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In Final Blow To Suburban Malls, Amazon Adds Empty Corridors And Hollow-Eyed Sales People To Online Store

In what will likely sound the death knell for the few remaining suburban malls that haven’t already been re-appropriated as post-apocalyptic movie sets, Amazon has today released a new version of their online shopping experience that includes pop-ups of old people staring at polished floors; the continuous sound of children lying on the ground screaming; and a chat window that allows security guards with anger management issues to flirt, berate, and stare menacingly at customers, all at the same time. 

“Research shows that people buy more shit when they’re forced to traverse the futility of existence for at least 100 meters of echoing retail corridors beforehand,” said a spokesperson for the single greatest collection of crap ever assembled under one corporate letterhead in history. 

“With fewer people actually leaving their homes to senselessly wander around real buildings looking for something, anything, with which to assuage the unbearable lightness of being, we here at the church of Amazon believe it is our sacred duty to mainline that existential angst directly to online shoppers. We call the new experience: Consumeranity. In Prime we trust,” the spokesperson declared, before making the sign of the card tap. 

A quick test-drive of the new interface makes the brutal utility of this approach all too clear: after five short minutes of perusing the starkly depressing new website, this reporter owned 18 Kindles, 4 baby baths, a box of 800 AA batteries, and a yoga mat shaped like Canada that plays “Sail Away” by Enya every time you unroll it.

At checkout a pop-up window appeared in which the animated image of a wan twenty-something salesperson somehow managed to look over the user’s shoulder, despite being on a flat screen and displaying the energy levels of an eighteen-year-old goldfish.

Employing a technically perfect monotone bereft of all will to live, the VR sales associate asked if the buyer had enjoyed their shopping experience today, or had any idea why we are all here. The clever upselling tactic worked. Within moments this reporter had added a Toyota Yaris, four winter tires, and a fuzzy steering wheel cover to the cart and frantically chosen same-day delivery. 

Amazon expects this move to give them the final three retail transactions a week that currently occur without their involvement, all which are completed by a Mrs. Kerplopple, of Brampton, Ontario, who doesn’t trust the internet and says she still likes to see ‘real people’ when she hands over her ‘actual cash.’ 

“But,” she says looking out the window as a gust of wind blows an early November sleet against the cold glass, “If what you say is true, and this online store will listen to me complain about how my daughter never calls and my son still lives with me because he’s too much like his father, all without telling me it has to serve the next customer? Well, I say log me up.”

 

1 reply »

  1. I remember when satire was so blatantly obvious that it fooled almost no one. Now, so much of “real life” has become so absurd as to make satire almost indistinguishable from fact.
    Although this article is satire, it comes discouragingly close to the reality of the situation. While people are bemoaning the demise of the suburban mall, they fail to recognize that the mall was, in fact, a symptom of the general malaise that gripped society — the race to consume beyond our means.
    While there will be a resultant drop in employment levels, we should adjust to the new economic reality, much as we came through the industrial age bemoaning how machines were putting people out of work.
    We will adapt. We may return to a more scalable retail environment — “mom and pop” stores, local main Street businesses, and much that was lost as malls devoured more and more of the retail environment may return to meet our needs, if — and only if — we recognize those limits: meeting our needs. The days of conflating our “needs” into striving to gather the excesses of “wants” is at hand.
    No longer should corporate greed, and increasing market share to satisfy shareholder demand drive our materialistic urges. Buy what you need, BUT WAIT! You don’t need more.
    This story was amusing, but as satire often us, I see it as a cautionary tale. We’ve exceeded our grasp. We cannot reach the sun. Our wings have melted, and we fall back to earth.

    Liked by 1 person

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