Monday, Debtember 16, 2002
Christmas shoppingMark and JeffK invited me to go with them on some last minute Christmas shopping at Sawgrass Mills. Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet mall in South Florida, and it may very well me the largest one in the US—two miles of stores. It's been a few years since I last went and if anything, it's larger than the last time I visited it.
What struck me the most about the mall were the ever pervasive television sets hanging from the ceiling. Huge sets blaring commercials. It's a trend I've noticed over the past few years as more and more commercial locations have television sets for your viewing pleasure. Mostly I've noticed it in restaurants (even fast foor places like McDonalds and Burger King) and it's a trend that I don't really care for; if I want to watch TV I'll watch it at home, I don't need to go out and watch it.
It's amazing how big some of the stores are. Also amazing is the stuff being sold nowadays. One store dedicated to nothing but items advertised via infomercials at 3:00 am on most cable channels (although we did not see any Flowbees which was a disappointment). Foreign soldiers. Sumo wrestlers. Baby dolls in car seats (since you know, it's now illegal to have a baby in a car without a baby seat). One amusing item was a plastic statue of James Brown, perhaps 12″ tall; press a button and he starts moving around singing “I feel good!” although he doesn't look all that good—he's more of a James Green than a James Brown.
In one toy store, JeffK had hidden a toy he wanted for his niece on a previous trip, due to the long lines he figured it would be best to hide the toy and retrieve it at a later date. Since we arrived at the mall about an hour before closing the crowds weren't that bad and the lines, if any, where short. So JeffK took advantage of this opportunity to retrieve the gift. Although because of the lack of crowds, we did have to fend off people manning the kiosks trying to offer us samples of their wares. Not even lack of eye contact was enough to signal our disinterest in their sales pitches and we had to continuously state “No thank you” time and time again.
We finally found an exit near a Disney Store. Standing nearby was a security guard looking particularly bored so as we passed, I took pictures of the display window, saying “Copyright violation!” loud enough for the guard to hear each time I took a picture.
He didn't seem to care.