So the economy is down, and yet it seems that at this strange time of year when people pretend like they sincerely want to listen to Harry Connick Jr. and drop significant dough on pet accessories, the malls are flooded to the point of asphyxiation. You pretend like it is all in jest until you realize that the same soundtrack has been played over every store in every city for every day of the last six weeks and it sounds remarkably like bank elevator music. Let’s face the facts- it doesn’t appear that Of Montreal is releasing a holiday album any time in the near future. There are the mildly “fun stores” that make it worthwhile to wait amidst the mob where you can fiddle with gadgets and whatsits while a cute but dorky genius fixes your new iPhone. Exorcist Image Then, there are those dreaded “haunted house stores”. You know exactly the ones that I’m talking about. They are the ones where, every five seconds, someone in a cardigan is cutting into your goddamn line of fire and asking if you are in need of assistance. Clearly, you do not need help, or you wouldn’t be walking at such a rapid pace, jittering from an overdose of Red Bull, pretending to talk on your cell phone to avoid this plagued interaction between brainy and bimbo.

The demons of Hollister.

The last time I was dragged into a haunted house, I had to close my eyes and hug one of my friends to the point where it was affecting his blood flow to stop myself from crying at all of the fiends jumping out at me in cheap stage makeup. I have to say, walking into a Hollister store during the holiday season seems to have the same overall effect on me. You never know when one of them is lurking around the corner, just about to creep up on you with their Jessica Simpson brand hair extensions and Neutrogena bottle faux look. The especially fun part is, when you are actually in need of some relevant form of assistance, like having a fitting room opened to try on a pair of plaid pants that you never should have touched in the first place, the store suddenly turns into some kind of ghost town (I guess, with the demons come the ghosts). Then of course, you’ve got the series regulars of Hollister: the gaudy gum chewers with hair eight shades too light of human and a nice roll of American trash fat around their waistline which apparently some mass memo told them to expose to the world.

So why did I go on this unexpected trip to Hollister?

I’m honestly strapped for cash and couldn’t afford to buy the twelfth installment of the Saw films, so went for the nearest free and ghoulish adrenaline rush.