When we watch a zombie film and everyone heads for the Shopping Mall to hold up, only to be subsequently followed by masses of zombies, it is usually touted that it’s because there is an ingrained habit in us to do something we enjoyed previously.
Now I know better – and it’s official!
Retail therapy: say what you like about it but I’ve always loved just buying something on a whim. I used to work for a Denver-based company a few years back and one of the several reasons I had for looking forward to going to the HQ city was that I have never been anywhere before or since where the opportunity to shop ‘til you drop in one place was more enjoyable. The huge malls had everything you could possibly want from Indian jewellery (certainly made it easier to explain to my wife why I bought another bit of SW for my PC) to gadgets I didn’t even know I wanted.
The research outlined in the article that sparked this blog says that fear of death in a materialistic person sparks a desire to go shopping. It also says that people with ‘possession obsessions’ have lower self-esteem which can be bolstered by retail therapy. So that’s why I like to spend money J. I also understand that retail therapy is cyclic and a little like an adrenaline high: the more you do, the more you need to do to achieve the same satisfaction, ultimately resulting in dissatisfaction.
So, let’s take the argument forward a little to an apocalypse; if that doesn’t generate a fear of death I don’t know what will!
From the Survivor Perspective:
Get to the Mall:
Seemed like the right thing to do at the time
It has secure doors
It has a food hall
Shopping is fun
It has various, possibly useful supplies
It offers familiarity
Shopping is fun
It offers a frisson of guilty pleasure as you take something without paying
It has multiple exits
Shopping is fun
There are lots of places a zombie could hide
You can end up trapped in the building
It has multiple exits/entrances
It will attract looters and ‘good time’ gangs
It will attract large numbers of non-living shoppers
You might find that anytime shopping isn’t as much fun as you thought
You will run out of food faster than you previously thought
From the Zombie Perspective:
Get To The Mall:
Need to shop – brought on by fear of death – assumes there is no knowledge of being dead
Lots in common with the others milling around outside
Lots of entrances someone will have forgotten to lock in their hurry to get inside
No easy access to shopping Mall
Become target for survivor’s fun or hatred
Not much else to do other than mill around and wait for living person to do something dumb
None of the breathers will let you in to do shopping
Looking at these pros and cons it looks like the breathers might inadvertently just be being cruel to zombies by not giving them access to the shops. Should the day come and as a breather, hopefully, I don’t think I’d find this a compelling argument to share with them.
The research would seem to imply that most of us are materialistic in one way or another, and remain that way in death. Long live the Mall!
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