I’ve found it, the place where all the lonely souls go to not die so much as wander around in their misery and boredom. It is *drum roll please* the shopping centre (or let’s just go right ahead and use the word mall). Sorry it couldn’t be a more exciting place, but there you have it.
I live in Brighton, and I tend to avoid Churchill Square as much as is humanly possibly but this morning I had to venture in. I find that the people in such centres of shopping delight can be nicely lumped into a number of categories. You have your shopper on a mission – I generally fall into this category – walking briskly, full of purpose, eyes fixed on the target destination and mind fixed on getting the hell out of there. Then you have your dawdler, your person to whom a day spent browsing in the mecca of artificial light and, well, pretty much artificial everything is a good day out. To which I must add, this activity will generally be conducted at least once a week and concluded by a visit to the Millie’s Cookie’s stand. Then we reach my personal favourite, the male in the shopping mall.
Is there any sadder specimen of modern-day man than the male trapped in such a place on a Saturday morning? They look so lonely, so bored and so so sad. Everywhere you turn you will not fail to see a man, of any age, sat by himself on one of the thoughtfully placed benches designed for just such an occasion. Or, if no bench is available – it has been taken up by a fellow male in shopping centre – he may have casually draped himself on the bannister; occasionally glancing down to the lower floor, contemplating what that jump may be like.
I sympathise with these men, I do. For there are others of the same gender who have adapted to this way of life, who enjoy a shopping centre as much as their female counterpart. Or perhaps they’ve just learnt to force themselves to enjoy it. Perhaps the lonely shopping centre males should rally together and start a rebellion. Picture the scene; a bench is a taken, one man sits there alone, another man contemplates the bannister outside River Island but then something strange comes over him and he thinks “No, I’m not standing for this anymore”. And so he sits down on the bench, and so it begins. Him and the other man start talking, and soon they are joined by yet other poor lonely male souls abandoned in the mall. They get to talking, and soon the rabble is roused. They hate this life, they’ve had enough. They all rise from the benches, marching towards the exit. The rebellion, fuelled by Millie’s Cookies begins.
Either that or they could just grow some balls and say no to being dragged into Churchill Square on a Saturday morning, they could even dare to utter the words “I’d rather just stay in the shed”.
And so I leave you with this rather amusing video warning you of the fact that no good can occur in a shopping mall.