|Date: Sat, 16 Dec
1995 19:23:38 -0500
From: "Bonnie M. Voigtlander" <ao246@YFN.YSU.EDU>
Subject: What a day! or Christmas at the mall
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L &WORDS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
What was I thinking! It must have been oxygen deprivation to the brain from interval training on the erg this morning.
I drove into Knoxville to the mall on the Saturday before Christmas.
My main purpose was to get the last little Christmas village at Dillard's. They had a special this year in which you bought a little house for $5 on each Thursday (or as long as they lasted) of the nine weeks before Chistmas. If you got all nine you could send in the handy little certificate and get free the village clock tower (with an actual working clock).
I don't usually buy into this stuff but I've been wanting a Christmas Village for some years and this seemed like an inexpensive way to get one. I was suspicious and rightly so. There were no little "Trinity Church" houses left today. They probably had three or four and sold out on Thursday.
And how I suffered to not get my little house! The traffic was hideous. There was an accident, complete with fire engine, at the west entrance to the mall. The only way to find a parking spot was to stalk some likely woman carrying packages into the parking lot. In the mall itself the people looked so tired and unhappy.
Middle-aged men, in particular, look so sad at a mall at Christmas time. They wander about without purpose or direction hoping against hope that a present, preferably wrapped and labeled, will jump out at them and satisfy the dreams of their wives or significant others.
One older woman stomped her foot and said "Damn" just as I was approaching her. I stopped and smiled kindly. She asked me in desperation if I knew where the escalator was. I did. She was pathetically grateful.
Having bombed out on my Christmas Village house, I went to buy some coffee at Barnie's. Disaster. I got the same comotose young man I had last week. When I asked for a pound each of espresso and golden espresso he recognized me and wanted to know if I had drank all the espresso I bought last week! Jeez!
As he laboriously measured out my coffee beans, labeled the bag, ground the beans, I managed to catch the eye of a swifter clerk and scored a medium latte so that I had something to do while the comatose one slowly filled my order. Not that I was that eager to get back out there into traffic anyway.
Finally I was free of the mall and the west end traffic and on I-40 headed back to Oak Ridge. While waiting at stop lights I managed to clean out the back seat of my car. I found an old Doors tape which features Jim Morrison reading his poetry. Good stuff: "I intend to get my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames."
Listening to Jim (and thinking of Shoshana) I drove towards the setting sun which was doing a magnificent job of lighting up the Cumberland mountains to a very deep purple.
Home at last, I have a Scotch in hand and feel mellow once more in my recluse cave.