I got some digital pictures printed at Ritz yesterday. The process takes one hour. It is relatively pointless to try to go home and come back, since that would take a majority of the 60 minutes. So I wandered around the South Hills Village Mall. It went something like this...
Minutes 0 - 6: I walk down to the Cingular store. Our one year cell phone contract with AT&T is up, and since they merged with Cingular I wanted to see if we would be better off switching to a new plan. You know, with the "Rollover" minutes that you hear so much about. In short the answer is no.
Minute 7: I am stopped by a guy at the T-Mobile kiosk who is trying to talk to me about my cell phone plan. His "deal" is more expensive and has less included minutes than I am getting now. I tell him that I just signed a contract and I have a whole year to go. He quickly gets disinterested in talking to me, which was the point.
Minutes 8-15: GameStop is my next, well, stop. I figure that I can waste a bunch of time playing the video games they have set up in the front of the store. Unfortunately, both demo consoles are broken. A kid pushes past me and starts banging on the controller of one of the demo units, and I quickly understand why neither is working properly.
Minutes 16-17: I get back to walking since PlayStation 2 games in their boxes aren't all that exciting. As I pass Abercrombie & Fitch, I decide that I could take steps to become more stylish.
Step 1 - Throw away my iron and ironing board.
Step 2 - Start a savings account to purchase jeans.
Step 3 - Figure out why the music is so loud in there.
Minutes 18-20: Food Court time. There is always a guy standing outside the Asian fast food place with samples. I try some saucy chicken on a toothpick. I turn my baseball cap around and come back from the other direction. He offers another taste. Yummy.
Minutes 21-32: A stop in the Yankee Candle store is usually fun for me. I like to smell candles. But today I am the only customer in the store, and the guy working there is a little too into his job. He explains the limited edition scents and the layout of the store, and then he keeps talking. About candles. He finally leaves me alone, but I overdo it on the smells. Raspberry Cream puts me over the top and I start to get nauseous.
Minutes 33-38: I recover from the candle store on a mall bench.
Minutes 39-46: Gap. Straight to the men's clearance section in the back left corner of the store. Nothing is interesting today unless you have a 28" waist. I do not.
Minutes 47-54: I decide to just walk around until I find a store that I want to visit. I do 3 laps without stopping anywhere.
Minutes 55-59: Since all of my ideas are used up, I walk back down near Ritz and have a seat. This happens to be right by the children's play area, and I witness a little girl attempting to climb up the slide. She catches her foot on the top and rides down on her face. Her subsequent screaming annoys the businessman sitting opposite me, and he starts talking louder on his hands-free cell phone contraption. This makes it easier to eavesdrop on his conversation about the big client meeting (and what an idiot some guy named Steve made out of himself).
Minute 60: It is finally time to get my pictures. They are just coming out of the back when I get to the counter.
What a waste of an hour. The only things I have to show for it are some decent printed photos and a couple of toothpicks. And a Yankee Candle catalog. Don't laugh - it has a scratch & sniff page.