I refuse to give in to the Twitter-machine. To me, the humorous, insightful, and sometimes insipid mini-comments that Twitter distributes to the world best serves . . . well, interesting people. I mean, if you’re going to follow the day-to-day goings-on of anyone, only scientists (“Hey I cured cancer!”), entertainers (“Hey, I have spoilers!”), or vain-glorious reality stars (“Hey, I have chemistry!”) could truly benefit. Lifestyles of the poor and unemployed simply cannot compete. Unless of course, they don’t feel particularly encumbered by ‘truth’ and ‘honesty.’ Then it’s a different story . . .
Left to my own devices while shopping with Mom and Katie, I occasionally shoot texts to my sister while stalking through the mall, watching people and staring into stores. In this post-Borders and -Waldenbooks dystopia, I am left to buying a fruit shakes and browsing the gadgets in Brookstone — one of the last monuments to disposable income, where even a tabletop billiards table seems impossible to live without.
The texts simultaneously offer a creative output for my energies, while annoying my little sister who’s eager to hear from Leo, her boyfriend, about dinner:
ME: Playing 8-ball with myself at Brookstone. Did you know you can buy miniature frogs here? Two per set. Supposedly they’re all supposed to be female, but me and a few of the kids here are watching two become a little friendly. Life found a way!
ME: Ignore previous text. The bigger frog just ripped off the other’s leg and throat. Kids are screaming . . . ‘Finish him!’
ME: The line for Santa is only half as long as the line outside the Apple store. I hate my generation. Bought frog for kids at home. Closest I’ll get to owning pet dino.
ME: The woman behind me at the pretzels shop has been following me since Sears. I have a stalker!
ME: She’s kinda pale too. She should take up tanning.
KATIE: Is she your age or older or younger?
ME: I think she has a cold ’cause this green ooze is trickling from her nose.
KATIE: So maybe she is a zombie.
ME: Maybe … She does growl a lot. I going … MY GOD! She removed her face! And there’s another face beneath the other face!
ME: She’s a reptilian!
ME: Half-man, half-reptile! All carnivorous flesh-eater!
ME: She’s spitting venom at the pretzel girl! From its eyes! Jesus . . . venom from the eyes! The pretzel girl is bubbling . . . melting!
KATIE: Well, what kind of reptile? You never know this could be the next Twilight series.
ME: I’m running into Macys…
KATIE: Well did you get the pretzel?
ME: Yeah sure, I grabbed the salty pretzels as I was .. running FOR MY LIFE!
ME: More people are losing their faces. God, they’re everywhere. Even that woman at the jewelry counter . . . Crap, she’s seen me! Oh no, wait . . . those aren’t scales. She’s just old.
ME: Well, sorry, it’s true! Okay, hiding in Macy’s. Doors barred. Floor sticky with acid and melted flesh. More of those things outside. Hundreds. Katie are you seeing this?
ME: Katie! Check your texts! Look outside! They’re literally green-men unloading from a space craft. Can you see them from the skylight?
KATIE: I heard a chopper a while ago. Mom and I are still trying on clothes. Nothing too spectacular. Dad texted me about dinner. How does Italian sound?
ME: Crap . . . the old lady just got a face full of acid. Her body is smoking, breaking off into pieces like a sponge-animal. Ugh . . . her face though is still intact (maybe she is part reptile). Yeah, I’m not feeling spaghetti and meatballs now. Seriously, there’s hundred of lizard-men crawling through the doors here.
ME: No, Lord and Taylor across the parking lot. Their ships just blocked off all exits here. It looks like they’re locking us in. I’ve built a nest of sorts behind the lingerie counter should the siege last the night. Did you know flannel tops are 75% off?
KATIE: Yeah and . . . eww. Lord and Taylor, huh? Your lizard buddies must be pretty well-off.
ME: Well, I’ll be sure to buy you ifghdkljdljl
ME: In Abrocrombie now. One of the creatures jumped from behind a large rack holding pastel bras . . . heh, irony. Anyway . . . it sniffed me out somehow . . . I think. Luckily, I ripped off one of the security tags from a rather pricey negligee. Ink sprayed everywhere, and I managed to run upstairs. If they can track via smell, Abrocrombie is the best place to hide. The perfumes and colognes here are so overpowering I . . . might be safe for a while.
KATIE: Oh good, while you’re in there can you price out jeans for Bree? She asked for a pair for Christmas.
ME: God, if the reptiles don’t kill me these fumes here will. I might need to relocate to Aero.
KATIE: Check out the jeans there too.
ME: One of the creatures crashed through the windows, before I could leave. The thing is MAULING the hell out of someone. Their claws are literally the size of daggers. I’m keeping down.
KATIE: What is this? Even in your little fictions, you’re a pansy.
ME: Katie, will you take two steps outside the dressing room and look at the mall. People are melting! By men with scales and forked tongues who shoot venom-acid from their eyes! Of course, I’m scared. And if you want me to eat tortellini and suffer heartburn later tonight, you’ll leave me be under this pile of heavily scented polos.
KATIE: Again pansy. If you can’t fight your imaginary battles, how can you ever learn to fight the real ones?
ME: Fine. I managed to get her free. Bleeding all over the store, but I managed to stop the thing. Bludgeoned the slimy bastard with rather husky mannikin. Seriously no man is this well-endowed.
KATIE: What did I tell you?! Awesome, Murph. Does this imaginary girlfriend of yours have a name? Does she enjoy Batman too?
ME: Her name is Sarah. We can discuss possible mating opportunities if we survive. Where are you?!!! Seriously get out of the mall! Now!!!!
KATIE: In Sears, people are swarming this place. Must be a sale on power-tools. Saw some guy running past me with a chainsaw and a nail-gun. Did you get the pants?
ME: Okay, stay there. I’m coming to get you. A few of us have banded together. Sarah worked as a cashier at Sears. She says there’s a exit to the garage there. The lizards might not have discovered it yet. No jeans. Everythings torn to pieces.
KATIE: No, that’s just how Abrocrombie sells ’em. Don’t add any more holes either. It just adds zeros to the price tag. Oh, if you’re nearby, Mom has some packages at Williams & Sonoma, knives and stuff she needs picked up. Thanks!
ME: Good idea with the cutlery. Thanks to Mom’s Christmas gifts many of us have weapons now. I grabbed a fire extinguisher from wall near the bathrooms. Let’s see how the cold-blooded monsters like pressurized CO2.
ME: Girl, if you’re looking outside now, if you managed to escape the dressing room and I hope you have . . . the whole mall is empty. Two weeks before Christmas and the mall is empty.
KATIE: Well, online shopping is more popular this year. Tiff told me free shipping at Amazon all weekend.
ME: Killed two of the bastards near the Build-a-Bear. Lost Phil, our doctor, when he left to grab a fruitshake; after the blenders stopped, only the lizard returned drinking a jumbo Phil-shake. Only six of us are left including Sarah and me. I hope the others escaped. One of the other guys suggested that our scaled friends might be . . . rounding us up for something. For what no one knows. We’re making our way toward food court now.
ME: Ambushed outside Victoria Secret. Most of the men got a little distracted by new lace collection. Poor horny bastards. I’m pretty . . . bad off . . . head swimming. Blood is everywhere. Feeling woozy . . .
ME: Sorry, lost consciousness for a while. Revealed ‘blood’ as spilled fruit punch and crushed ketchup packets. Still, we’re not looking too good. The creatures have us tied to the trees near the food court. Two of us per tree. It looks like they’re gathering food from the Taco Bell and the Subway, piling it around the trees like campfires. Luckily Chick fil A is closed on Sundays. So the scaled-cretins won’t spoil the delicious chicken with their slimy claws. Wait . . .
KATIE: Murph, Mom and I are heading to check out. Having trouble finding any cashiers. Gosh, why are the floors so sticky . . .
ME: They started piling rocks around our bodies. Sarah’s struggling with the knot (the woman is brilliant). The reptiles only snarl when they pass us now, which is their way of laughing I suppose. Laugh it up, Barney! The ice age is coming, bro!
KATIE: God, looks like someone vomited outside JCPennys. No one is here, Murph. The whole store is empty! What are you doing?
ME: Almost free.
KATIE: Alright, we’re going to have to leave here. No one’s in the store. Where are you?
ME: In the News Center. Building a crossbow from rolled up Time. Fire extinguisher was added to egg pile. Have plan.
KATIE: Where is everyone?! We’re near the pretzel shack. What’s that smell?
ME: Hello. You must be Murph’s sister. I’m Sarah. Be very careful not to shout or make any unnecessary noises, if you come to the food court. Murph isn’t here right now. He’s fighting the lizard-king for dominance of the tribe.
KATIE: Murph, there’s a dead body near the Hallmark! Where are you?
ME: Just remember to keep your voice down, okay? Murph asked that you leave right away. I doubt you will, so be VERY careful when walking down here. There’s hundreds of our scaled friends . . . Ooo, that’s going to sting.
KATIE: Where is Murph? What’s he doing?
ME: Squirting Tabasco in the lizard-king’s eyes. Frankly, I don’t know what he’s planning. But he’s saved the lives of countless people today. Myself included. He’s not looking good. The king is . . . well, maybe you shouldn’t come down here. I hear there’s a sale at LL Bean. Why don’t you head there?
KATIE: What are those things?!!!
ME: The new dominant species on this planet if your brother can’t … wait he found it!
ME: The extinguisher. Quick hide! They’ll be coming your way in two seconds. See if you can grab another extinguisher. SUCK COMPRESSED CO2, YA SLIMY BASTARDS!!!
KATIE: Sarah . . .
KATIE: I think you and my brother will be very happy together.
Well, right about then. My phone died. Mom, Katie, Sarah, and I somehow managed to break into the mall’s climate control center and after releasing all the parrots from the pet store, we managed to freeze the reptiles and their spawn, thus saving the world and all its inhabitants from death and slavery. Then we went to the movies, saw Sherlock Holmes, and got some gelato. All in all, a good day.
So I know what you’re thinking . . . pretty unrealistic, huh? I mean who besides moi uses complete sentences in a text message. Well, I might have cleaned up the garbled mess of words and run-on sentences. The only thing that bothers me is my little frog-friend, who over the last few months has been eying me rather strangely, licking its lips and blinking back these odd green tears.