Remind Me to Never Visit Minnesota

I recorded the premiere of Mall Cops: Mall of America last Thursday and watched it this evening back-to-back with the new episode. I was expecting light entertainment, which it is, but it’s also infuriating in the way that that Southwest Airlines show that was on a few years ago was.

Low level staffers enforcing arbitrary family values rules brings out the rebellious teenager in me mixed with a good dose of middle-aged white male, cabin-in the-woods-full-of-guns, M.Y.O.B. libertarian.

The airline show raised my blood pressure with their arbitrary non-allowance of passengers; offensive clothing, suspicions you’d been drinking and so on. (Which reminds me, that the maggots on the plane story made my day.)

Mall Cops is pure Minnesota earnestness to the point of mockumentary. They take their jobs, upholding some vague wholesome standards of acceptability very seriously, so too their general sense of duty. I caught myself yelling at the TV and I was dead sober.

It might also be the editing, creating dramatic stories out of tiny incidents: Lost Muslim children whose parents aren’t missing but around the corner on Dora ride, black teenagers making out, crazy Improv Everywhere no pants crowds not allowed inside the premises, Ghostbusters also banned, talking to yourself on a bench isn’t ok and a teenage girl, inexplicably in banana costume, is made to push back their headpiece because “hoods aren’t allowed in the mall.”

And my favorite, tray hoarders! Apparently, there’s a big problem with restaurants in the food court hiding red plastic trays from each other until a mall cop must go stall to stall rounding them up. Um, maybe they should just buy more trays?

It’s like the jaywalking rules in Portland not only being enforced but followed by the public. Quality of life? Better things to worry about. Who cares? Way too much time on your hands. Can you not think for yourself?

It’s only petty rules that remind me why I do live in NYC no matter how much I complain. Yes, you know I hate public maker-outers but I never said you said make a law against it. I would rather you not grope and grind in front of me, but an MTA worker barging in (they don’t even get involved with beatings and rapes) and reprimanding, “There have been complaints. There are children here” would either result in mocking or violence. Or maybe just being ignored. We all need a healthy disrespect for authority.

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