Today I went to the mall.
There have been several developments since the last time I went to the mall. I'll try to list them here:

1. There's a rock-climbing wall with power winches to boost the efforts of the weaker kids.
2. There's a Thomas Kinkade store. (I'd never heard of him until Christmas and now I can't escape him)
3. More than half of the Mole Hole is given over to "Christmas Village" collectibles and accessories - some of which are not very Christmasy (Haunted Houses and Summer Camps and UFO's)
4. In general, teenagers come in groups of 3 girls per guy. I don't remember this being the case when I was a teenager.
5. There's a store where you can sort of construct your own teddy bear. This isn't so much a craft project as dividing the shopping experience into smaller units.
6. Mobile phones are apparently very high profit items because you can get them from kiosks, electronics stores, camera shops, music stores, and department stores.
7. Like automobile models, mall shops tend to move up the price and luxury scale over time. Banana Republic used to be sort of kitschy and now it's molto elegante. Other shops seem to be doing the same thing.
8. There's some sort of NASCAR theme park thing going on. I have not investigated.
9. The Hoover Police Department has joined the US Postal Service as government agencies with mall locations.
10. For some reason (personal security? employer's labor market?) teenagers now give away free samples in teams of two or more.

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