Maybe There’s Something Wrong With The Universe

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation…

If there’s nothing wrong with me, maybe there’s something wrong with the universe.
- Dr. Beverly Crusher, Episode Remember Me

An occupational hazard of venturing into busy public places is that you’re bound to encounter other people. This can be a frightening, if bizarre, experience depending on the toxicity of the venue you choose. Today I stopped in our local shopping mall, one of the biggest in the United States. The following are my observations.

With the warmer weather comes the warmer fashions. How lovely it is to see mounds of flesh pouring over the tops of low-cut jeans. I would run a stress analysis on the denim but I’m afraid there aren’t yet computers that could compute to the required magnitude. For every voice of reason in the life of a walking faux-pas there are probably two or three “friends” saying “You go girl!”. Here’s some advice, buy a mirror.

The weekend curfew imposed in recent times in this mall is a beautiful thing. After 4pm (I think) you must be 18 or accompanied by someone 21. They are seriously enforcing it and what an improvement! No more “gangs” of 15-year-old hoodlum boys drinking fountain soda and throwing popcorn at “gangs” of 15-year-old hoodlum girls who laugh and shout back at the boys who shout back at the girls… ad infinitum. I think I remember some urban group besmirching the idea of the curfew as harmful because the mall keeps these kids out of trouble on the weekends and the mall shouldn’t “bite the hand that feeds them”. This urban group is doubtless made of members who’d be more qualified for top flight jobs in either the food service or housekeeping industries. Perhaps I’m fuzzy on their perception of “out of trouble”… or what constitutes considerable amounts of juvenile commerce… but more than likely they are the parents of the afore-mentioned 15-year-olds who were just happy to get the delinquents away so they could have a quiet evening in the meth lab.

So we have a Coach, now. Great, I was wanting to drop $400 on a handbag and I just could not, for any instinct in me that might possibly be homosexual, find a suitable place to do it… but now I can. What cows produce the leather to make a $400 handbag? Someone please tell me. Are these super-sacred cows? Were these cows certified reincarnates of famous Buddhists? Were these cows purchased from the same guy that sold Jack the beans? Is there something magical about the impoverished Pakistani boys that hand sewed these bags together?

And as I travel back to my hole I have to shake my head at what I’ve seen. If there’s nothing wrong with me, truly something must be wrong with the universe. Entropy, maybe. But should you decide to depart your personal dens of iniquity, remember this…

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
- Bilbo Baggins

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