In general, I really enjoy roaming the mall. I don’t know why, since I wasn’t exactly a mallrat in my teens; then again, in my teens, the mall near my house was so small you could only roam for maybe thirteen minutes before you’d accomplished everything you possibly could.
The one thing that does bother me about the mall is the goddamn insistent kiosk people and food court workers, the people who interrupt your day to try and win you as a customer. Any kiosk people are potential attackers, though the cell phone kiosks tend to be worst about frequency (particularly, sorry to say, Verizon) while the ones selling “beauty” products are the most insistent. In the food court, it’s usually only to be the people working at the Asian restaurants, who typically have someone standing near the restaurant carrying a plate of samples with which to accost passers-by.
Whether or not “accepting a sample” is the best thing for me to do is entirely dependent upon how anxious and uncomfortable I am. Yesterday, as I was walking past, accepting a sample was the best way out of the situation. I ate it quickly, thought “hmm, Kung Pao chicken,” tossed the empty cup in the trash and went about my day.
About eight steps later, I realized, wait, Kung Pao chicken? Kung Pao chicken is peanut heaven. It’s fried in peanut oil, peanuts are fried with the chicken, unfried peanuts are added at the end. In the era of peanut allergies, how could one think it’s a good idea to hand out samples of peanut-themed chicken without even a warning? (Especially when one considers that a person with a peanut allergy is pretty likely not to recognize the taste and therefore the danger of Kung Pao chicken.) It just takes one person going into anaphylactic shock in the middle of Best Buy before your restaurant suddenly has major problems.