I decided to walk the Mall. Not the inside of it, I hate such places even on days when the weather does not seductively beckon. No, I walked around the outside of it, looping wide around the far reaches of the parking lot expanses.
I did not have to maneuver too much, the lots were perhaps 20% occupied.
For what it is worth, on the "front side" of the Mall, where the movie theaters, sporting goods store, food court all face, I picked up a grand total of 2 cents. On the back side, where yawn the entrances to Sears and J.C. Penny's......nothing. Not a single bit of misplaced wealth.
Pennies probably still mean something. Like Roman base coinage of the threadbare Fourth Century they are of such small value that when dropped they are not picked up. But they do mean that somebody was once there, reaching into the pocket (modern day) or purse (back then).
I had noticed that thrift stores, or charity shoppes to my UK pals, seem to have more new goods than donated stuff these days. So perhaps the Goodwill trailer is the ignomious exit for piles of merch that had not sold.
I did duck in to one store for ten minutes and did not buy anything. My Needs are few and easily met. And despite the best efforts of advertisers my Wants are fewer still.
Heading for home I passed one of those odd avatars of the modern retail economy. At an intersection leading into the Mall there was a fellow who was obviously being paid to stand there all day with a sign. These poor souls have a job that seems to me to be both pointless and without reward beyond the presumptive minimum wage that they are earning. It must be a requirement that they spin and jiggle the sign frantically. Thus rendering the whole exercise moot. I could see that he was touting
But honestly you could not make out which struggling retailer he was actually trying to direct you to. Maybe they are all in the same boat.