On Going to the Mall

I went to Owings Mills Mall today. It’s about five minutes from my grandmother’s house. When I was younger — say, twenty years ago — the backroads to the mall were through fields and cropland. Today, it’s endless townhouses and developments.

I think I prefer the olden days. The world seemed so much bigger then.

I wanted to see if Borders had gotten in Shinsei/Shinsei, the Star Trek manga. I’d checked there last week, round about Thursday, but they’d not received it yet. Or Constellations. Or McCoy: Provenance of Shadows.

Today, they had two of the three. One copy of Shinsei/Shinsei. Two copies of Constellations. None of Provenance. The latter didn’t matter so much — I received a copy in the mail on Saturday from Amazon, and the middle was entirely my curiosity, my desire to see the book in a bookstore where unknown people could buy it. The former, though, I wanted a copy of that, even if my brother called me yesterday and asked, somewhat angrily, why it was Dayton and Kevin’s story that was excerpted in Shinsei/Shinsei and not mine. “It’s the year of Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore,” I said. “What does that mean?” said my brother. “It’s what they call it around the Pocket offices. So said Marco at Shore Leave,” as indeed he had.

I bought the last, the only copy of Shinsei/Shinsei, sat down on a bench in the mall, carefully peeled the magnetic sticky sensor tag out of the manga. It’s sad that businesses have to do that, put sensor tags in books, but it’s also the world in which we live today. Margins are razor thin, theft eats profits like there’s no tomorrow. Fortunately the tag came out without much difficultly, neither ripping the page nor ruining the artwork. If it had, I’d probably have screamed.

My other reason for going to the mall was that I wanted to pre-order a copy of LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy from the EB Games. I did, though in retrospect perhaps I shouldn’t have done so.

I’m a pretty tolerant person. I can forgive a lot. The customer service I received, just in the five minutes I was in the store, was nothing short of appalling. I wasn’t greeted. I was roundly ignored. The cashier behind the counter was rude to other customers. The other associate was hanging banners and oblivious to everything else going on. It was quite possibly my worst shopping experience in an EB Games.

I’ve no axe to grind. I did, finally, make my pre-order, even if the cashier’s reaction to that left much to be desired. (Stores are graded on the number of pre-orders they take each week — I’m almost surprised he didn’t jump up and do a mid-air somersault.) “You want to do what?” he said, as if I couldn’t possibly have wanted to order LEGO Star Wars II. Which of course I absolutely did.

Yet, I’ve not even hooked my video game systems since the move. The XBoxes, both versions, remained packed away. It’s the DS I keep using, and even then I’m stuck with the Sudoku game I had in the system when I packed my other games away. I’ve not really felt like played a video game. Hopefully, LEGO Star Wars II will break me out of that rut. 😉

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