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Yesterday i went to the good ol' Burlington Mall to make some VERY IMPORTANT purchases of underwear and eye-shadow. About an hour into my trip, VS underwear underarm, i proceeded to Sephora to GET HIGH ON THE FUMES, i mean try on eye colors. As soon as i'd gotten to the shadow display, however, the overhead lights flickered then went out. A new strobe effect? Am i on Girls Behaving Badly? No, the music stopped too. And the cash-registers froze. Yes, it was day we had feared since the beginning of the War On Terror: The power to shopping had been cut!

Other than imagining a few lines of "That's the night that the lights went out in Sephora," there's not a lot to be done in a make-up store with no visibility. So i exited, only to find that power had been cut to the ENTIRE right side of the mall. If the mall was a wide-screen flat-screen TV, imagine it split down the long way and bottom half dimmed. Our shopping experience was cut off at the knees! That's when everyone started panicking.

With no working registers, no credit card swipers, and no security sensors, the shops immedietly began shutting their doors. The jewelry store dropped its metal grates like a top-heavy guillitine. The clothing stores followed suit. The only people out of luck were the stores whose security doors are not manually operated. The staff of Sephora brought up stools and made a human line across the front of their store. Walking down the long hallway, you could see every store manager pacing behind her gate, cell-phone to ear, trying to figure out what was going on. Should we send staff home? Will we re-open the store? Will we EVER open AGAIN?

More confused were people who had entered the mall after the outage incident. "Why are all these stowahs closed?" a woman asked her boyfriend. "Only on one side? That's so weeeyhad."

At the center of the mall, the real drama was unfolding. A crowd of security guards was gathered in a circle around the main elevator. The chief had his hands cupped to his mouth, and was shouting throught the crack in the elevator shaft:

"Jesus" i muttered, "i hope there isn't a pregnant lady in there. Or a couple who were otherwise not forced to resolve their issues."

With no eyeshadow, no food court, and no Crate and Barrel, there was nothing to do but watch the elevator drama unfold. after a few minutes of standing around, however, i realized there wad really no great drama in four people stuck in a frosted-glass box on the ground floor, waiting ten minutes for Burlington's fire squad. Sure, i could have waited to get a load of some big doods with axes, but Barnes and Noble accross the street had Starbucks frappachinos, and there you could still exchange money for goods and services. I'm sure the shoppers got freed eventually, probobly with a better appreciation of the fragile balance of our modern existence.


wow...i never thought that so much excitment and adventure could take place at the Burligton Mall :-)

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