Finding amusement while out shopping

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

For men there is really no worse experience than spending a day shopping for things they know nothing about. On countless weekends men everywhere are dragged to shopping centers, department stores and malls against their will in order to find the perfect dress, blouse, wallpaper, purse or one of any other million items that mean absolutely nothing to them.

Most are willing to sacrifice an afternoon to keep from being on the other end of an argument. The problem is how to amuse yourself during these forced shopping trips.

I think I may have found the answer. Someone recently sent me a list of 10 things men can do to amuse themselves while their wife/girlfriend takes her own sweet time in the store. Some of these items seem a little extreme, but all of them look like fun.

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1. Get 24 items and randomly put them in people's carts when they aren't looking. This works especially well if you are able to watch them check out and bask in the glory of your prank.

2. Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at five minute intervals. I have tried this one for my own amusement before. It's great if you don't get caught.

3. Walk up to an employee and tell him/her in an official tone: 'Code Three in Housewares'and see what happens. Odds are they will take off without thinking.

4. Go to the Service Desk and ask to put a bag of M&M's on lay-away, just to see the reaction. Some people will assume you have mental issues and be very nice about it. Most will know you are joking and threaten you.

5. Set-up a tent in the Camping Department and tell other shoppers you're sleeping over; invite them in if they bring pillows from the

Bedding Department. I tried this once in a round about way. I hid in the chimney of Santa's Playland in McFarland Mall in Tuscaloosa. The results were not as good as I had hoped.

6. When a clerk asks if they can help you, begin to cry and ask: "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"

7. Dart around the store suspiciously, while loudly humming the theme from "Mission Impossible."

8. Hide in a clothing rack and when people browse through, say:


9. When an announcement comes over the loudspeaker, assume the fetal position and scream, "NO!…It's those voices again!!!"

And last but not least:

10. Go into a fitting room, shut the door and wait a while then yell loudly:

"There's no toilet paper in here!"

I do not encourage any of the above that require you to pick on merchants. They are likely just as unhappy to see you as you are to be there. Pushing them too far could create a very ugly scene and leave you single in a hurry.

I recommend sticking with mild, good-natured fun where no one gets hurt and makes the day pass a little faster. Take this advice for what it's worth (nothing) and happy shopping.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick.