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Monday, December 22, 2014

Shopping Trauma.

Monday, back at work, safely hidden behind the solid red brick walls of the 100 year old building.  In here things are hectic, time is skewed by the dual reality of the products, and the need to finish everything before the artificial deadline imposed by the holiday.  But, out there, beyond the rock solid, impenetrable walls of this sanctuary, things are mad.  Christmas has taken hold of people.  It has twisted minds.  People are so intent on spreading good cheer they will kill.

We were out there yesterday.  My wife and I went to finish up some shopping.  A few small details to be finished.  Traffic was awful.  Parking was awful.  Cars were circling, bird of prey like, around the lot.  Waiting for someone to leave.  Three or four cars would follow anybody foolish enough to carry shopping bags to their car.  In some cases the people would put the bags in the car, hydrate briefly and head back inside, willing to fight on.  Anger would fog the windows and you could hear the cursing.  Some cars would bulge a little at the doors as the rage tried to escape.

In the stores the conditions were no better.  Macy's was packed.  It was a scene from "Day of the Dead."  Madness ruled the consumer.  People were grabbing bargains, regardless of usefulness.  It was better to get a good deal on something that had no value to you personally than let someone else have it.  Act quickly or leave with nothing, those were the choices.

Most of the day I hid behind my wife.  She is fearless in the fray.  But, there were a few tense moments when we became separated by the flow.  I would rush to catch up, and fall in step behind her.  One horrible time I stopped to look at something, something pointless, something that had no relevance, but the price was so good, maybe we should get a couple, maybe someone we know would like one, maybe we could give it to...  Oh no, the disease was after me now!!!

Looking frantically around I spotted my wife, a couple of aisles over, looking at shirts for our sons.  I rushed to her, she was a rock, and island in the ocean of insane, holidayness.  Unfortunately, I cut the corner a little too sharply, it was a mad dash.  After bumping a young, well dressed young man, I stopped, and turned to face him to apologize for brushing against him.  It was only a mistake in trajectory, and he should know I had no malice.  Imagine my terror when I discovered he was headless.  I panicked, looking around for the head I had knocked off this poor, very nattily dressed young man.

I was so relieved to discover it was only a mannequin!  But, then I wondered what happened to the mannequins head.  I looked around at the shoppers in their garish, gaudy, festive holiday gear.  Who had ripped the head off this mannequin.  What kind of person?  Why?  Had someone used it as a bludgeon.  In a mad dash for the last muffler mitten set anything is fair.  Looking around, I had no doubt most of these holiday shoppers would use a mannequins head to beat a person into submission over a pair of appropriately priced pajamas.

When I reached my wife I said "stay close to me, I will protect you."  She laughed a little and said "OK."