Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Confessions Of A Las Vegas Street Mall Walker

I am under "doctor's orders" to exercise, recovering from a Congestive Heart Failure incident last February that hospitalized me for over a week. For somebody in my condition, this usually means something like low impact walking. The doc also said that I should not exercise outdoors when the temperature is over 80 degrees. The "cooler" days are rare to non-existent during the summer in Las Vegas. Since I don't own a treadmill, there really aren't too many options available other than Mall Walking.

Walking almost every day in the local mall, one can't help but make some observations:

  • Mostly everybody seems to be unhappy. Nobody is genuinely smiling. The mall workers seem unhappy, but wear fake smiles. The customers seem to be in some kind of hypnotic trance. I think they are thinking a lot about what they want and what they don't have: thoughts which would depress me if I held on to them for too long. The only ones who return my smiles are the babies and the very young children!

  • There are lots of mirrors in the stores for people to look at themselves, but like the casinos, there are no clocks anywhere, except perhaps at the watch repair shop. Mirrors are great for vanity and seeing how items bought look on you, but they are not flattering for people like me that are there for only one reason - to lose some weight by exercising!

  • Most people shopping in the mall appear to be in good shape. The second class citizens of the mall are the non-buyers: walkers like me who need exercise, and also the many disabled and handicapped seniors who sit wherever they can and are there just to people-watch and pass the time away. I keep thinking that the mall security may be tracking me and if I don't make a purchase in the next 15 minutes they will politely escort me to the exit. The people actually shopping are typically very slender and well dressed. They like to be seen. They can afford to buy there. They do not see me. In fact, they stare right through me.

The stores that seem to be doing the best ( where there are the most people ) are the food courts, the book stores, electronics stores, and the athletic shoe stores, which are mostly visited by the urban hipsters and gangsta wannabees. The upscale clothing specialty stores ( with maybe the exception of Victoria's Secret? ) seem strangely empty every time I walk past them. The younger crowd seems to be there mostly to socialize. It is also strange that not many people are carrying shopping bags; I wonder if they deposit their purchased items into their car immediately after buying them, rather than lugging them around. Or could it be that there are many more window shoppers than buyers? Have I discovered a new kind of economic predictor?


Anonymous said...

It is sad that many people waste their time as mall sitters/watchers. Are their lives that empty that they have to live vicariously through others. It sounds much like watching tv without the commercials! Why not get a book and learn something? Or perhaps it is better than dying alone at home.......Celia Fait

Anonymous said...

So....what did you buy in those fifteen minutes???

Good luck in your quest to get healthy. You might be right about that being an economic indicator. We could hire those watchers to chart the business being or not being done!

Michael Leonard Fisher said...

To first Anonymous: I'm glad you wrote "many" people! I'm absolutely sure what you wrote does not apply to moi! Interesting comment though, Celia

To second Anonymous: Thanks for the kind wishes and I just finished writing to the Conference Board & Mr. Bloomberg about the new leading economic indicator! :)

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