A Christmas Retail Tale.


Yesterday, I accompanied my mother to the 168
shopping mall. It was a vibrant petri dish colony of holiday shoppers, cheek to
jowl and butt to hip, babies being fed on the stairs, plastic bags of clothes
and gel pen sets from China braining zombie children with a death grip on their
moms’ wrists, old ladies with narrowed eyes clutching their handbags and
elbowing the competition out of the

An old print ad for Avon shows the
typical holiday mall melee with the headline, “You could get decked in these
halls.” My mom was doing her fair share of decking. To be fair, it was decked or
be decked. In one shop, the sales assistants hurled passels of clothing all the
way to the owner across 6 feet of dangerously-leaning racks and loudly haggling
women, occasionally hitting one of the latter. I think
2 for P150 tapat na po
(2 for 150 pesos no more haggling older
sister – literally)” signs have a way of stripping away postures of gentility
and breeding. Underneath we are all grasping claws and gaping maws attached to
gargantuan torsos sewn from shopping

Well, a bargain’s a bargain. The
past week saw the National Bookstore warehouse sale, an Ethan Allen
just-this-Saturday sale and a Coleman/Oster/DMC one-day sale, within walking
distance from the house. Happy holidaze,

(Lucien typed