The Mall Doesn't Have to Suck

When I first met my wife she said I was an unusually patient man. The word unusually really stood out, as if there was something wrong with me. She assured me there wasn't, it had just surprised her. We talked a bit about past relationships and our family (daring first date topics), and concluded my patience came from growing up with two older sisters. I'd spent most of my childhood waiting for them to get off the phone or free up the TV. Rarely did I get my turn at either, that's why I'm still awkward when making calls and can effortlessly quote Cocktail. Whenever our family went out, I'd quietly wait at the door, decked-out in my sassy hand-me-down Strawberry Shortcake shirt and tapered mom jeans, while my sisters endlessly shouted from the bathroom that they'd be "Just a minute!" I actually believed them.

I recently went to the mall with my wife, and as we entered Forever 21 I plopped down on that one random seat they reserve for sad men and pulled out my iPhone, only to discover that it was down to 1% battery. Two tweets later I gazed upon the black screen of death -- my entire world fell apart and I felt like I'd been taken hostage at the mall. I realized I'd lost my patience long ago, I just hadn't noticed as I'd been so busy suckling on my iPhone's teat. I had no choice but to self-entertain and I soon discovered that there's actually plenty of excitement to be had. Trip by trip, I cultivated and honed these creative life hacks. They've bettered our life and we hope they better yours.

The Parking Lot Is Not The Enemy

First off, be a proper gentlemen and drop the lady off at the entrance. Then you're free to park wherever makes you happy.

Once that's sorted, it's time to have some fun as you make your way inside. Be sure to carry a quality reusable store bag, because both our planet and this prop are very important. This bag will also serve well elsewhere, but more on that later. You must now channel your inner Kanye West, because confidence is crucial. Bag in one hand, keys in the other, hustle towards a parked car that's right near the entrance, because that's where people are most likely to be desperately circling. In seconds you'll be spotted, and cars will hunt you like a wounded deer -- He's going to his car, we have a spot, finally!

Don't look back! Just enjoy the vehicles tracking your every step until you stop behind a random SUV and a thumb through your keys. When you feel the glow of an amber signal light, you've landed your first point. Bathe in the glory until the cars queue up, you'll get your second point when someone hits their horn. When this happens, react as if you're complying by rushing for the door of your pretend car like you're about to interrupt a Grammy Award winner's acceptance speech. Only you must continue past it and into the next aisle as if you had the wrong car. Honest mistake! They'll never know. This is evil, but that's also why it's such a glorious bit of joy en route.

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D*ckhead Pics

Forget d*ck pics, those are gross. Seriously, stop it! What I propose are d*ckhead pics. The goal here is to go into a clothing store and find the worst outfit possible, hit the change room and take a selfie. This is a d*ckhead pic. You will then text it her way for a guaranteed laugh. I achieved the attached photo in H&M, which is in my opinion the easiest store to pull this off, since most of their men's clothes are absolutely f****** ridiculous.

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Get a Job!

Ever wanted to work at Abercrombie & Fitch? Probably not, but it's dark, loud and smells like poisonous synthetic cologne, so they're not likely to stumble across a rotting corpse, let alone a new employee. Make a game out of this. How long can you pose before you get caught? I like to go around and tell people about door crasher sales. Tip: If said game lasts more than 15 minutes it's best that you quit before you become a naturalized employee. Working somewhere for a few minutes vs. pulling an actual shift are very different things.

The Food Court

After that intense fake A&F workload, you're going to need a well-deserved break and to ingest something horrible. Seeing as you're already at the counter, ask for a job application while ordering combo number three. This is a truly fantastic opportunity to fill in the details of a high school bully or that creepy in-law. Be sure to list qualifications that reflect the requirements of said business so they will have no choice but to get the lucky applicant in for an interview ASAP! Bonus points if you specify to call before eight am.

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Think Like a Meth Cook

Now, if you really can't handle the mall, then this is my extreme but fantastic advice. To shorten the duration of your trip, I advise a wardrobe choice that will maximize your impact on the viewing public. What I'm about to suggest may cause you great pain, but I'm confident that it will be worth it. In order to cut down on your shopping time you're going to have to do some shopping yourself. Fortunately this portion can be achieved on the Internet. First things first -- you need to buy a pair of Crocs. I recommend the classic ones, not the new line that are just Crocs disguised as almost acceptable shoes a sane person would wear. NO! I am talking these bad boys.

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Now hit the web for a Nickelback shirt. I'm sorry, but remember, this is to help you. I recommend getting one with a band shot across it -- you know, where they're posing as if they can make decent music. I couldn't find one at the time of writing, but the shirt I did get is equally loud. To reduce the pain of purchasing said clothing, I would advise getting an unlicensed one, because why give the band more money?

When these shameful tools arrive, throw in an old beanie and hide them in your reusable store bag -- yes, the one I mentioned earlier for the parking lot. You see, this bag is actually your version of Walter White's go bag in Breaking Bad. Walter didn't always need the bag, and neither should you, but if the mall gets to be too much, you just take your go bag to the washroom and change. Soon you'll be standing in the corner of Forever 21 and calling out, "No rush, bae!"

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I've never seen her shop so fast. Total mall duration: 15 minutes.

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Some will suggest that you should simply kill time by going to see a movie; these people are clearly not in a relationship and haven't been in one for years. If you are in the mall you are on call, and need to be ready to give an opinion at any moment.

If you take just one thing away from this, please let it be the d*ckhead pics. Because more often than not, she may be having a rough time in the mall as well, and this will at least soften the blow of her feeling that, "Nothing f****** fits anymore."

Thanks for reading,

Tommy Campbell