Scenes from a Mall. Or my adventures with Crack.

Yesterday, with the kids happily playing under the sprinkler with Grandma and Papa, Nate and I decided a little jaunt to the suburban mall was in order. In NYC terms, this is a big adventure. For we do not have large indoor shopping centers with attached parking, central air, multiple cosmetic counters, and PF Changs lettuce wraps all right in the same building. The closest we have is the Time-Warner Center, in which case you’re not getting out for less than five figures. And that’s just for parking.

Suburban mall trip adventure it is!

We pulled into the parking lot, found a dandy spot near the elevator (this is an important aspect of an enjoyable mall experience, as we have learned, thank you Mr. Seinfeld) and started to head towards the Nordstrom sign–but not before Nate plucked a small green baggie off the ground next to our car.

“Crack,” he said. “Look, it’s crack.”

“Oh my God,” I said. “How do you know?”

I have never seen live crack before. I did get through two episodes of Breaking Bad, although that was meth, and it stressed me out so much, I immediately switched to Downton Abbey. I am officially a predictably boring yuppie, I know. Nate reminds me daily. And as such, I have limited experience with illegal drugs that become popular after 1989.

“Wait…what are you doing?” I yelled, as I caught him rolling down our car windows. “Were you going to save it for later? I don’t want CRACK IN OUR CAR.”

“So…what do we do with it?”

“What were YOU going to do with it?”

“I don’t know…” he said.

“Fine. We’re throwing it out,” I said in that voice that makes it clear that he has no choice in the matter.

“But we could sell it,” he laughed. “Or just give it away. Make someone’s day.”

Of course we agreed there were several problems with this scenario:

1. Who the hell are we going to sell it to? We don’t run in a heavy crackhead circle, that I know of.

2. We can’t give it away. “Hi we found this on the floor of a parking lot. Who knows what’s in it or where it came from. Enjoy!”

3. I enjoy a life free from incarceration. I’m weird that way.

4. I couldn’t stop thinking of that episode of Six Feet Under, the one where Michael C. Hall was kidnapped and forced to smoke crack and I sat and cried for an hour after it was over.

So we tossed it into a garbage can, buried under some other debris and that was the end of the crack.

After doing some serious damage at Neiman-Marcus and the bra department of Nordstrom (Nate was bummed that I “went down’ 2 inches” until I assured him it was back fat I lost, and not boobage.) I had second thoughts. That crack could have helped make a dent in our purchases. Then again, I have no idea what the going rate is for crack that you find on a parking lot floor of a mall.

I assume it’s not enough for the leather jacket at Vince I was drooling over.

Maybe next time we’ll find some proper rock cocaine. Or maybe, if we’re really lucky, a bag of rhino horns.

It could happen. Anything can happen at a suburban mall.


40 thoughts on “Scenes from a Mall. Or my adventures with Crack.”

  1. I’m not sure whether to be impressed or frightened by Nate’s ability to spot and identify crack. Although, I often say that certain foods must have crack in it, so maybe it all makes sense now.

  2. Well, that just made me laugh out loud which scared the dog. (That’s about as gritty and exciting as life is over here. And I wouldn’t recognize crack if I saw it either.)

  3. I know why he can identify crack – it’s because in NYC in 1988 or so, the little vials and their lids were everywhere on the sidewalks – and the lids look EXACTLY like the little lego tips. Frighteningly so. Which in my mind explains why legos are the crack of toys (duplos are the gateway drug and then…can’t get enough, constantly escalating cost, ever bigger purchases). I will say that you showed admirable restraint in not going back to rummage through the garbage to look for “your” drugs. Come back to the city where it’s safer!

    1. He was 12 in 1988 and living far from NYC. But I like your line of thinking.

      Also I like LEGOs. Connection, perhaps?

  4. That is truly an adventure in suburbia. Hilarious! Although, I did brave past two episodes of Breaking Bad… but now, I can identify way more criminal activity than I think I ever wanted to.

    1. That could come in handy should you ever need a career change. Or want to accompany us to the mall next time. We might need protection. And/or witnesses.

  5. You never know what you are going to find at the mall 🙂 I, um, remember accompanying a friend to buy pot and I’m sure the entire town heard my horrified gasp of “$50!” when I heard the going rate.

    1. It’s true! You do never know.

      I wonder if more unadvertised free crack specials would bring in more customers.

  6. Well, I’ll keep my eyes peeled the next time I’m in that mall…except, I don’t think I know what crack looks like.

  7. I always thought crack was one of those “you know it when you see it” substances. But, come to think of it, I’m not sure if I’ve ever laid eyes on bona fide crack either. Then again, I don’t get out to the suburbs that often.

  8. I always knew Manhattan was safer than the suburbs. Good thing the crackhead didn’t come back looking for his crack and do whatever crackheads do to get their crack back…
    And glad to hear your boobs didn’t shrink.

  9. I just laughed so hard that I woke my 3 year old up (she was dozing on my lap) and then I had to tell her that I was laughing at My Little Pony. 🙂

  10. Now, that would have made a great Seinfeld episode! It would
    be so much better than wandering around with a goldfish.

  11. Crack cocaine IS rock cocaine. Same thing, yo. And, it is fairly cheap–bc it is regular coke cut with chemicals. I know this bc I’m a criminal defense attorney–not a crack head! 😉

    1. Where were you when we were standing in a parking lot underground wondering what to do! Thanks a lot, Ayo.

  12. So happy to hear I’m not the only lightweight that couldn’t make it through Breaking Bad. Add The Wire to that list.

    But I do LOVE Sons of Anarchy, so that gives me some street cred, right?

    Glad you might it out of the burbs crack free.

    1. I know not this street cred of which you speak.

      Although I am told that I would love the Wire. Now, not so sure.

  13. I have this image that mall crack should come in a glittery Lisa Frank-type vial. With unicorns. Possibly a rainbow.

    I would make the BEST dealer.

  14. Suburban shopping malls bring out the dark side of humanity. Like the time I saw a kid crawling down the mall outside shops in a giraffe costume. He was on the floor, of the MALL. During Christmas season.

    Maybe he had picked up the parking lot crack?

  15. I totally know which mall you were at. Route 4? I’ve been there, but I have never found crack. I would say you are lucky but you are only lucky when you find crack if you are a drug addict. I wonder what the city drugs to suburban drugs ratio is. I agree, the suburbs are weird, that’s why we moved upstate. This weekend all I found were massive spiders.

  16. I really though that crack was extinct and they were not making it anymore. Maybe it was one of those collector’s items, anniversary editions numbers?

  17. I thought this was going to be a post about all the exposed butt-cracks one might see at a suburban mall. Also, being a Jersey girl, I must know if this happened at the Short Hills Mall.

    1. I’m sure there are some similiarities. Starting with Nate noticing them first, and me wanted to get rid of them immediately.

  18. You crack me up Liz (excuse the pun). Not sure what current street value is but I’m sure it would have paid for your gas. Oh well win some you lose some. At least you’re not reading this behind bars!


  19. It is scary when you realise that those things have become so cheap (in middle-class terms) that you can find some lying around – nobody cared enough about it to return or even guard it closely.
    I don’t know how crack looks like – that was not the popular choice back, back when I was young and oblivious. But I can smell a weed a mile away… and sometimes at surprising places. And I would never deem suburban mall surprising…
    While growing up, it was soooo expensive, that 5 friends would share one joint. Which likely made whole thing totally innocent: they each could get, like, 2 puffs? On flip side, if one goes to rock concert in modern times, one will likely be seated behind couple of buddies that each one will pull couple of joints for himself. Makes for free trip, if you are up for it. And since modern times mean assigned seating in rock concerts, you can’t even move to different section without some usher/security looking at you like a worst criminal offender. Humpf.

  20. I cried after that Six Feet Under episode too. It was awful. As for the mall, I dropped my keys in the parking garage of one once without realizing. If they simply posted signs every few feet that said, “make sure you haven’t dropped your keys or your crack” people would be much better off.

  21. Oh the suburbs. We must get out there more often..although the last time we ventured out to the mall we only found a few discarded used condoms on the pavement. They always say their children are better protected in the suburbs than in our urban neighborhoods…so true.

  22. Did I tell you that my sister-in-law is a sweater designer at Vince? Next time you are in LA, my dear. I’ve got the hook up. No crack required.

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