Monday, November 27, 2006

Homemade Advertisements

Okay, today I'm making two embarassing admissions. First, I mallwalk. Yes, it's shameful, but true--in an attempt to lose some of the weight that I gained after quitting smoking, I wander aimlessly around the mall, making friends with the octegenarians who, inevitably, outpace me as I push my daughter's stroller around. Don't you dare judge me...

The second admission is that my local shopping center, the New River Valley Mall, is a little run-down. It contains a lot of locally-owned non-franchise businesses. In fact, the devotee of Mallrats might refer to it as "the dirt mall." Still, I like it, and the locally-owned businesses make for some interesting advertisements.

The local pretzel store, Pretzels Plus, is a small chain. Most of their advertisements seem like something right out of the 1970's. They're badly arranged, the colors on the photographs are off, and the slogans are cheesy. In an attempt to enter the 1990's, Pretzels Plus is now selling an iced-coffee beverage, that they advertise in bright blue tones. While I admire their attempts to diversify, I have to note that "Ice Rage" sounds like something that happened to the Donner party, not something that you'd want to put in your mouth.

Across from Pretzels Plus, there's a nail salon. I like it alot, particularly given the amazing amount of character that it displays. It's run by a Vietnamese family that has a flair for Buddha-influenced interior design and a laissez-faire approach to the English language. Outside the store, the neon sign reads "Nail Trix":

Of course, on the window to the left of the entrance, it reads "Nails Trix":

Inside, age and an unwillingness to pay for replacement letters has produced this interpretation of the word:

The overall effect is stunning:

The local martial-arts studio specializes in self-defense in real-life situations. They have a nice term for it:

You just keep fighting reality, boys.

Finally, one local kiosk has chosen a pretty impressive name for itself:

Not to be a prick (I know--too late), but is there anything less "stylin" than the word "stylin"? Of course it doesn't help that this is a cell-phone cover store:

And one last image for you:

I try to avoid mocking the mall people because, well, it isn't nice. But this is a special circumstance. In case you can't read it, the man in this picture is playing "Silent Scope." This is a particularly fun, and realistic, first-person shooter game. In it, one shoots various enemies with the help of a scoped sniper's rifle.

I love this game, and don't have any problems with people playing it. But take another look at this man. No jewelry. Woodland camouflage. Relaxed posture.

He's not playing. He's practicing.

And on that note, I bid you a good evening.

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  • I'm sure you're right about the camo guy. He looks as if he's done this before.

    "Ice Rage" doesn't sound like a drink, but is reminiscent of Tanya Harding getting her boyfriend to smash Nancy Kerrigan's knee with a baseball bat.

    The Donner adventure might have been called "Hunger strike." It was a bit preemptive.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At November 28, 2006 at 12:49 AM  

  • yes...he deserves to be made fun least he didn't wear his orange jacket.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 28, 2006 at 1:39 AM  

  • I will not make fun of anyone that you pointed out in this post. I mean, mallwalk.

    By Blogger mist1, At November 28, 2006 at 2:07 AM  

  • Also, I love Silent Scope. Shuttup.

    By Blogger mist1, At November 28, 2006 at 2:07 AM  

  • We're all fighting reality, they've got the market captured!

    By Blogger spoon, At November 28, 2006 at 2:59 AM  

  • You ARE a mall people!! You Mall Walker you!

    By Blogger Nihilistic, At November 28, 2006 at 4:31 AM  

  • You left yourself wide open on this one buddy.... You are so very brave.

    By Anonymous Just D, At November 28, 2006 at 7:11 AM  

  • nice obsevations!!! Mall walking? Really?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 28, 2006 at 8:02 AM  

  • Hearts-
    Fair point. Maybe Ice Rage should be the title of the Tonya Harding biopic.

    I'm not sure he's planning on hunting deer. Look at this guy. He's after the most dangerous game.

    What can I say? It's the only cardio activity that the kid will let me perform. At least I do it competitively.

    And Silent Scope is a total blast.

    So you're telling me we should look up to these people?

    Yes, my wife warned me this would happen--I've become part of the mall ecosystem.

    I know, I know. At least I get to practice my Dian Fosse Mall routine.

    A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. And sometimes he has to do it while walking around a mall.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 28, 2006 at 9:11 AM  

  • Ack!! There are some scary people...just keep walking, pretend you didn't see him, act like nothing is going on...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 28, 2006 at 10:18 AM  

  • locally-owned non-franchise businesses


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 28, 2006 at 10:56 AM  

  • There's a woman with her jumper tucked into her jeans. Where was that picture taken? The 1980’s?!

    By Blogger Glamourpuss, At November 28, 2006 at 11:04 AM  

  • Claudia-
    You probably can't tell, but I took the picture with a zoom lens. The dude made me nervous.

    I know. I grew up in Northern Virginia. It took me a while to adapt to the area.

    Oh, the horrors I could show you...

    This is where the '80's came to die.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 28, 2006 at 12:42 PM  

  • I don't think my area's ready for the Sniper Shooter yet. Malvo shot and killed a guy 10 minutes from my house to start the killing spree. Other than that, and the Mall looks like the ones near here. Maybe I need to move.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 28, 2006 at 4:53 PM  

  • Every Christmas I put myself on Mullett watch. Actually, it's the bad hair watch, because people that come to this mall have the most horrendous coiffures I've ever seen in my entire goddamned life.

    Then I notice their outfits. Which are equally awful. But the hair... it's what gets me first. ugh.

    By Blogger misanthropster, At November 28, 2006 at 6:34 PM  

  • No judging, just a lot of laughing. I can see you creating a great film script out of this post.

    By Blogger David, At November 28, 2006 at 7:22 PM  

  • CEO-
    Looks can be deceiving. This area is struggling to emerge from the 1980's! Seriously, Gaithersburg is at least 15 years ahead of this place.

    I appreciate the sentiment, but I think Kevin Smith might have gotten there ahead of me.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 28, 2006 at 8:37 PM  

  • First, what's a "trix'? I thought it was a cereal and it was only for kids.

    Second, don't you have an outside to walk in?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 28, 2006 at 11:14 PM  

  • Lee-
    You're better than me; I thought that "trix" were what prostitutes did.

    As far as an outside goes, I'm usually pushing my daughter in her stroller. This summer, as I was taking her on a daily trek down our local trail, she started getting dehydrated. This fall, she started getting cold. In all weather, she gets really whiny outside. All in all, I can get a lot more exercise inside.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 28, 2006 at 11:27 PM  

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