Church Bells in the Mall

I know it may come as a shock to most of you, but I have a propensity to point and laugh when someone trips, falls, or smacks into something. That’s a lie. I don’t really point. I mean, that would be rude.

How could I laugh at someone else’s misfortune, you ask?

It’s easy.  Easier than one might think.  I’ve even mastered this ability.  Don’t get me wrong, because I’m not selective.  Everyone is fair game, including myself.  However, if it’s a loved one, my initial reaction is to ask if they are okay before I start laughing.  What can I say? It’s instinct.

Many, many years ago, I was at the mall on the third floor, inside a photograph/poster shop, of all places.  It was that kind of store that sold reproductions of famous photographs so you could be uppity and hang it on your wall at home, bullshitting whomever sees it, telling them it’s the real deal.  It’s not normally my cup of tea, but whatever.  I was with a friend and so I tagged along for the sheer thrill of being in a mall.  NOT.

Anyway, this store had two walls of solid glass and as I’m standing there looking out toward the crowd (I’m a people watcher, because you never know what might go down and you need to be paying attention), I suddenly see a male figure dart around the corner and smack into the glass.  He wasn’t just walking leisurely either.  This dumb ass was in some kind of hurry and came around that corner like his pants were on fire.  The sound of him smacking into that glass brought to mind the church bells from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC.  B-O-O-O-O-N-G!  He even rattled the glass and the reverberation was quite impressive.  It lasted longer than an echo in the Grand Canyon.  Naturally, he hit the glass so hard, he bounced off and fell backward.

My initial reaction was total shock as I gasped and covered my mouth.  Everyone in the store turned around to see the commotion, but of course, nobody saw the whole thing like I did.  As the guy picked himself up off the floor and rubbed his head, what did he do?  Well, he did what any person in that situation would do.  He looked from left to right to see if anyone saw him.  He didn’t see me.  At that point, he turned and walked away nonchalantly.  Apparently, it wasn’t that important for him to go into the photo shop like a ninja with his shit on fire after all.

My mouth was still covered because by now, I’m trying to stifle the laughter.  I look around the store and everyone is watching me in horror, like they can’t believe I would laugh about something like that.  I couldn’t help it.  That shit was hilarious. The only thing I regretted was not having a camera or video recorder with me.  (Shut up.  Video camera phone thingies weren’t around at that time.  Back then, you had to have two separate pieces of equipment.) 

So, my friend and I exit the store, but I keep looking over my shoulder to see if the guy is still around, but nope, he’s gone.  I would have been too. In fact, I would have been out of that mall so fast, the heels of my feet would have been slapping my ass.  Yeah, that fast!

I’m still laughing at this point, so I sit on a bench in the courtyard to try and get myself together.  Tears are streaming from my face.  My friend is completely embarrassed.  I didn’t care. I mean, you have to learn to appreciate the finer things in life, like observing the dumb asses around you, right?

Finally, I inhale deeply and follow my friend into the next shop.  I’ve managed to pull myself together until we are standing at the checkout and the visual of that guy hitting the glass comes to mind.  Of course, I start laughing again, much to the dismay of my friend, who sighs and rolls her eyes. The cashier at the store thought I must have been crazy, so I try to explain what it is that I’m laughing about.  Nope.  My words fail me because I just can’t get them out.

Let this be a lesson to all of y’all.  When you are around glass, outstretch your arm so the same thing doesn’t happen to you.  If it does, though, I hope I’m there to see it all unfold!

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