Shopping malls are not fun EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE

As you may have gathered from previous posts, I’m not a huge fan of the town I live in. I find it depressing, lifeless and largely devoid of anyone I’d like to talk to. However, possibly the most pointless, depressing place in the town is our shopping mall.

The mall is situated next to the clock tower (well, “tower” is pushing it a bit, given that the structure is barely two storeys high), and is imaginatively dubbed “Clock Towers”. To give you an idea of the clientèle, let me quote a workmate: “I have never seen a more worthless group of physically and mentally retarded people as those who frequent the Clock Towers shopping centre.” I honestly can’t build on that, it’s a disarmingly forthright commentary on the mall.

OK so there’s some background, but what’s the purpose of this blog entry? Well, it has to do with this wonderful advert I received in the post:

Image

Yes, you read it right. “Find your summer fun at Clock Towers”. I’ll give you a couple of moments to consider the myriad forms my “summer fun” may take. Because I don’t know about you guys, but to me nothing says fun like a woman on stilts and an enormous purple mouse.

Looking closer at the woman on stilts though, she appears to have some sort of bizarre instrument in her right hand. It looks to me at first glance to be some sort of syringe, filled with a red liquid. The mouse’s blood perhaps? Or could it be a serum she uses to contaminate shoppers, perhaps turning them into enormous purple mice, in some sort of grotesquely boring Dr. Moreau scenario? Perhaps this insane woman is trying to produce an army of overweight rodent super-soldiers to take on the hideous vampire cows which inhabit the mural from my previous blog post? Who can say? All I know is that she is billed as “Summer fun”.

But wait! Stiltwoman and Deathmouse are not the only indicators of fun on this advertisement. Hell no! I mean, look at that list of shops! Wow, just imagine all of the OUTRAGEOUS capers you could get up to in Boots, a dispensing pharmacy chain store! I know when I’m bored, the first thing I think of is heading to the chemists to get some Omega-3. But Boots is just the first of a list of amazing stores. Let’s have a look at them now shall we? Try to imagine the fun you could be having.

Supercuts and Emma’s Nails are a hairdresser’s and manicure store respectively. Now, I haven’t brushed or cut my hair in thirteen years. If I was going to I could easily do it myself too, but I suspect that women don’t go to the hairdressers just to pay upwards of 20 quid to have their hair made to look marginally better than usual for a single day before it reverts to its normal state. No. They go to sit and have tedious hypocritical conversations with the scissor-wielding harpies who work there. “Ooooh did you hear about Jane’s hubby, he looked at another woman briefly as she walked past, WHAT A RAT. Oooh are you coming out to watch those male strippers with the rest of our cackling coven tonight? DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE!” etc. etc. I have no idea what goes on in manicure shops, but I assume it’s the same inexorable shit.

So on to Thomas Cook. A travel agent. Yes, come and have FUN in Rugby by planning on getting the hell away from here for two weeks. Not to anywhere special of course, just to the usual holiday destinations like Ibiza, Malaga and the like. So you can travel to a foreign country, talk very loudly and very slowly until the locals magically understand English and then complain that you can’t find a decent fish and chip shop and all the TV shows are foreign.

Superdrug’s another chain pharmacy, so see above regarding Boots. Presumably, Boots sits above Superdrug in the pointlessly depressing stores hierarchy.

EXTREME EYEBROWS! Like, COWABUNGA, DUDES! These eyebrows are TOTALLY TUBULAR! WOOOAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! I’m assuming that Extreme Eyebrows is a shop run by Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, where you can pay money to have your eyebrows shaped while re-enacting scenes from the best film of all time (TM), Point Break. That in my mind is the only way this shop could possibly elicit some form of “summer fun”.

Phones4U not only makes my blood boil with their mangling of the English language, but I also seem to have a problem with discount phone retail. I don’t know what it is, but I have barely suppressed urges to kill everyone and anyone affiliated with Phones4U, Carphone Warehouse, or any other of those bargain-basement mobile phone chains. Although that  may well be the most “fun” thought this advert has so far evoked.

Vision Express is one of those high-street opticians, like Specsavers, where you can come in, have a bizarre contraption placed over your head and be made to read a wall chart. Depending on the outcome, they will either recommend some overpriced spectacles to correct your vision, or recommend some overpriced spectacles which you don’t actually need, but they’re desperate for your money. The only fun I can think of having in these places would require me being employed there. I would wait until people came to buy glasses, and then dress up like Emperor Palpatine and tell them “You will pay for your lack of vision!”

Poundland arguably has the most opportunity for Summer Fun, although even that may be fairly limited. It’s a shop where everything costs a pound, and nothing is worth buying. Still, if you go in there and harrass the staff by continually asking them to check the price on various items it can give rise to a modicum of mirth. Why not try it with friends? Go in one by one and see how long it takes to get thrown out. The winner gets to eat a box of broken biscuits (available from Poundland, I can’t remember how much they cost).

The people who made the advert certainly saved the best till last. Timpson. Truly, if there was one store which just screams “Summer Fun!” at me, it’s definitely Timpson. I’m fairly confident that I speak for the entire world when I say that the most fun to be had anywhere, at any time, regardless of the situation, is to be had as a KEY CUTTING STORE. I mean just think about the possibilities. Keys cut while you wait. Yes, you read that right, WHILE YOU WAIT. So you can take a key in, hand it over, say those magic words “Can you run me off a copy of this key?” and then wait ten to fifteen minutes. Then, get this, they will hand you AN EXACT DUPLICATE OF YOUR KEY, in exchange for a few quid. Jesus Christ, it’s giving me a hard-on just thinking about it. Don’t believe me? Scroll back up and look at that font. NOTHING says “so much fun you’ll blaspheme as you reach a state of arousal” like Times New Roman.

Don’t take my word for it though, go visit Clock Towers on Facebook. I mean that’s what social networking is for right? Keeping track of the activities of your local shopping mall. In fact, fuck that, just head down here. I’ll be happy to give you a guided tour round what’s being called “The new Alton Towers”, and “Disneyland UK”. It’s open seven days a week too! (Although the shops inside it aren’t).

Clock Towers. Letting me laugh at other people’s misery since the late 1980s.

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