Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dear Local Mall

Years ago, I lived in Seaford, DE.  Seaford's two claims to fame are that it was the birthplace of Major League Baseball Player Delino De Shields.  They claim that twice, since they think it is that important.  For obvious reasons, we would drive to the mall about 20 minutes away across the border in Maryland when we needed to buy anything that wasn't made out of corn or meth amphetamine. The mall, back then, was brand new, and had everything you could need.  There were two bookstores, two record stores, a great food court, and a huge arcade.  There was even a big stage at one end of the mall that should have been called "The Observatory", since a music stage at the mall is a great place to see falling stars. 

Right before high school, I moved further away from that mall, but I was still there almost every weekend, since I had friends that lived near it.  The Sam Goody had a great punk music section, and I had friends that worked at the Boscovs.  That was a great store to waste time in, because they, like any true department store, sold almost everything other than groceries.  It was also kind of kitschy retro, with a decor that looked like an early 1980's rec room.

Two weeks ago, I decided to go there to do some Christmas shopping.  It had probably been ten years since I had gone to that mall, and I thought maybe it would be a nice change of pace, and fun to see it again.  I was about as close to being right about that as I was when I said that reality TV would die out after 2007 or that I would never get tired of the song ""How Bizarre" by OMC.  By my count, at least five storefronts were boarded up or vacant.  Both bookstores and music stores were gone, the stage was taken away, and even the bridge that went over a water feature was taken out, and the water was removed.  I became more and more depressed the further I got into the mall.  Even Santa wasn't in "Santa's Village", which could have been renamed "Middle Aged Persian Man's Velour Sex Den" and not have needed to change anything.  By the time I reached Boscov's, at the far end of the mall, I had bought nothing, and wanted to weep for my lost childhood. 

Crossing the threshold of that store was the closest thing one could come to time travel.  The store was exactly identical to the way it looked when the mall opened in 1990.  It became apparent that back then, it didn't have a retro feel for the early 1980's.  The people who run Boscovs obviously believe that 1982 was the last good year ever.  If they could be blasting Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska and passing out leg warmers, they would be doing it.  Literally the only concession to progress I saw was that most of the clothing they were selling was modern, and they had taken out the section where they used to sell tapes and cd's, right in front of the washing machines and tv's.

This is something they were selling:

This was not being sold in the bedding section.  This was being sold near the chocolate counter and the candles.  There is no way this product has not been in some storeroom since 1992.  I read the box.  Nowhere did it explain why it is the most comfortable pillow, or how many times this man has killed, or if he will again.  I mean, really look at this guy.

My guess is that the pillow is so comfortable because this mustachioed creeper has dosed the pillow with chloroform, and you will gently glide into unconciousness when you lay your head down.  He will then use his tiny, misshappen left hand to stroke your hair while you sleep, singing you a lullabye in a beautiful falsetto.  Later, he will add a lock of your hair to the luscious soup strainer over his top lip so that you will always be together.

Thank you Boscov's for showing me that you can go home again.  It's just that home might be occupied by a guy who is still devastated that he lost the part of Al on Home Improvement. 


  1. Saw that pillow for sale in Rite-Aid. I swear he looks like my neighbor!
    That mall sounds like "Death Valley Mall" (aka Hunt Valley Mall) before it was razed.
    High-larious. You've outdone yourself, Mr. Fisher.

    1. Mrs. D, please invest in better locks, and possibly a shotgun with riot bullets. Pepper spray and a tazer no longer phase the My Pillow guy.

      Thank you, and glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. you make me smile. and wince. I respect that.

    1. That might be the nicest thing someone has said to me in quite some time. Thank you.

  3. sounds like frederick towne mall only holding on a little stronger...


I appreciate your comments. I appreciate them even more if you sign in or let me know who you are. Otherwise I get paranoid trying to figure out who you are, and that ends up with me having to watch The Sandlot to calm myself down.