cross, taking cover, avoiding the open fights, and its a miracle…I find a mount without any direct enemy contact. But I feel my stamina fading, this is the wrong thing for an old man… ‘Shirts…XL…oh look…XXL, thats nice, take them!’ Looking around I grab a shirt and pick two by accident…’so, why not, they look different, both XXL, 12,99, thats okay.’

Behind enemy lines 2

9:24: Decision making. ‘Oh my God, I’m SO pissed of this! I must breathe again! I’ve GOT to get out of here! NO SHOES today!’ Everything went smooth and fine till now….too smooth actually…now the last part…cash desk! And of course thats on the far end of the building again… but at least close to the exit, so that wont mean any wasted ground.

9:26: With growing confidence of making it out alive, probably even uninjured, I stand in line at the cash desk…waiting…

9:27: …waiting…

9:28: ‘Look at those faces…desperation, defeat and still a glimpse of satisfaction in it.’ Waiting…

9:29: ‘Why does it take longer at the cash desk than actually picking the stuff I was looking for?’ Waiting…

9:30: I really don’t know for how much longer I can take this. I feel suffocated, sweat running down my back, my knees feel as if they will soon stop working. May be I should just drop the stuff and try to get out! Waiting…

9:31: Finally! ’40,95′ the girl says, I give her 50, grab the change without counting and with a final roll over my shoulder I leap to the exit. My good mare waiting anxiously and in NO time we hit the road….and oh…what a lovely feeling to breath again, to feel the wind in my face…


I wish I could say that was the end of the story. In fact the reason I’m writing this is just to gain some time…to avoid the same run again…because…uhm…what can I say…uhm…the shirts have been the size of a tent actually, big enough to give two people shelter in a rainy night. So…I’m about to face the enemy again. If you wont hear from me in the next days, I want you to remember me as the fierce warrior I’ve been, fierce and yet defeated! May you all walk with the light!

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