Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Mall of America

This morning marks the first time in years that I have made a Saturday morning drop to Irish Fair without it looking like I was entering a war zone.

Those poor Mick's have had the toughest luck weather-wise.

The festival only lasts 3 nights and 2 days, but every year on Friday night......

Rain -

Hail -

Gusting Winds -

More Rain -

And one time......even a tornado.

So I made the drop and stood next to the Mississippi River.

The breeze was perfect. I have to think God's Favorite People were going to have a great day.

So now I jump into the bread truck and begin to leave when dude on the radio informs me.....

"Today is the 20th birthday of the Mall of America."

O-M-G, it seems as if just yesterday that slapped that contraption up.

I have never been a big "M.O.A." fan.

In my opinion the place is an eye sore.

It has to be the size of several stadiums.

But thats me, and most locals in the Twin Cities I'm guessing.

Most of us usually do what you might expect a cultured person to do.....

We shop on-line.

Over the years there have been rapes, stabbings and shootings out there, and people keep going back.

I remember the first winter the Mall opened, Sue McGleno, baby Tydus (and I mean baby-baby, like 4 months) tried to be all green and took the bus there.

When it was time to go home, the transpot platforms were filled with over a thousand people, most of which were teenagers that you'd profile as "Urban Gang Bangers" if you were just going by appearance.

Inner city kids love the Mall of America because Metro Transit practically picks them up at their front door and drops them off with flexible times.

So there's Sue McGleno holding Tydus who is wrapped like the baby Christ in a swaddling cloth when all of a sudden a riot breaks out.

I'm not being over dramatic here.

My circumstances were like those movies where there is civic unrest in a 3rd world nation and the residents decide to overthrow whoever is in charge.

People were going nuts.

SWAT Team members in full riot gear crashed the scene.

I was standing next to some cat from Nigeria who appeared to be my age.

He had on the tribal gown - matching pill box hat thing right?

And dude has a look of terror in his eyes while informing me......

"I think it is we who have trouble here sir, would you not agree?" the grace of all Polish Deities, both the Nigerian family, and mine escaped unscathed.

One of the SWAT team members pulled me aside and said.....

"Don'r ever take the public transpertation friend, it's like this most every weekend."

When I asked why the media jackels hadn't reported on this, he just shook his head....

"Theres way too much money invested in this place. The last thing the city is going to allow is for people to find out how crazy it is out here, nobody would ever come."

Anyways, that was 20 years ago.

I'm guessing they've figured it out by now.

Each year over 40 million people will visit the Mall of America.

40 million!

People from Japan fly across the planet just to shop the M.O.A.

I'm not kidding ya. They'll rent a hotel (theres only a billion of them in that part of town) room, shop all day and night, then they'll go sleep and come back and do it again.

People from across the world will spend their entire vacation week here, in a place I won't even spend 10 minutes to get to.

In addition to a multitude of stores and restaurants, the M.O.A. also has an amusement park, movie theaters, arcades, bowling and traveling exhibits.

I think if you pay like 28 bucks, you could go in and see the "Princess Diana" dealio today.

Over the years, our bakery has made attempts at sevicing this monolith, but truth be simply isn't worth it.

There are only so many loading docks at this structure, and sure.....somedays you can make a quick drop.

But other days, you can become engulfed in lines so long, it's EZ to feel as if you are Jonah trapped inside the whale.

My kid Tydus loves M.O.A.

He works at Champs (during the summer while off from college), which is a subsidiary of The Foot Locker, and in fact....last night on the Eve of the mall's big kid had a special moment of his own.

"Tonight I was top seller Pa Pa" he bragged.

"I did over $3500 of merch in 6 hours. I am awesome"!

I had to laugh.

Then I started to toss numbers around in my head.

If my kid, just one employee of one store of many, can take $3500 out of peoples pockets in less than one 8 hour shift......just think of the cash that mall generates.

Staggering.....simply staggering.

Anyways L.A.B. Rat's, if you ever pass through Kleckoville, maybe you should check this joint out.

Just make sure you buy a pair of Nikes off Tydus though.

And with that, I guess I'll cave and say it......

Happy 20th Birthday Mall of America.


  1. Just had my Sunday morning after breakfast laugh. Thank you, Danny!