I'd been sent out on cigarette errands for the girls in the office on my way to the bank. It was not yet 10, so most of the stores at Lakeside Mall were not yet open, but the plaza was flecked with people. One little, gray haired lady with the traditional old lady white vinyl handbag and pale blue sweatpants. She stayed close to the outer edge of the walkway, like kids would do at the roller rink when they were afraid to fall down. Immaculate white Keds shod her tiny feet as they prance swiftly, barely touching the ground. As I walked in through the glass doors, she was coming right toward me, so naturally, I held the door for her, thinking she wanted to go outside. Turning a sharp right she barely missed me as she covered the area of the alcove like a bunny rabbit on the track at the dog races.

It's almost 100 degrees here every day now, and that's typical. I understand that no one wants to maintain their physical workouts drenched in sweat if they don't have to. I walk in the park every night, but I am also not 60 with a heart condition. If I was going to pick a place for little old ladies to be during the daytime, if it cannot be at home or in a home, I would much rather have them in an enclosed area than out on the roads.

Not to be against old people, but keep in mind that I work in a body shop. I have more than my share of arguments for age limits on driver's licenses, or at least, regular eye sight and depth perception checks for drivers as they get over, say 65, 70 or so.

I do find it ironic that the one haven from the heat where little old ladies can walk in air conditioned bliss is a freaking mall. It shows you how backwards our suburban values system is. Wait a minute, isn't that an oxymoron?

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