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Christmas terror

December 22, 2009

Ye gods, the malls this time of year!   I thought I would just stop by on my way home from work tonight, and so help me Baby Jesus, it is an error I will not repeat.

Finding a parking space took half an hour of driving slowly and stealthily behind any people who looked like they had full shopping bags, accidentally petrifying several single female shoppers in the process. (Truly, when in my vehicle and on a mission for Christmas gifts, I am a fearsome sight.) And, of course, the people who finally did turn out to be walking to their car were driving….a Civic.  It took another ten minutes of careful maneuvering to wrestle the Jeep into the spot — a rather tight pinch, but if Santa could do it, then so could the Grinch. The owner of the coupe parked next to me will never know how close his midlife crisis came to total annihilation.

I made it inside at last, but I’d gotten only as far as the center court of the mall when all the lights went out.  After a few tense moments, when shoppers paused and looked at each other nervously, someone who sounded like P.T. Barnum began speaking unintelligibly from the high reaches of the ceiling.   And then everything went mad.

Apparently this was supposed to be a festive holiday light show.  I swear to you:  It resembled nothing so strongly as a scene from Band of Brothers.  The tree, a menacing affair three stories tall, was decked with giant, shiny ornaments that looked exactly like exploding grenades when the lights started flashing.  There were pulsing stars that reminded me uncomfortably of swastikas.  A lot of cascading tinsel.  (Shrapnel?)   And the whole business was set to an industrial metal remix of the march from the first act of the Nutcracker (you know, you’ve heard it, dun da da da dun dun DUN DUN DUN), played at the same volume as your average piece of heavy artillery. It was the most terrifying display of holiday merriment I have ever seen.  Even though rationally I knew she was performing all the way across town at the Nokia, I half expected Lady Gaga to come tumbling down the escalator, dressed as a Pfeffernüss cookie and toting an M1.

I have way too much work to do given that it’s the week of Christmas (so much for tying ribbons and weather-watching), but I am so damn grateful to be in my own bed revising budgets, because it means I am not at the scary mall.

One Comment leave one →
  1. David permalink
    December 22, 2009 1:06 pm

    Kate !!!

    What??? You weren’t enjoying “mingling with your fellow countrymen” in the mall !!!

    This was one of your best posts yet…I am still laughing out loud more than an hour after reading it. And I am thrilled that you had the time to write a little. (The previous post was really good too.)


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