Weapons of Mass Murder

by James Glaser
September 13, 2002

Last Monday I said I would start a new column on Fridays about living in America and I will a few paragraphs down. George W. Bush's speech at the U.N. requires a few words. It was a fine speech, but just as I do when I quote someone, I wish the President would tell everyone who wrote the speech and give credit where credit is do.

I also believe along with President Bush we should call a spade a spade and "weapons of mass destruction" are really "weapons of mass murder" just like he said. I am sure in the next few days not only will George issue a formal apology for the United States' mass murder of the Japanese with Atomic bombs, in World War 11, but he will also announce that we are going to destroy all of our weapons of mass murder.

Also, even though I know George just forgot this point, I am sure he will be calling for the U.N. To enforce all of the resolutions that Israel has refused to comply with. I am sure that the President believes along with me, that we cannot let either Iraq or Israel get away with thumbing their noses at the Security Council.

Well that is enough on the speech and here is something I have been writing all week and it will probably get me some response from woman, but men will see that I am right on.

Man And The Mall

Have you ever looked at how shopping malls are laid out? It doesn't matter if you are in Duluth, Phoenix, or Tulsa, they all have some common points that stay the same. They are spread out so that you have to walk down a promenade with windows displays on each side. They have at least one place to buy a hot dog and a coke, they also all have those large pretzels.

The one common denominator is the plant/ seating area, that divides the whole mall into equal halls, so the whole of the mall and it's halls can't be viewed from one end. Now all of these common factors are not by chance, but they are a program of design to baffle a man and allow a women the maximum amount of shopping time.

As an illustration of what I mean, last week Charmaine and I went to the mall in Bemidji, Minnesota. Walking in a man will always feel that this trip was a mistake, but at that point it is too late to do anything about it. As with all couples the two of us headed to the center plant/ seating area, where the Penny's store and all the jewelry stores are. It doesn't matter where you enter the mall at, this is where all woman bring their men to drop them off.

Charmaine says, and I quote, "I am just going to Penny's and then over to K Mart and will be right back." Now because we have been together for so long, I know that is what she thinks is true and she has every intention to do just that, but I know as all men know, that will never happen.

Now a mall is not set up for men. A man can go to Radio Shack for a few minutes, but even the sales man knows that you are just killing time and not really shopping. Men don't shop. They go in and buy and get out as quick as possible. So if the sales man sees you are really looking at the prices and even trying out some product, he knows right away that you are just killing time waiting for some woman. Some of them that have been in the same boat will come over and tell you that the B. Dalton bookstore has a great magazine rack, which is true and it will take you about twenty minutes just to read every title that they have.

Pretty soon you start looking for your loved one, just knowing that by this time she could have bought everything in the building. This is where the building design comes into play. I look down toward the "Big K" which is what they call K Mart now, but that plant/seating area blocks my view. Also there are all of these little stands right out in the middle of the hall, that sell all sorts of "stuff" and they block you view too.

Being a guy, stuck in a mall for who knows how long, you get hungry. That is why they have those "Hot Dog/ Pretzel/ Coffee/Pop" stands. If you get a hot dog with the onions, chili, relish, ketchup, mustard, and chips and top that off with a large coke for about eight bucks, you can kill another twenty minutes. Because it was a really large coke you will spend at least ten minutes looking for the rest room.

After all of this you want to go looking for your mate, but please resist that urge, because when you finally do find her she will say, "Well I came right back like I said and you weren't there, so I figured that you were shopping and I decided to check out a few more stores." What ever you do, don't give her that opening. You have to be there when she does pass by so you can steer her to the door. Remember she is in the shopping mode and has no idea where she is or that you are waiting for her.

Last resort, when you can't stand on the hard tile floor any longer, you head to the seating area and sit with all the veteran men who have been doing this a lot longer than you have. They have done this so many times that they don't even attempt to kill time walking around and have formed friendships with other men that have to wait too. They know each others wife, so that if one must use the rest room and his wife comes up, the friend will get her talking until his buddy gets back or as every man knows the shopping cycle will start all over again.

This last week I sat with these guys and gleaned some wisdom. They pointed out young couples that you could tell were in love, holding hands, and walking in with smiles on their faces. A while later they would point out one of these same couples, they wouldn't be holding hands any more as the guy needed his to hold the shopping bags. She would still have a smile, but he would look tired and was falling behind. Shopping can be hell.

So in life we try to gain knowledge where ever we can and shopping at the mall with Charmaine has done just that for me. I will stay home next time.

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