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I’m sorry, but the public have absolutely no manners what so ever. It’s quite fair to say that if you meet me on a Saturday afternoon there is a 96.5% chance I will be in a horrible, ever so stinky mood. The last time I went shopping was with my girlfriend of five years and we nearly broke up after just half an hour. Picture the scene if you will: We’d just been to a popular catalogue outlet and had our hands tied in bags full of cheap worthless tat. It was the kind of tat that girlfriends love to make themselves believe that without it in the front room, their life is not worth living. The truth obviously being that we didn’t remotely need or want a fully automatic, AA battery powered, fluorescent green toothpick or whatever it was. The point I’m trying to make is that the bags would have been easier to carry if they contained Hulk Hogan’s dumbells.

From the cheap catalogue shop we needed to hike our way through the city down to the car park. So off we trotted through the mall, up the escalators towards the exit. This by the way, took six and a half hours; on a Tuesday afternoon it would take roughly four minutes. I’m always rather surprised by the amount of people who decide that shuffling like a zombie, one centimetre a time is an acceptable form of walking. No matter how many times I see a gap to bypass a bunch of the undead, there’s always one more waiting on the other side. My biggest fear is bumping in to one of them, thereby alerting them to my healthy, free-flowing blood, pumped around my tender body by my deliciously active heart.

Anyway… I took my heart towards the exit, arms stretched tighter than guitar strings carrying Hogan’s sack of weights. The tiny seed of horror suddenly planted into my mind that the automatic swing doors might be out of order. The seed germinated and struck roots down to my feet as I stood in terror at the sight of traffic cones in front of them. Surely that’s the end of it then? There’s no way we’re getting out of here alive! Arms full of baggage and no automatic doors. How?… where’s the?…

Suddenly, I felt a wave of reassurance dribble over my conscience as I foresaw a member of the public holding the door open for my girlfriend and myself. ‘It’ll be fine, I promise’ I said earnestly into her sweet, ever so confused eyes.

‘Huh?’ she replied, ‘What’s wrong?’

It was too late, they’d taken her already. I had to save myself now and salvage what was left of her on the outside; I couldn’t let my emotions stand in the way of survival. ‘Just follow me and don’t make eye contact’. Timing was everything here, too fast and we’d jump a place in the queue, too slow and we’d miss the window of opportunity. It was perfect though; Petey One-Bag strolled up to the push doors and exited in an orderly fashion just in front of us. Excellent, it was all going to plan! I stepped up to the door, bold and hopeful.

SMASH!

Petey One-Bag saw his bus go past and had to hot step it up the road leaving me, my girlfriend and our cheap bags of tat sprawled crudely all over floor, inside the mall and out. It got worse, now we were holding everyone else up and they all blamed us. They wanted to place blame… they wanted our flesh.

I don’t visit the city on a Saturday anymore, just in case you bump into me.

Ben Burton, 25

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