In time, numerous certain stores found themselves under the same roof. This, of course, was the mall. In the just slightly less old days you would drive (not walk) to the mall. You would park your car at the entrance that was nearest to the certain store you needed to visit to buy that certain something. You would walk in the mall and pass several other stores that (for this particular trip) didn't happen to be that certain store containing that certain something. But eventually, you would find that certain store, pay for that certain something, walk back through the mall again, passing several other stores that (for this particular trip) didn't happen to be that certain store, return to your car and leave.
Today, that is impossible.
Today there is no such thing as a store that is NOT that certain store. Today it is not possible to pass other stores on the way to that one certain store you wanted to visit all along. Honestly, I never got the memo letting me know that it was now acceptable behavior to work in a store and
I was on my way to the land of things beyond (as opposed to the neighboring kingdom of 'n things) and as I passed yet another hallway storefront hawking cellphones and wireless plans, KioskBoy (KB) gave me a look and rather loudly started his sales spiel from the middle of hall, accompanied by a head-flip c'mere don't I have a deal for YOU! kind of thing, like he was going to try to sell me the letter "O". My inky black heart (IBH) rolled its evil eyes and I ambled to the center of the hallway.
KB: Hey! Can I ask you a question?
(IBH: Dunno. Can you?)
Me: What's that?
KB: Do you have a cellphone?
(IBH: Beeswax, None of Yours, Inc.)
Me: Uh, yes.
KB: Who is your carrier?
(IBH: The company I manage to hate the least. But it's a tough decision because I hate every single one of you, so very, very much.)
Me: Cingular, but I....
Then Kiosk-Boy actually made a MINCE PIE FACE at me and my Inky Black Heart took over so my calm, peace-loving personality could go to its happy place. Look. If I wanted a T-Mobile phone, if I needed a T-Mobile phone, if I was curious and just wanted to browse in the world of T-Mobile phones, I would have done so. And if I wanted to have a conversation with some teen-aged mall employee wearing an electronic headset like they were auditioning to be the next Lt. Uhuru in Star-Trek, I would have walked back to Bath and Body Works, where the young girl wearing an ENORMOUS head-set (why this was needed when you sell soap and pumice stones, I have NO idea) had the good sense to wait until I walked into the store before accosting me.
But fair warning -- if any company thinks they are going to win customers by having ear-piece wearing minimum wage grunts yelling at them as they walk down the hall, my inky black heart will have something to say about that. And then they'd better have some friends nearby to pick up the pieces.
Can you hear me now?