I left my Christmas shopping to the last minute again so I visited my local mall this morning for the first time in probably a year. Wow, what an experiance, I must do it more often. My son wanted new wheels for his longboard so I decided to take his board instead of the car. I was a bit unsure about the wisdom of this as I haven't ridden a board of any kind for a year or two but as it turned out it was a wise decision. I skated the 2 kms to the mall to be met with absolute gridlock. I'm not talking about your everyday common or garden gridlock made famous by the Paris inner ring road or the George Washington Bridge in NYC, I'm talking about real-mans gridlock. The kind of gridlock where people are on their cell phones to organise a house sitter and someone to feed Tiny and Butch for the forseeable future, the kind of gridlock where the mall car park was likely to be a late addition to Santa's list of places he might need to deliver presents to that evening. Let's just put it this way, even the taxi's were stuck because the gridlock extended into the planters in the middle of the roads and the pavements which the pedestrians had long since abandoned as being way too risky.
It was the funniest thing I'd seen in years. There were cars that had attempted to drive over the road and parking area dividers and had got stuck, they'd been abandoned and left pivoting on the sump, leaking oil into the the planter that was looking a bit worse for wear by now. There was a small boy who was receiving medical treatment whilst his father was threatening to blixem the driver who had run him over. It turned out that the poor child had been sent by his father to stand in a recently open parking space whilst he drove over the street furniture to get to it. The lady who'd been waiting for the space wasn't going to be out done by guerrilla tactics such as this and promptly drove over him.
And that was just the car park, the inside of the mall was even worse. The first thing I saw was a vigilante mob who had got so pissed off with the bottlenecks caused by the small impromptu market tables that had been erected in the main walkways they'd taken it upon themselves to clear them out of the way. The half dozen stall holders and another half dozen security guards put up a valliant effort but were outnumbered at least three to one by the angry mob and the skirmish went against them.
There was another fight outside the chemist, somehow a window got broken and several shops in the vicinity pulled down their security shutters but it turned out to be a non-event as both contenders were completely rat-faced drunk and couldn't throw a decent punch between them.
I did my shopping, grabbed a coffee and sat on a bench for half an hour to enjoy the kind of entertainment that money just can't buy. It was an education and the thing I took away from it was that people are just self centered savages and no amount of 'season of goodwill' is going to change them.