>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 40 – July 13, 2003

Now Playing: “My Love is Like… Wo” by Mya and Missy Elliott

Many of you may have noticed the Roman Numeral at the end of this week's column title, cleverly composed of two adjacent capital I's. Last week I promised to continue ranting on about my adventures in London. For those of you who missed the previous edition (shame on you!) here's a PREVIOUSLY ON TEXT-HEAVY: Timmy fell in the well and was unable to get out, but was mercifully saved by a pair of brave Siamese midgets on stilts. Also, I took a trip to London for no apparent reason, and, after a long and arduous journey, made it there very much alive. Here's what happened:

-Why is it that when girls go on vacation they always want to go shopping? “Look! There's a mall!” they'll say with the same grin I get after I've successfully disposed of a body. Yes, it's a mall. We have them back home. They've got clothing stores and a food court, and I always seem to be getting dragged through them for hours by girls that don't sleep with me. Nothing screams “Relaxing Vacation” like seven hours outside the American Eagle Outfitters Fitting Rooms. I wish the mall had a store that sold tranquilizer darts.

-Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm': There's a lingerie store called ‘La Senza' (Spanish for “The Crack Whore”) that, according to the employees, has had a serious problem with poor people coming in and trying on the lingerie and then having sex in the fitting room. When I asked what they were doing about this problem, I was told they were installing video cameras in the fitting rooms to keep people from partaking in this kind of behaviour. Three questions come to mind: #1) You're allowed to TRY ON lingerie before you buy it? #2) They let two people in the fitting room at once? and, #3) Where the hell can I get a copy of these videos?

-I hate malls. I hate them. A lot of girls tell me this is because I'm a guy. I think it's because I'm a normal human being. Here's an impression of me walking through a mall: Clothing store, clothing store, clothing store, Falafel Hut, clothing store, Radio Shack, clothing store, clothing store, clothing store, clothing store, Sears. I don't know why Sears is always at the end of every mall. It's like the store that everyone has to walk through to get outside, but nobody has ever bought anything from. There are no clocks, no windows and the exit signs all point to solid walls. Holy crap! I've stumbled into a casino!

-Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm', Part II: ‘La Senza' has opened up a subseries of stores called ‘La Senza Girl' which caters to lingerie for the preteen market. Since the average cost of a silk lined sheer training bra runs about $45, there are only three types of people who could possibly afford to shop there, and they are (in increasing order of probability): Pedophiles, Teenaged Prostitutes, and Parents who should be receiving a phone call from Social Services any day now. (Side note: I inquired about video cameras in the La Senza Girl fitting rooms and was promptly escorted out by mall security, like I was some kind of sicko.)

-You know what stores I love? The fat stores. These are the stores that advertise themselves as ‘Sizes 14+' but in the window the mannequins all look exactly like those in every other store. How embarrassing is it to have to shop at the fat store? I imagine some unfortunate large woman at La Senza inquiring about a particular product and being told “I'm sorry, but you're just not going to fit inside our fitting rooms. And we won't be able to masturbate to that video anyway. Why don't you try the fat store at the other end of the mall?” Clothing Stores: Teaching the World that Anorexia is Phat.

-Don't think my ‘vacation' was spent doing nothing but sitting around a mall complaining a lot. Heavens, no! We also spent a good amount of time sitting around a house complaining that we're wasting our vacation and watching a censored version of Hook on Turner Network Television. (“Avast, me matey! Shiver me timbers! Arr… bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!”) I think there should be a channel called “The Censorship Station” that shows all the best movies you've been meaning to rent but never got around to, except they censor completely random and inoffensive parts of the film so you end up renting it anyway. I know a lot of people who would watch a channel like that.

-At night, we went to a club that was having an all-ages evening. This meant that they let in all sorts of people whose parents shop at La Senza Girl. If you wanted to drink, you had to wear a bracelet and go into a special ‘VIP' area, secluded from the rest of the club. For me to get my hands on this bracelet, I had to show 3 pieces of ID (I'm surprised they didn't ask for a blood test) and then when I went to the ‘VIP' area, they saw that my bracelet was a little bit frayed and they asked for my ID again, which so totally defeats the purpose of having a bracelet system in the first place. I finally went in and drank lukewarm Budweisers by myself, looking down upon a bevy of eleventeen-year-olds. Seriously, I would have felt less dirty parked outside a junior high school in an unmarked white van.

-Quote of the Moment: World's worst pickup line, overheard at the all-ages club: “Hey, baby. I'm not from around here, so I was wondering if you could show me around… Your panties!” It may be hard to imagine, but this idiot went home by himself that night. I know, because I followed him. I just wanted to see if he'd do the rest of us guys a favor and throw a toaster into the hot tub.

-Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm', Part III: Fireworks really haven't changed much since I was 3 years old. There's about 5 different kinds, and they just keep shooting them up in the air for twenty minutes and then everyone goes home. I don't know why everyone makes such a big deal out of them. You know how when you're sitting around watching fireworks in the sky because it's Canada Day or Independence Day or Arbor Day or something and there's always the one guy beside you who's pointing madly at each one and saying “Ooh! Did you see that one?” and jumping up and down like a deranged lunatic? Yes, we all saw it. It's in the damn sky! Go get in the hot tub with the guy from the last joke.

-Finally, it was time for our vacation to come to an end. Sure, we had many exciting adventures shopping and going to dance clubs and sleeping in until 3 in the afternoon that we would never have gotten to experience otherwise, but the reality of the ‘Real World' soon sunk in and I had to return home to my thankless job of writing a so-called “comedy” newsletter. Before I go, I'd like to thank everyone who made my experience in London a memorable one, mostly by giving me a place to stay for free and pouring me drinks until I couldn't see straight. I'll be sure to return real soon, especially if I hear they've bulldozed the mall and put in a strip club. But not an all ages Strip Club, because that would be creepy.