Water Fountain

Thatcher sat in the security office at the mall…

“Uh, excuse me, Mr. Narrator? I think I’d like to tell this one in first person for a change.”

Very well, Thatch. Have at it.

“Thank you. Okay, so like The Narrator told you, I’m sitting in the security office at the mall. It all started about an hour ago, when I walked into the food court…”

So I had the day off from thievery, and I decided a trip to the mall was in order. When I got here, I was feeling a little peckish, so I walked over to the Pizza-By-The-Slice. There was a bit of a line, and as I was waiting, my mind began to wander. Adhd can be a fun little condition sometimes…anyway, while I was standing there, I saw some people standing by the fountain tossing coins in. At the time, I was unaware that the fountain was considered a wishing well, and I simply assumed this was some sort of take-penny-leave-a-penny program.

At this point, I realized I was short about six cents for my food, so I left the line and walked over to the fountain. I saw a bunch of coins lying in the water, being totally unused and unspent. I didn’t want these poor coins to think that they were unwanted, so I did what any caring citizen would do and I reached in and scooped up a handful of them. I came up with about a dollar in change, and, I will admit, I got a little greedy. I reached in for a second handful, when a kid not too far from me saw what I was doing. He started tugging on his mom’s sleeve and pointing at me.

Before I go any further, I have to tell you that while I am not proud of what I did, I am rather proud of what happened afterwards.

Without thinking, I cupped my submerged hand and splashed a bunch of water at this kid. He was more than a little shocked, but the little bugger quickly recovered. His face went from a look of shock to a mischievous smile. He ran over to the fountain and while looking me straight in the eyes, he leaned over, reached his hand into the water, and splashed me back.

Not one to be outdone, I immediately splashed him again. At this point, all the kids whose mothers had left them in the food court with their fathers while they went shopping in all the boring stores started to notice what was happening and slowly made their way to the fountain as well. Within about a minute, there were thirty kids edging their way to the water.

When they all realized that no one was paying attention to what we were doing, they began jumping into the fountain and splashing each other. All hell began to break loose; it was beautiful. It quickly became a water war of epic proportions, with teams and alliances being made, battle lines being drawn, and casualties were had.

With all the commotion, mall security soon realized what was happening, and began making their way to the fountain. I saw this, and made an executive decision. I jumped high into the air and cannonballed into the water, sending a tidal wave all over the security guards who had surrounded the fountain during the skirmish. I quickly stood and shouted, “Scatter!”

Just like that, we all took off in separate directions, me and my army of water-logged munchkins. Being the only adult in this mess, I knew I would be the primary target, and I sprinted up the stairs to the main shopping area, followed by a dozen or so security guards, each radioing for back up.

Do you remember that scene in The Blues Brothers (the original, not that sad-excuse for a sequel), where they drive through the mall during the car chase? It felt a lot like that. As I ran, I toppled over cell phone carts, tables full of perfume and remote controlled helicopters, and dashed through carts of stuffed animals, sending beanie babies everywhere (seriously, who even sells beanie babies anymore; what year do they think this is?)

I made it halfway around the main floor before they cornered me. They had me surrounded, and I knew I had to make a choice. I could either go out like Butch and Sundance, or I could surrender and live to cause havoc another day. Considering I was slightly out of breath by this point, I got sat down and crossed my legs.

The security guards, who were also quite winded, grabbed my arms and pulled me back to my feet. They escorted me to a little room in the back, and that’s how I wound up in mall-cop jail. They put me in a room with three chairs and a wooden table. Two of them (the top dogs, I’m assuming) came in and started to interview me. They had hungry smiles on their faces, like they hadn’t had this much excitement since the Carter administration.

The older of the two (or at least the most world-weary of the two) leaned across the table and got in my face.

“Do you know how much trouble you’re in, mister?”

I crinkled my nose. “I don’t mean to be rude, but have you considered brushing your teeth this decade? Seriously, buddy, I can smell three different kinds of coffee that they don’t even make anymore.”

The other one turned beet red, clearly angered at my response.

“Listen, punk; we get punks like you in here all the time. Causing trouble, ruining merchandise…you’ll be lucky if we don’t press charges against your punk ass. You little punk.”

I laughed.

“I bet I can guess what your favorite insult is. Look, guys, I’m not trying to tell you how to do your jobs or anything, but if you’re trying to pull the whole ‘good cop/bad cop’ routine, you’re going about it the wrong way. You’ve got everything else almost perfect. The dimly-lit interrogation room, the yelling, the insults…”

“Shut up, punk!” They yelled in unison.

I put my hands up. “Hey, sorry; I was just going to say if you want your own buddy-cop show, one of you has to be the nice guy. Maybe you could flip a coin, or play rock paper scissors to decide. I could pick for you, but it’s probably best if you make that decision yourselves.”

They grunted and left the room. I chuckled to myself and walked around the room for a minute. I quickly got bored of the whole game, and turned to face the camera in the corner. I waved goodbye and left the room. They really were horrible at their jobs. They left me unguarded in an unlocked room, first of all. Second, they couldn’t have locked me in there in the first place, since the door locked from the inside.

I paused briefly in the doorway, wondering if I should lock myself in and cause more mayhem, but I soon remembered that I was still hungry. I left the interrogation room, and finding the next room vacant, left the security office altogether. I stepped out into the shipping area and made my way over to a pallet marked “Game Place.”

I rummaged through the package until I found the game that I wanted, snagged a box of Snickers at I left, and walked straight out the back door. I shook my head in gleeful disbelief. I couldn’t believe it; the last time I did this, I walked out with a whole new wardrobe and a brand new t.v. You would think they would have at least put my picture up on the wall. Maybe next time I’ll hit up the photo booth and leave them something to remember me by…

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