Yesterday I got out my brass knuckles and headed to the mall for the biggest, sweatiest shopping bonanza of my life. Christmas shopping is a full-contact sport. I got myself prepared by putting my game face on (black stripes under my eyes and a temporary tattoo of Santa's face on my cheek.) I adorned every ring I own (brass knuckles), and strapped on elbow and knee pads. (Elbows out is the only way to get through Target without getting knocked to the ground.)
The parking lot is Level 1. You must navigate through the painted stripes of death like Frogger, dodging morons driving silent Priuses packed to the roof with Snuggies and Tickle Me Elmos. Mall patrons are generally drunk and frequently pull out of parking spots with the sole intention of T-boning you.
Once you get inside the mall, strip down to game uniform: sensible shoes, a ponytail and a purse you can strap over your chest. Leave your winter jacket in the car, even if it's snowing. Trust me on this one, I learned this lesson the hard way yesterday.
The trick is to stick to the list, get in, and get out. Don't get in line behind Calculator Lady or Change Counting Man, unless you want to turn those brass knuckles on yourself. If you can make it to the car in one piece, load your crap in the trunk so people don't steal it, and dump a bottle of gatorade over your head in celebration of your win.