Men Need an Outlet, Too!

It all started when I realized I had lost all sense of concern about coolness. I had walked right into a Claire's with my daughter and plopped myself in the pier chair and … read the newspaper. How old mannish can one person get? For all of you guys who are unfamiliar with Claire's let me explain. Think back to the third grade and remember all the rings and necklaces you could get out of a bubble gum machine for your girlfriend for a nickel? Well, apparently some woman named Claire bought the bubble gum jewelry factory and is now stocking stores across America and selling the nickel jewelry for $ 7.99. That's about a 1600% mark up if anyone's taking note.

I knew better than to embarrass my daughter by sitting down in the chair in our hometown but when we were out of town I just lost all concern for cool points. This brings me to a major point of concern. Summer is here and now it appears that on every vacation to the mountains or the beach part of the trip requires a trip at the newest American monument … THE OUTLET MALL!

We men need some help here. I recently tried riding my bike from the hotel to the outlet mall which killed about an hour of shopping time. My daughter just got some Heelies, those tennis shoes with heels in the back. I think that would at least allow me to keep up a little better. My friend, Tim, had the mother of all outlet mall techniques. He said he and his friend tailgated while their wives shopped! Tailgating! Brilliant!

I only have one word for you outlet mall moguls who want to encourage the family to come donate our money to you. Television. Big screen, drive-in movie sized, high definition televisions tuned to ESPN placed on the roof of your eatery. You could have waitresses Heelie out to the parking lot with chicken wings and burgers.

The increase to your business could triple not just by the volume of guys happily taking their wives shopping but also through phone conversations like this, "Bob, I guess I'm ready to go. mall? "

"Well, do not you want to shop some more? It's the middle of the third quarter and my new friend, Spud, here just ordered us up 25 more wings."

She of course would respond with the great American shopping cry of, "Charge!"

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