The malls have always been the refuge of the middle class, or at least those who are pretending to be. But lately, my experience with the malls here — especially the one located near the Reclamation – had made me re-think my Saturday routine.
Here is a short list why.
I. Guards checking trunks for (imaginary) bombs.
This is perhaps the most ridiculous, time-wasting security measure that some idiot sitting in his air-conditioned office has thought of.
This precaution is SOOO moronic in so different levels, we could just imagine how the conversation between mall administrators happened:
DM (Disposable Manager) 1: The big boss is concerned about these mall bombings and terrorist threats. This is bad – especially for our profits.
DM 2: Simple. Let’s pretend to tighten security measures and compete with airport security in terms of paranoia.
DM 1: How do we do that?
DM 2: Well… for starters, get the guards to search the trunks of cars coming in.
DM 1: And what will the guards do if he sees a real bomb?
DM 2: That’s his problem, not ours. Now hand me that doughnut.
Look, here’s a little Bomb-a-Mall 101: Bombers do NOT stash their explosives in trunks. And they would NOT hide it in places where anybody, like say, the guards can easily see them.
The measure is soooo idiotic even the security guards implementing them know this, but they could not do anything otherwise because it’s company policy.
The grottier question is: If the guard really sees a real bomb, is he trained to handle the situation? What is the poor guard to do? Our best bet is he would run around screaming, arms flailing about like a headless chicken. And who can blame him? Last time we checked, bomb disposals are not part of the job description.
II. Guards checking my bags – for bombs.
Quick, have you heard of a bomber who would bring a bag of explosives in a mall knowing it would be searched anyway?
I bet you would be hard-pressed to identify a suspected bomber who was arrested that way – because there was none who is idiotic enough to do it anyway.
Again we can just imagine the conversation between mall administrators when they came up with this ill-conceived security precaution.
DM 1: The big boss is concerned about all these threats to malls, says it’s bad for our profits.
DM 2: Simple. Let’s come up with a security measure that is, in essence, utterly useless but would make it appear that we are doing something to address this terrorist thingy.
DM 1: And what are you proposing?
DM 2: We can get the guards to search the bags of our customers, the way they do in the airports.
DM 1: Isn’t that an invasion of privacy?
DM 2: What are you, a lawyer? Now hand me that doughnut.
If I were a terrorist – I’m not saying I am, I’m just saying if I were – and I can see that the guards were searching bags for explosives, you wouldn’t catch me bringing one INSIDE my bag. Just as there are different ways of skinning the cat, there are also different ways of smuggling C4 inside a mall.
And again the question: Would the guards know how to identify bombs if they see one? And what, in the name of Al Qaeda, would they do if they see one? Right: Flail their arms around like a headless chicken, I tell you.
Like I said, not in the job description.
III. All that food – and we cannot bring them in.
Note to SM: If you DO NOT allow certain food into your cinemas, then don’t friggin’ sell it! Or at least, sell it as far away from the cinemas as possible.
Case in point, the ice scramble stand located just a few meters away from the ticketing booths of the cinema. My girlfriends and I had a group date one time, and decided to treat ourselves to a movie. One of them saw an ice scramble – or ice smoothie – cart and developed a sudden craving for the iced concoction.
We paid for our cups of ice scramble, got ahold of our tickets, and decided to get in and watch the movie.
Hey, not so fast.
The usher told us we cannot enter the hallowed halls of the cinema because what we have in our possession is apparently contraband. The offending objects: our cups of ice scramble.
“But we bought it here! Right there,” we protested, then pointed to the ice scramble stand that we know he can see unless he’s blind.
“You will have to finish that before entering the cinema,” the usher told us, essentially telling us to have a brain freeze.
Insulted, I nearly gave my cup of ice scramble to the usher and told him to shove it up his a–. Until I realized that like the guards, he was simply parroting mall policies. In other words, the policies are idiotic; the man is not (I think).
Here’s how idiotic the cinema policy on food is: Ice scramble, contraband; shake – essentially fancy ice scramble – okay; gravy, contraband; chips and dips, okay.
It seems somebody was having a sh*tty day and decided to just simply come up with a random list of foods that are considered “illegal” to bring into the cinemas.
IV. All in, all out all of a sudden.
The multi-billion movie industry has come up with rather innovative ways to part us with our hard-earned money. The geniuses responsible for such cinema classics Cats and Dogs 2 and Avatar: The Last Airbender – the same geniuses who made us believe that Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba can act – can easily make us spend for something we don’t really need.
Watched Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides? Sure, but have you watched it on 3D? So you have watched it on 3D, but how about buying the DVD collection – on hi-def? And of course, you’ve GOT to have that Jack Sparrow action figure. No, not that one – this one can say lines straight from the movie!
All right, fine. We understand that the movie industry has to thrive somehow – or else, we would be missing the spectacle of robots beating the sh*t out of each other. But for cinema operators to actually get in on the business – why that’s just EVIL to the new levels.
Last time, we wanted to watch that small movie called Thor, and we were told that it’s going to be “All in, all out” – meaning, you cannot just sit through, get your P120 worth and watch the movie all over again, just like old times. And we noticed this was just for movies that are outrageously popular. Fast 5 did not have the same treatment; neither did Priest.
Worse, there were no announcements whatsoever that they would be implementing the policy. Hmm… somehow, the malls are protecting (colluding with?) a multi-billion movie industry to ensure that more and more people would be watching films.
Okay, fine. We wouldn’t want to deprive Jerry Bruckheimer of his new island somewhere in the Pacific now, would we?