Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eating my hand at the mall

I don't like the mall.

I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw off the floor. That's right. I prefer to spend zero-time at the mall if I can help it. Circle-Slash-Malls. I was going to get a t-shirt made up, but I'd have to go to the mall.

I'm reminded of a little incident that occurred about a few years ago. I was hurting for an Xmas present for my mom. Try as I might, I can't get my family to join me in my Xmas boycott. Something about their being born again Christians... It's a big deal for them.

Kinda like Groundhog Day if your god and savior was a groundhog, and was crucified on a little groundhog-sized cross, and half the fucking world made a mess in their pants several months before Groundhog day, and stressed out and fought each other in parking lots for a spot because they need to buy useless crap that has a groundhog theme.

But I digress. I was in need of an Xmas present for me mum, my time was drawing short, and I had no clue what the hell I could get her for this stupid holiday that I don't even like in the first place. So, against my better judgment, I went to the mall. They got stuff at the malls, right? Surely something will seem appropriate for Mumsie.

I walked around, all scared-like, for what realistically seemed like two hours, my heart racing, my eyes wide, and a thin, greasy film of sweat breaking out on my forehead.

A little background info: I like breaking bad habits, and I broke myself of the bad habit of biting my nails at about 16 years old. I got tired of painful, bloody stumps on my hands. And people who bite their nails always look guilty of something, so I decided to quit doing it. It wasn't that hard, and now I am a reformed nail-biter.

Flash forward to the mall, Xmas time in the present. I'm walking around trying very hard to keep myself from just bolting in any direction, panicking and scratching for a way out. Absent-mindedly I was chewing on my fingernail. The left pointy-one, to be exact.

By this time, I'm freaking out, and not in a "omigod, I'm like totally freaking out," kind of way, but in a way that I feel I might actually die here, in this place with no windows, with its recirculated air, and its awful, awful music. My heart just might explode. I'm going to projectile vomit black bile and then fall over in the puddle, dead. DEAD!

And then I see the slippers. Fucking slippers! "Buy the fucking slippers and get the hell OUT!" [<-- that's my brain yelling at me] I grab a pair of pink slippers and start scanning around for a cashier. As I'm walking around, I notice this intense fire that is radiating up my left arm. I look down at my hand holding the slippers, and there is BLOOD EVERYWHERE.

I ate part of my hand at the mall!

Blood is all over my hand, and now, on this pair of fuzzy pink slippers. Everywhere. Covered. This is not good.

Well, like a good American, I stuck the bloody slippers back on the rack, got a fresh, non-blood-soaked pair (in my good hand), stuck my bloody stump in my pocket, and beat a hasty retreat. I think I really freaked out the girl at the register. She gave me one of those looks that I'm sure amputees and the facially deformed see a lot. That look where the horror sneaks out just a little before politeness kicks in, and you smiiillle, and whatever happens, for god's sake do not look at it...

Everything turned out ok in the end. I didn't die in the mall. Mom got a comfy pair of slippers for Jesus' birthday. I renewed my vow to avoid malls to the best of my ability. My half-masticated finger healed nicely. I have a picture of it, scabs and all somewhere. Maybe I'll go look for that right now.

(originally published 12/22/06)

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