Recent scientific studies at the FIT science division have determined that a trip to Hollister is a psychological and sensory equivalent to completing a tour of duty in the military during the Vietnam war. After sending several volunteering students to a Hollister on an unrelated project, FIT science specialists were shocked to find the returning individuals traumatized and ashamed. Comparisons to war-time guilt and trauma were inescapable, and soon comparative research found the closest comparison to be the level of damage experienced by Vietnam veterans. Seeing how damaging this situation proved, scientists did what they do best and recruited more volunteers in exchange for monetary compensation, sending them out to see if in fact war-time Vietnam and Hollister were correlated on a post traumatic stress level. Volunteers were encouraged to write notes on the situations they were facing for further material to be evaluated. Here, displayed for the first time to the public, is one such account.
Objective: Sent out to retrieve pair of boot-cut jeans.
-I have arrived at the store. The mood lighting is extremely off-putting and employees are scarce. I find myself staring over my shoulder often expecting another patron or staff folding clothing. The shelves housing the clothing are even darker and checking sizes is nearly impossible. There is something ominous about this place, and I feel as if I am unprepared, even with my mom’s Amex.
-I came in between songs on the radio here, and foolishly thought my senses handicapped then. Now, thirty seconds into a pop rock song, my ears are ringing. I am fumbling in the area for jeans, searching recklessly for a 32 waist. There are still no employees and my brain races with confusion as to why anyone would want to pretend they were at a club while shopping for clothes.
-Two customers finally pass me. I thought I was entirely alone. But seeing them explains how this place ravages a person. First a muscled young man in an Ed Hardy t-shirt. It looks like he spilled funfetti on a tattoo design. He grabs clothing with little regard to its price or color. A bleach blonde girl whose skin is painfully orange even in this light struts around, and scoffs at me, as if disgusted I would look at her incredibly slutty outfit. I cannot unsee these things but pray I can somehow leave them buried in my subconscious. I would rather be tortured in my nightmares than acknowledge the man’s chin strap.
-I stumble to the cash register where a squeaky voiced tan girl rings me up. I can hear nothing over the Metro Station song playing, and the receipt is indecipherable in this light. Suddenly panic overtakes all rationale and I grab my bag, ignoring the offer to join their rewards club. The florescent lighting of the mall hallway is the definition of relief, and I emerge clutching the remainder of my humanity. But the damage has been done. My jeans have fake holes worn in them, and now seem to be made out of a cheaper material then in the tinted lighting. The receipt is a testament to my sins, a price unreasonable for any apparel. But I dare not to go back to return it, or confess what I have noticed. I have suffered enough. But several emo mall rats think other wise, and calling me a “faggy jock”. One spits near my person. God forgive me for what I’ve done.
A sordid tale indeed. Next article we’ll be covering a recent study on Applebee’s service as it compares to being on a train to Auschwitz.