Despite racking up a few decades on this earth you still haven’t learned that last-minute X-Mas shopping is the consumer equivalent of a anoos exam: it’s cramped, uncomfortable and by the end of it you are going to see something in yourself that you wish you hadn’t.

Parking

Shopping centre carparks make Satan’s septic tank seem like a cherry places. A place where hope, decency and respect go to die. Behold the full array of dog acts as you loop endlessly in the hope of a prime bit of parking real estate.

Before long, you will be reduced to your Bundy’est form as you slowly stalk a pedestrian. IF you pick a winner, then you’ll have to watch them load their car slower than a Union baggage handler on a go-slow and then sit in their car texting their disgusting friends for several minutes after. Surely you are in the clear after that right? Wrong. Just wait for a hatchback cowboy to swoon in and steal your spot. Try to avoid a criminal charge at this point (good luck).

The Corridors of Hell

Remember, shopping centres are the domain of the full-time mummy. You are merely a tourist in their world. Accordingly, they will offer you no mercy as they barge their way around the centre in a state of 11 am chardonnay rage. Remain vigilant or get ankled.

At the other end of the spectrum, you will need to regulate your inner calm as you deal with the relentless frustration of the diagonal drifters and slow movers. Evidently, walking in a public space is a subject sorely missing from the school curriculum. Watch yourself transform into a drunk Hilux driver as you duck and weave through herds of mouth breathers.

Finally, like a scene out of The Day of the Triffids, “chuggers” litter the shopping hellscape and are just waiting for you to blindly veer into their path to sting you with insincere pleasantries. The horror.

Santa Photos

Just as you thought the experience couldn’t get grimmer you will be confronted with the sight of the queue of lost souls, aka, the line for Santa, be unsettled by the full range of dead-inside-facial-expressions of everyone involved.

Behold the depressing exhibit of a socially distanced Santa asking the same question to piss-pant children for 5 hours, young dads wondering if this is what life has become and of course the child itself – who is having as much fun as Israel Folau at Mardi Gras.

Brace yourself for the final blow to your sense of humanity – a photoshop station so mothers can make their children look a little less traumatised for a bespoke X-Mas card that you won’t give a toss about.

Battling your natural urge to GTFO

Do you dig deep for that second cousin you forget the name of or do you let yourself be lulled by the siren song of the Dusk candle? You came to this centre because you believed you would be struck with inspiration, alas, the experience has left you number than a stock broker’s gums.

You could ask the staff for help but between their crippling X-Mas party comedowns and the raging bull-Karens bailing them up for “answers”, you’re shit out of luck. Inevitably, you’ll grab anything already gift-wrapped and flee the centre as quick as humanly possible. Why are you are like this?

Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?

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