I went to the Burnsville Center mall this morn to buy some new shirts for a new job I'm starting tomorrow. I rolled into the mall about five minutes before it's stores open at 10 A.M. thinking I'd kill some time looking at the cute puppies pushed out of our local puppy mills. Having scratched that itch, I then headed off for Macy's. I was cruising along what some folks might call the wrong side of the mall (I was walking down the left side of the mall as I was to be making a left turn) and was looking bemusedly to my right at a large pile of hats, coats, and gloves that the elderly folks had piled on some benches. You know what I mean - the old folks who amble through malls in MN to get some morning exercise rather than risk the dangers of a fall on ice outside. Generally harmless.
Well, no sooner did I swivel my head back to where I was going and begin to take my left turn when I saw, to my shock and horror, a swarm...no...a cavalcade...a herd...no...a convoy of sweating, red-cheeked, puffing mothers pushing single and double-wide baby strollers at break-neck speed towards me. Christ, there must of been two dozen unemployed, suburbanite breeders in the stampede (now, I'm an unemployed suburbanite capable of breeding, but I wasn't running anyone down...so I can say that). With an exclamatory, "What the fuck," and an NFL-worthy foot-chop to my right I was able to avoid a 20-pram pile-up but I could not avoid the beady-eyed, self-rightous glares of the pack leaders as I danced my little jig and voiced my surprise. Nor could I save the poor woman I had been walking behind who was quickly enveloped by the sweaty mob. I think the boiling mass of humanity recognized one of their own in that woman, because they let her escape unharmed. Of course, only the first couple of ranks of the massed infantry noticed my evasive moves. The rest blithely jammered on about this and that while sweatily shoving their babes onward through the mall and over any unsuspecting customers. As I passed the last of the woman, I was horrified to see some unfortunate octogenarian twisted and wrapped around the rear axle and undercarriage of the last stroller, his wispy white hair making a sad little, "fop, fop, fop" as it repeatedly hit the mall floor.
Okay, I'm exaggerating...but not much. I'm not allowed to have a few beers and drive my car over a few pedestrians, but they are allowed to tear around the mall in large, sweaty packs endangering the lives of the elderly and innocent shoppers. WTF? I'd rather have the mall overrun by Hells Angels than by the local chapter of Stroller Strides.