For many people today, their local shopping mall takes the place of the town squares of ancient societies. Malls are a place to shop, mingle, and run into people that you don’t really want to talk to, and then try not to make eye contact with those people, but then you have to talk to them when they yell your name from across the way and it’s impossible for you to pretend that you didn’t notice them. If you’ve been to a mall lately, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a noticable lack of some key ingredients that would make the mall a much more accomodating place. Here are the 8 stores that should be in every mall:
Hot Chicks Walking By Store
Shopping malls are full of stores, and most of those stores are there for women. So what’s a guy to do while the girl he’s at the mall with is busy rifling through bins of clearance bras and over-priced lip gloss? Most guys in this situation choose to just sit down somewhere and watch hot chicks walk by, and it would be in a mall’s best interest to harness this natural mall activity and profit from it. They should open a Hot Chicks Walking By Store, where you pay a couple of bucks to sit down, and then the store’s employees will direct all the hot-chick mall traffic to walk in front of you. I know what you’re thinking: what if the mall that you’re in doesn’t have the highest caliber of hot chicks wandering aimlessly? Well that, my friend, is exactly what your couple of bucks goes toward: in this situation, the store will use some of its on-staff hot chicks to cater to your every people-watching need (well, to almost every need). The store’s biggest challenge will be clearing out all of the dudes who are sitting in front of the Hot Chicks Walking By Store.
I’m pretty sure that every single mall in the history of malls already has a Wetzel’s Pretzels inside, but if there are any malls out there that don’t, they should. This is easily the best shop in any mall, because it’s the only place that has absolutely everything that’s associated with their product. I could be in The Gap or something, and I might say to myself, "well, I found the khaki pants and denim-blue shirt that I was looking for, but I’d really like a sweet sequined fanny pack with a dragon on it," and The Gap might not have that (although I haven’t been in a Gap in a few years). At Wetzel’s Pretzels, I might say to myself, "I know I want a pretzel, but I’d also like something that tastes like pizza, and I want it to come with a side of nacho cheese, some jalapenos, and some ketchup," and guess what? Wetzel’s has exactly that selection on the menu. It’s a beautiful thing.
Unless you’re a creepy weirdo that drives a windowless van, going to the mall as an adult male f*cking sucks. The mall is crowded with a-holes and everyone but you is super-excited to go sit in the lap of a guy that grows a white beard and collects arterial plaque nine months out of the year. As an adult male, there’s nothing for you here at all. Think of the crowds and profits that stores could generate if the mall had a naughty, sexy Mrs. Clause set up next to the Orange Julius. There’d be a few changes, of course. Rather than having to wait in line for your chance to sit in sexy Santa’s lap, you’d wait in line to sit in a massage chair and have her sit in your lap. You’d also be able to come back multiple times without having a restraining order drawn up against you. She also probably wouldn’t change her phone number or un-friend you on facebook for "not being the guy she thought you were", and she wouldn’t say things like, "at first it was cute, but now it’s just creepy," or "Please, you’re scaring me. Other people want to enjoy my time, too." No, it’d be different at this mall.
An Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch is the worst store on the face of the earth. The techno music that’s constantly blasting out of this storefront is so loud that you’re annoyed by it when you’re playing with the massage chair at the Brookstone 5 stores down. The level of douchebaggery that exists in and around an A&F rivals that of a Young Republicans keg party at Yale, and everyone who shops at an A&F does so with the intent of purchasing a pair of $300 jeans that are already ripped to shreds in order to look trendy. The only reason that this store should exist in any mall is to keep those douchebags out of other people’s way. That’s why Abercrombie and Fitch should be positioned away from every other store in the mall, near it’s own designated enterance, and the floors should be covered with some kind of flypaper that can trap douchebags for hours at a time, to keep them from interfering with other peoples’ shopping experience.
The Shoplifting Store
Sometimes when dudes are shopping and they get bored, they like to try to steal things, just to pass the time. They usually just go for little things, like candy, or chapstick tubes, or sunglasses from the girl boutiques that they’re uncomfortably milling about in. It’s not kleptomania, it’s just boredom. That’s where The Shoplifting Store will come in handy. You’ll pay a couple of bucks to get into the store (so that they can cover their overhead expenses), and then just wander around and try to shoplift something. The store will have normal security and normal employees, and if they catch you stealing something, then you have to put it back and leave. This will provide some much-needed motivation to utilize real shoplifting skills rather than just phoning it in, and it should be the perfect level of danger and adventure to keep the normal male mall-goer happy.
The Mall Jester
I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m in a mall (or a crowded public place of any type), I’m always overcome by an intense impulse to play tricks on people. Of course, this kind of behavior is unacceptable, and will often result in me getting punched in the eye, so I don’t do it. I would definitely pay someone else to do it, though. The Mall Jester would work in the same way that the magician at a mexican food restaurant: he’s paid by the mall, but he also accepts tips. His job is to do almost anything you say to anyone you tell him to do it to. You could have him sit on the lower level while you re-create the slurpy scene from Weird Science. You could have him pretend to lose a contact lens, stop foot traffic in an entire aisle and get people to help him find it, and then finally stand up and go, "F*ck you all! I don’t wear contact lenses!" and then run away laughing maniacally. You could never do that, but the Mall Jester totally could.
A Rope Swing Across Balcony Levels
The problem with multi-level malls is that there are usually only three ways to get to the upper floors: stairs, escalators, and elevators. These are fine if you’re a boring idiot or a handicapped guy, but what about the adventure-seekers among us? Y’know, guys like you and me. Guys that think escalators aren’t extreme enough and elevators are just cattle-movers for people. Malls need some form of floor-to-floor transportation for guys who really, really like The Goonies. Enter: the rope swing! Imagine this scenario: you’re up on Level 3, eye-f*cking your enormous bicep as you enjoy a glazed pretzel from Wetzel’s, when suddenly you spot your super-hot girlfriend coming out of the tiny panty store with, like, 9 or 10 bags. You grab ahold of the Tarzan rope next to you and swing like a complete badass over an ass-load of Asian kids who are all snapping photos of you, and then you land like a badass next to her and then the two of you go off and bang in the stairwell. Yeah, malls totally need rope swings.
If there’s one thing on this list that’s an actual, serious suggestion for malls everywhere, it’s this: every shopping mall should have a bar. In fact, every shopping mall should have 3 bars. I’m sure there are some malls out there that have bars inside of them, but this is a neccesity for every mall. A bar encapsulates everything that you’d rather be doing besides standing around in a shopping complex waiting for other people to buy things with your money. While your wife and kids are tearing through the Kay-Bee Toy Store, you can be comfortably sipping some hard liquor and talking to other smart dudes who are doing the same thing. While your girlfriend’s browsing the engagement ring section at Zales suggestively, you can be screaming at the television with 5 other dudes about an off-sides call. Bars are great places. Malls are really not so great. But if you put them together, anything is possible.