I like shopping malls. 

   You can wander around aimlessly for hours and nobody cares.

   If I wander around aimlessly at home I get disapproving looks from my wife, who eventually asks if I’m having trouble finding my computer. 

   In self defense I start working, which is always a disappointment.

   I’m never disappointed when I eat while I window shop, but it’s not as easy as it used to be.

   When shopping malls were first created, food stands were scattered everywhere, which meant you could find something to eat all over the mall, window shopping from burger to pretzel to ice cream to pizza to spring roll and back again.

   Now everything is gathered into food courts, which have the benefit of being noisy and crowded, and you have to go back there every time you get hungry, which can interrupt aimless wandering to the point of distraction.

   Food courts also expose you to hordes of children with runny noses and watery eyes who stare at you like you might be food if only you’d stand still long enough. 

   My eyes get red and watery when I stare at the sun too long. 

   Sometimes it’s fun to sit on one of the benches in the mall and stare at people as they walk by.

   People in malls are always hurrying on their way somewhere so they don’t notice when you stare at them.

   Or it could be that when they see an old man on a bench staring at them they make a point of not noticing.

   Hard to know which.

   It’s hard for me to know which end of a shopping mall to park at any more. 

   I used to park near the food court so I could grab something on the way out and eat in the car, lest I suffer from hypoglycemia on the fifteen minute trip home.

   But I recently read that eating while you’re driving is one of the big causes of auto accidents.

   So now I have to decide ahead of time which stores I’ll want to walk past while I finish my final pretzel or Big Mac, or both, and then plan to park at an appropriate exit when I arrive. 

   As if it isn’t already hard enough to plan the day’s activities.

   I ate behind the wheel for years and I was never in an accident although I may have caused a few. 

   Once I accidentally swerved while I tried to dodge Whopper ketchup dripping onto my shirt. 

   Another time I wandered out of my lane when I sneezed after sucking up a mouthful of a McDonald’s chocolate shake. 

   I think I may be allergic to fast food shakes because they always make my nose run, but I’m in the middle of a long term study so I haven’t reached any conclusions yet.

   I’ve heard a few screeches and horns during my food-induced driving kerfuffles but there’s only so much you can safely concentrate on behind the wheel, so I’ve always hung onto my vittles, kept going, and hoped for the best for all concerned, especially when I bring my shirts and sweaters in to be dry cleaned.

   My license plates are caked with dirt and I never bother to clean them, which is probably a good thing.

   Shopping malls are a good thing. 

   A lot of people say they don’t like them, but almost everyone still shops in malls.

   A lot of people say they don’t like television but they watch it from the moment they get home until they fall asleep grumbling about how there’s nothing good on.

   Does anyone actually read the books they buy?

   I’ve finally started turning the TV off when there’s nothing on that I really want to watch.

   It gives me more time to read, although I usually end up wandering around the house aimlessly, occasionally thinking about how much better it would be if I used the time to read.

   But my wife actually does read in bed at night, so when I wander around the house then there’s no one to make me feel like I should be working instead of wandering. 

   Which makes it almost as much fun as being at the mall, and I don’t have to worry about hypoglycemia on my way to the bedroom.


Mr. Major Ashpole

Five Lakes Heron

Dear Sir:

   There is no evidence of any kind that McDonald’s shakes cause allergic reactions, unless one suffers from lactose intolerance (please note that McDonald’s opposes intolerance of any kind).

   As a token of our confidence, I have enclosed a coupon for a free small McDonald’s shake. 

   We look forward to serving you and to not having to take legal action to keep you from spreading false information about our products.

Yours truly,

Felix Retchless

Marketing Dir., Medical Crisis Aversion

McDonald’s Corporation

Dear Mr. Retchless,

   I am donating your coupon to a food bank for homeless toddlers, about the only human beings who could feel fulfilled by a small size shake at one of your establishments, which, for all I know, may well be progenitors of exotic venereal diseases.


Mr. Major Ashpole

Five Lakes Heron

Dear Sir:

   The Burger King Corporation does not endorse eating while driving, and neither dripping Whopper ketchup nor other Whopper condiments have ever been shown as a causal factor in any automobile accident.

   If we had any real evidence to back up the above statement we would issue a cease and desist order regarding any future comments you may make regarding Whoppers and automobile accidents, but please pretend that we sent one anyway.

   Also, please find enclosed a coupon for a Double Whopper with cheese and a large shake, which we trust you will not eat while driving.

Yours truly,

Warner Pfaffinger

V.P., Safe Driving Initiative

Burger King Corporation

Dear Mr. Pfaffinger,

   Thank you for your well considered coupon.  I have no reason to believe that your establishments may be the progenitor of exotic venereal diseases, as opposed to the establishments of another major fast food chain that issues pathetic coupons but shall otherwise remain nameless.

   Also, it must be a miracle if no one has ever been in an accident while trying to eat a Whopper behind the wheel.

   Go ahead, send me another letter.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   You might be interested in my new book, “How To Work At Home Without Distraction or Excess Masturbation.”

   It is based on my years of using a home office, and it might help you to get more out of your own work time at home (and save yourself from embarrassment if your wife walks in when, you know, you’re lusting in your mind, and then the next thing you know, you go to one of those Web sites, and, well, life’s a work in progress, and it’s not all about building homes for the needy, right?).

Jimmy Carter

Recovering One Term President

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I’m glad to hear you’re not the only one who feels threatened by hordes of unsupervised children at mall food courts.

   It’s bad enough having to use a sleep apnea device just to keep my ego fully oxygenated when I snore, but having to watch my back so I don’t get smeared with mustard or worse from some liberal parent’s undisciplined slobbering stumble-brat whenever I’m waiting for a couple of calzones and a chicken parm wedge at Sbarro’s is just too much.

Rush Limbaugh

Now Eating Non-Stop To Avoid Facing The Ugly Truth About What A Terrible Person I Am

Dear Rush,

   If I may: Therapy can be a good thing as long as you don’t end up blaming your parents for the fact that you are functionally a slime mold.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I’m allergic to fast food shakes and macaroni and cheese in a box, and any household cleaner that comes in a container with red on it.

   It seems I’m adding to my allergy list almost daily.

   And people are blogging about new allergies all the time.

   It is because we’re ignoring God’s word in our quest for material possessions, or is this an advance tactic of visitors from another world that was also only created 6000 years ago?

   I don’t know what’s happening to me.

   Please, Major Ashpole, address my question.

Noah Little

Lake Understutty

Dear Noah,

   In self defense, I’m going to label your question “rhetorical.” Glad to be of assistance.

Mr. Major Ashpole

Five Lakes Heron

Dear Sir:

   A mall food court is a wonderful convenience that is appreciated by tens of millions of shoppers.

  And food courts reduce the incidence of consumers bringing food into stores, which can create problems.

   Furthermore, children are a welcome addition to family outings at malls, now a great American tradition, and food courts provide a place where families can gather and enjoy their favorite foods from a variety of purveyors.

   That said: I’d keep a wide berth around the little disease vectors if I were you, and that goes for pretty much everyone over the age of 50.

Walker Vulgamoppet, Exec. V.P.

American Shopping Mall Association  


contents copyright 2010, 2012

all rights reserved

This website is satire and fiction.

Letters attributed to famous persons were not written by them. 

Letters attributed to unknown persons were not written by them.

Letters attributed to corporations or any other organizations were not written by them.

The entire site is of questionable value and no one should pay any attention anyway.