Tourist Trap

For anyone who lives in a city, major or minor, you know full well the places to avoid getting sucked into buying useless gadget-infomercial-like junk.

And so do I. I thought.

Running to the Mall of America after doing an airport drop off, I made a mental map of where I needed to go.
A return was necessary.
And apparently so was a stop or two or three or four at my “go to” stores.

Despite my multiple stops and purchases today, I absolutely loathe the Mall of America. It’s massive and there are always slow walking tourists. And I get queasy walking across the glass block “bridges” (or are they walkways?) on the third floor.
Freaks me out.
But luck was on my side today, because I scored some good deals on items I really, truly did need (like socks, Under Armour gear, BR chinos, Clinique Trina Turk bonus, etc. etc.).
Winding down my shopping trip, ready to get home and enjoy the weather, I vowed to make one last little loop and leave. Unfortunately every loop in the MOA is littered with kiosks of kiosk people selling gadget-infomercial-like junk.

Exit in site, weaving through a minefield of kiosks on the first floor, I was patting myself on the back for ducking and dodging the dudes selling sunglasses and the lady giving away “free pizzas…with the purchase of…”
Home free.
Thinking I had successfully brushed off every crap-trap, a woman handed me a free moisturizing packet.
Whatever. Grab and go, I told myself.

“Can I ask you a question?” Kiosk Lady asked.

NO! You did NOT just hesitate. You did NOT just stop. You did NOT just fall for this.

“Are your nails natural?”
“Ok. Well, what if I told you I could bring out the natural shine in your fingernails without polish?” Kiosk Lady asked.
“Let me see your hand,” Kiosk Lady requested.
“All right, this is what I’m going to do, this is a special three-sided file. The first side, gets off all the rough bumps. The next side buffers it. Then the last side has these special crystals to polish it….” Kiosk Lady continued her spiel.

The only thoughts running through my mind were, This perfect stranger is holding my hand. Gross, whose grimy fingernails has this file already touched?

“Ok, are you ready to be amazed? You’re going to be so excited, you might scream.” Kiosk Lady couldn’t contain her excitement.

I could.

Pulling the file away from my right thumb, I looked down, unsure what my nail would look like.

“Isn’t that amazing? Just from the file, your nail looks that polished – that’s your natural nail,” Kiosk Lady’s excitement was becoming more and more annoying.

But…I hate to admit…my right thumb nail, what’s left of it after my major nail clipping round the other day, is shiny, smooth, and dare I say, pretty?!

“No need for polish, just this file. Your nail will stay like that for thirty days,” Kiosk Lady pushed the sale.

Lady, I can’t even remember the last time I bought nail polish. And the last time I polished my nails, I peeled and picked at the blindingly pink polish after the first day. What makes you think I’d buy this file?

I didn’t buy the magical nail file.

I walked away, side-stepping the remaining kiosk people. While I walked, I kicked myself as I admired my one shiny nail.

I fell for a Tourist Trap in my own city.

* Side note: Good luck signs?
Before the MOA, I made a stop at’s Bloomington store to return an item and there, on the front of the building was a massive poster of Patrick Kane endorsing Bauer.
Then in the MOA, a Dustin Byfuglien t-shirt hung in front window of a store.
I’d say those are two good signs.
Game 6!


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