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mall zombies

Throwback post from 28 Nov 2011 

I am not a Mall person. Malls make me anxious.

I don’t know if it’s due to the throngs of people who meander slowly ahead of me when I’m trying to chase down my wayward children, or a sub-conscious fear that if the Zombie Apocalypse was to happen while in a mall, I’d be trapped with a shitload of annoying teenagers and office girls enjoying an ‘extended lunchbreak’.

God forbid. I wouldn’t know whether to run from the brain eating zombies or the girls stampeding their way to Supre for a free-for-all. Either way… Though, least if I were trapped in a Mall, I could find refuge in the confectionery isle of K-Mart – no self-conscious teen or stereotypically skinny office girl would be seen undead there, right? (Edit: In the years since writing this ancient post, K-Mart seems to have become cool. Maybe not for teens and office girls, but certainly for Scandi-stylin’, geometric-loving plant-hoarding house mums. Am I trying to offend as many people as possible in this paragraph alone? It appears I am)

Wait, it’s the zombies I’m meant to be running from in this scenario, isn’t it? Damn it, I forgot what nightmare situation I was writing about for a minute there.

In fact, I completely forgot what I was writing about from the moment I typed the words ‘Zombie Apocalypse’.

Oh. That’s right. Christmas shopping.

For the most part, we’ve got Christmas sorted, but there’s going to come a time – very soon now – where I’m gonna have to suck in a big brave breath and negotiate my way through a mall teeming with crazy-eyed shoppers and brain-eating teenagers.

It is inevitable that in the next three weeks, I will find myself trapped in a unbearably long checkout line with my six rolls of gift wrap, shopping basket of ‘stocking stuffers’ and a box set of American Chopper for the Lad that no staff member will be able to find the discs for. I will worry that my card will decline, even though I know there will be enough money on it to cover what I am about to purchase (I’ll know, because I would have checked seventeen times on my to the checkout.) The children will transform into snarling Wargs and Grumkins as soon as they see the shelf of lollipops alongside them. Someone will begin to cry. It will probably be me.

The walls will close in on me as the anxiety attack takes its hold. I will consider eBay as the source for the Lad’s box set, rethink the necessity of Christmas stockings and start wondering if we really need all this wrapping paper, or if we could just upcycle the kids impressive stash of Playcentre paintings…

zombie brain splatter painting

Looks like they’re painting Christmas colours to me! Or as the Lad suggests, Zombie brain splatter patterns!

All of this will happen. It’s a scenario that’s as much a nightmare tradition for our family as leaving up the Christmas tree for the first four months of the new year and drawing a face on a toilet roll and calling it the Xmas tree fairy because we’ve lost the original. (Okay I just made that last one up. But, pfft, sounds as good a plan as all my other bad plans!)

But as far as choice in shopping malls go, I’ll have my say in that at least. And I’ll take my chances with Westgate. It’s spacious outdoor design and dead boring selections of shops should filter out most of the teeming hoardes, and if all else fails, there’s a Hunting and Fishing shop up the road, just in case I need to score myself some guns to deal with any f#%^ng annoying zombies.

supermarket anxiety

I don’t want to blog about my supermarket misadventures – I don’t want to be that tedious. But if we’re going to be honest here, I have been driven bat shit crazy and I have to get this off my chest: My last half a dozen trips to the supermarket have been like a trip. A bad LSD trip from my long lost youth. Except this time the chocolate bars aren’t talking to me.

You know those contests where a person is given 60 seconds to race around and fill their trolley with as much random crap as they can throw in it? My shopping trips are like that, except I don’t get to win my groceries at the end. Nor do I end up with anything I actually want and/or need. I just get a small child who tries to climb the confectionery shelves at the checkout while I shove my random stuff onto the conveyor belt and pray I’ve slung together enough groceries to actually prepare at least one complete dinner for the week. Because Gods help me if I have to come back to this damned place again today.

supermarket panic attack

The terrorist here is Guy Smiley, who, at the darling age of two-in-three-months, is at this charming stage where he rebels against any kind of constraint. Car seat constraints are where the trouble begins, but that’s a halfway manageable problem. With enough perseverance and brute force on my part (gentle-applied brute force, I might add), he will eventually consent to being buckled into his seat. It’s the battle for the supermarket trolley’s toddler seat that I absolutely cannot win. Not even with chocolate bars. Talking or otherwise.

Being constrained to stay at my side once we enter the supermarket sparks insurgency. For approximately five seconds, Guy Smiley will pretend to hold my hand, until that exact moment when I think to myself “yay, he’s going to be placid toda – aaahhhfuckit!” And he’s off. Legging it at the first opportunity, as fast as his chubby lil legs can project him. Then as an added blow to my will to live, he’ll drop to a thrashing dead weight when I try to pick him up. It’s guerrilla warfare, and I’m throwing canned missiles into my trolley in the futile hope of being able to strike some kind of culinary taste-bomb once I get home.

But if Guy Smiley’s the terrorist, then The Lily Bug is the evil mastermind behind him

At the tender age of four-in-two-months, she has the boy trained in the field of Stealth Militiary Tactics. She’ll say “I’ll go get him mum!” and the next moment she’s hot on his heels, tugging at his hand and squealing “come on, let’s go this way!” The supermarket has become my children’s training ground for total anarchy.

As the Lad helpfully offered, “really Kelly, your trips to the supermarket are pretty fucking pointless.” And the Lad would be right.

Though, I challenge him to do a better job when his son is rocketing through the store like a runaway pinball and the walls are closing in on him as he’s caught in the grip of what could be an acid flashback of ’93 but is most likely a really bad anxiety attack..

My dreams are still filled with the disapproving frowns of disapproving shoppers with their disapproving head shakes and their disapproving mutters of .. well… disapproval. Bastards.

Please, if you see a blue-haired lady dashing through Countdown in pursuit of two wee Che Guevara’s… Please throw some grocery staples into her trolley. She always forgets the sugar, flour or toilet paper, and it’s it’s been about two months since the bathroom last had a light bulb.