by Dr Airdre Grant
MY DAUGHTER wanted a special moisturiser and in order to get it we had to go to the mall to a particular place that sold this apparently superior item.
We located it in the glamorous, shiny and perfumed cosmetic section of a big apartment store. A carefully groomed assistant glided up. Interestingly, she was wearing a lab coat.
"Oh that,” she said, following our gaze. "That is an amazing product.”
Would you say anything else, I thought to myself as I tried to find the price.
Immediately we were introduced to a special bundle where if you paid slightly more, you got this and that (lip gloss, something shiny) thrown in for "free”.
"If you use this product,” the woman declared with great authority, "You will increase the moisture in your cells by 180%!”
I looked at her. "180% of what?” I asked.
"The cells are plumped up and moisture is retained 180% more!” she said.
"More than what?” I said. "I don't understand. How can cells be pumped up to absorb 180% more moisture?”
The women pursed her bright red lips at me.
"Mum,” said my daughter in a warning voice. She put her hand on my arm and gently led me away. "Leave the nice lady alone,” she said. "Let me just get the stuff.”
"It doesn't make sense,” I muttered furiously. "It's a ludicrous claim. And why is she wearing lab coat?”
We went in search of refreshments and on the way walked past a sexy lingerie shop. This shop was decorated with large pictures of Santa. In one he had two young, skinny women in his lap. They were wearing bosom-spilling corsets, stockings and garters. In another he was biting off the g-string of a laughing girl in "festive” lingerie. Ho ho ho.
Directly across from the lingerie shop, families and children queued up to get their photo taken with a much more recognisable Santa and his elves. Not a lot of lingerie in that family friendly space. Nix. Nada. Zilch. Just overloaded children's pushchairs and fractious children pulling at their parents sleeves.
This is perhaps what happens to the older women when let lose in a shopping centre. She takes a very dim view of spurious marketing claims and over sexed pictures of poor old Santa frolicking with barely clad young women.
My daughter told me about how her friend was getting their cat's photo with Santa. "Don't you just stick a couple of antlers on them and quickly take their photo before they growl at you and run away and hide under a bed?” I asked. Apparently not.
I can only assume that 180% of shoppers are prepared to waste money taking their pets to mall to sit on a no doubt fed up Santa's lap. Me I was sure I was 180% ready to leave the mall before I became disorderly. My daughter and I went to the car, via the bottle shop. We were both 180% over it.