So the other day I was doing a little Christmas shopping and found myself in a ‘Bath and Body Works’. For anyone who has ever been in one, it seems it’s constantly nutso busy. Now, I am not sure if this only applies to the Christmas season, but this particular store had ‘zones’, yes ZONES. I entered the store, got maybe three steps and BAM first hit, “HI THERE, can I help you?!!!”.  I politely declined the offer of assistance and continued on my mission to find my x-mas gift. Two more steps were taken and little did I know I was entering Zone # 2, a.ka. “Zone Body Splash” then came the second hit “HEYYYYYYYYYYYY, can I help you find something?!!” Again, I thanked her for the offer, and continued through the lotion trenches. I thought I was in the clear, had my eye on  the goods. I moved towards it with stealth, but to my surprise I had entered the hidden ‘danger zone’, a.ka. “Zone Gift Sets”- where I was surrounded. In retro-spec I realized by picking up the gift set I had triggered the attack: “HEY did you hear about our special offer today?….” I stood there frozen in fear, it was some form of interrogation: “what are you looking for? Can I help you find something? Can I get you something?” It just went on.  Then it clicked; I knew what to do! I managed to escape this attack with THE secret code phrase. I swiftly turned away but before I could finish my sigh of relief I was struck again, “Hi, did anyone tell you about our special offer…”- pulling out my defense once again, I prevented further interrogation. Scanning my surrounding, I saw no one in close proximity, so I once again picked up the gift set I wished to purchase; a quiet whisper was emitted into the air, “hiiiiii, did anyone tell you about our special offer?” I took a different approach this time. I began to interrogate her: “Is there a way I can find out what this smells like” I asked… no, demanded! Not expecting a counter-attack she stood there confused, knowing the answer lay in another ‘zone’ and afraid to leave her posts, she radio-ed in back up. I was soon escorted to the boarder of ‘Zone Gift Sets’ and ‘ Zone Wallflowers’, my hands trembling, my throat dry of thrist- not knowing how far I would have to go. Keeping my distance I followed the new girl. I obtained my answers and got out fast- though she seemed more afraid of me, I did not want to take any chances. An important thing must be remembered here: if one stays in ‘Zone Wallflower’ too long, you won’t come out without a souvenir of the battle. Anyways, knowing exactly how to complete my mission I headed straight toward the gift set without looking back, without making eye contact with anyone, without thinking twice, without fear. I snatched it and continued further down the line, through the ‘signature collection classics’, ‘aromatherapy classics’ and carefully avoiding the wall of ‘anti-bacterial classics’. There was only one thing left to do…pay and retreat! I crept to the line, I could sense others around me who were in the same situation; fear and fatigue filled the room, but I had made it this far and wasn’t about to give up. It was my turn now, I pulled out my weapons (my debit card) and with one simple swipe and I few punches of the keys I inputted my secret code. It went through without any trouble. Once I was handed my goods it was if I was now untouchable- no one would dare come near me again. That small paper bag was protecting me.  I moved back through the ‘zones’ with ease into the clearing of the mall sidewalk. VICTORY! In closing, if you venture into the battle-fields of the “Body and Bath Works” remember: 1) all ‘zones’ are guarded 2) be aware of your surroundings, but try not to look them straight in the eye 3) Ipods can only help so much, if you take your ear buds out it’s like an invitation to conversation interrogation 4) always remember to use your secret code defense phrase: “No, thanks I’m just looking” and 5) If and only if you are heavily skilled in consumerism may you use the counter-attack. So go forth my friends, happy shopping.

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