October 16, 2011

Mauled at the Mall

The wife wanted to go to the mall last night.  Since I am a good sport, I agreed. She did her thing, which involves looking at every piece of clothing in every store, then going back to compare. I took a quick turn through the sporting goods stores and found a comfortable place to sit.

It must have been drop-your-teenager-at-the-mall day yesterday. Packs of loud obnoxious youths congregated in every conceivable area of the mall.  Mostly these herds of kids decided to stop and yell across the way wherever the kiosks and construction of the storefronts afforded the narrowest possible opening, forcing old farts like me to squeeze through where we could.

The mall cops on their Segways tried breaking up the roadblocks, but no one can take them seriously in their little mushroom helmets. Honestly, the crowd was Christmas-like. 

I sometimes say words around here and in my house that are not appropriate. I know most of the four letter words that make little old ladies blush. I do know also when and where these words are appropriate. Sitting sideways in one of the stinky mall chairs yelling "Fuck you n---er. I ain't lettin' you use this phone, my bitch is gonna text me" is not what most of us would consider polite conversation.  Later a congregation of youngsters stood right behind my chair carrying on a loud conversation. This sort of freaked me out, because I do not like people standing right behind me. But anyway, after some of the pre-pubescent girls moved off leaving behind a cloud of cheap perfume, one of the guys asked the other "You gonna bump that?"

"I dunno", he mumbled, "She is only fourteen."

I am pretty sure polite citizens do not stand in the doorway of the candy store and shout across the mall "Hey Jimmie, Fuck you, man". Not even when the words are said with good nature and true bon hommie.

Later in the evening, the mall cops worn to a frazzle, I heard one tell a group of a dozen or more teenagers who were standing and talking and blocking one entire side of the walkway to "shop or leave". A couple of the girls thought this was an invitation to debate the issue. Soon Metropolitan Police joined the white-shirted mall security forces in escorting them from the building.

Heck, I wanted to go to a movie instead of the mall.  I got all of the entertainment I could stand without even having to buy popcorn.


Jean said...

I went to the mall yesterday for a haircut (mistake even with a discount coupon). After, I started through the store. Hadn't gone 20 feet when I saw CHRISTMAS displays.
I left the mall and came home.
I may have had a total meltdown if I'd observed what you did.
But then, I am defective in many ways.

Jon Moore said...

A mall in York PA has banned everyone under 18 who is not accompanied by a parent or guardian on Friday and Saturday nights.
I'm not sure if I agree with this or not, but it does have to make for a more pleasant mall experience for those having legitimate business.

marcus said...

The Mall, ugh. I don't go often. The Apple Store and Victoria's Secret are in mine, and they're close together, so that's a good thing.

I did think it was kinda ironic that in your post you spelled out Fuck a couple of times, but not nigger. And that's your call.

Great post! I felt like I was there with you.

Joe said...

Yep Marcus, that is where we are as a society. "Nigger" has become the dirtiest of all filthy words. Today, it would be on Carlin's list of words you cannot say -- anywhere.

Cappy said...

Blame Bush.

Galt-in-Da-Box said...

You gotta love the big city experience!

Anonymous said...

That has to make some parents proud, if they really cared.
James Old Guy

Erin O'Brien said...

Okay. I've seen it at the malls. I hear the eff-bombs every day when I pick up my kid from the public high school (populated, incidentally by kids of predominately white upper middle class conservatives and, incidentally the Alma mater of someone IN THIS VERY COMMENT THREAD), and I don't like it any more than anyone else.

But guess what? As soon as you start talking about those rotten kids today and can you imagine the language and did you hear what they said in that song ... you age about 15 years.

What's next? You start talking about your hip replacement? Good christ.

Worry about your own kids and how they behave. But of course, I'm sure they're all perfect.

Rita said...

If you've been downtown to the Circle City mall, they have limited the hours underage kids can be in the mall unaccompanied because of the problems they have had there.

I really don't know of any mall even in quiet Indianapolis where I would allow my underage kid to hang out there.

Jon Moore said...

I think the difference Erin, is we were generally a more courteous youth.
I could elaborate, but you well know of what I speak.

Ed Bonderenka said...

We knew if we acted like that, there'd be consequences, and we know why there aren't now, and which political philosophy is to blame.

Joe said...

No, I have no illusions my kids are perfect. I am sure they drop more than the occasional f-bomb. At least one smokes. Two are over twenty-one and drink.

I also hope they have an understanding of time and place and that their Mom and I instilled some basic manners and respect for others.

Bitching about society's youth and loss of respect dates to the second generation of humans. Livy complained in his writings on ancient Rome. Catullus described it in one of his poems.

Kids behaving badly is not new. Complaining about is not either. That fact does not excuse bad manners and disrespect.

Woodman said...

That's the part I never understand. Hypocrisy is part of being human.

When I smoked I didn't want my kids to smoke. Just because I killed someone doesn't mean I can't tell someone killing people is wrong.

When I was a kid, and even now away from the office and my own children, I had a foul mouth. I was a military brat, and I had the vocabulary to prove it. But, I knew it was wrong, I don't fault the kids at all, I fault the parents that don't call them on it. I fault the society that doesn't approve of any breathing sane adult saying something about that behavior.

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