CONS: I am a world-class Christmas shopper. When I’m in “the zone”, my vision is nothing but cascading zeroes and ones, as if I see things on a more basic level like something out “The Matrix”. My essence becomes in tune with both the moon and the tides and when it’s all said and done, I emerge triumphant, arms filled with gifts and knowing that for at least one day a year, I’ll be able to satisfy a woman.
But for some reason, the Mall St. Matthews totally knocks me off my game (even on those visits where I’m not suffering from alcohol-induced brain damage). Maybe it has less to do with what they have, and more to do with what they don’t have.
First and foremost, what happened to the oversized chess board? For years, the reason you went to the Mall was to impress ladies with your ability to dominate unsupervised children at chess, while tens of local shoppers cheered on each brilliant move. (Of course, the only thing to do was cheer on losers like me as back in the day the Mall consisted of little more than a Radio Shack and a homeless dude selling stolen copies of Highlights magazine.) I think I speak for most men in Louisville when I say that if not for that chessboard, I would have never lost my virginity.
Also gone is World Bazaar, the best source for totally random yet completely awesome stuff. I always felt that I could walk into that placed blindfolded, grab any piece of wicker bulls**t, and know that on Christmas Day, I’d look like a really thoughtful dude who knew a few things about home décor, but really just got lucky with some wooden elephant thing that sort of looked like Ganesha, the Hindu Lord of Obstacles.
You know what else is gone? Dawahares, NRM Music, and the Hungry Pelican, which is significant because I've worked at all three of them at various points in my life. I’d like to offer any number of crazy conspiracy theories as to why they are gone, but it’s probably just because of A) my inability to sell, or even care about women’s shoes, which may have cost Dawahares much needed profits, B) my unyielding belief that Zeppelin rules which could make it very difficult for a customer who just wanted to buy that crappy Quad City DJs cd , and C) I might have once dropped a used band-aid in the hush puppy batter and didn’t notice until it was too late.
On this day, the lack of a Hungry Pelican was particularly painful as I could have really gone for a greasy fish sandwich. Damn, that place was awesome. It tasted like how I imagine it would taste if Tim Tebow scored a touchdown in my mouth.