Insecurities at the mall

Now I know why it now takes so long to stand in line to get into the mall. Somebody got shot and killed in there one early evening.

I had always wondered if the mall security guards' cursory pokes inside bags with the use of  wooden sticks or the light pats on people's waists to check for deadly weapons were enough to prevent terrorists and criminals from entering the place.

Now THEY know.

Many times, I passed through the mall guards with my big shoulder bag hardly inspected.

Among the items I'd been able to get into the mall were:

  • a dozen cans of complimentary cheap sardines -- courtesy of the radio station where I used to work -- which I carefully wrapped with white bond paper, three cans per sheet, so they looked like a bunch of over-sized firecrackers.
  • a dozen tinapang galunggong for my cat, bought for me in Sangitan market by an office mate because I had no idea where/how to buy such a stinking product which my cat so loved, wrapped in layers upon layers of translucent plastic bags so they won't smell, that in the end they looked and felt like plastic explosives.
  • three second hand rice sacks which I asked the office janitor to buy to serve as sleeping mats for my dogs.
  • rolled up dirty clothes, shoes and toiletry wrapped in plastic bags, all of suspicious shapes, after I had to stay overnight in Cabanatuan.
  • frozen, rock-solid Purefoods Fiesta ham from the office Christmas party which made my bag bulge and sweat.
  • tangled mass of earphones, cables and adapters for two cellular phones -- the one I just bought and the old one that I intended to sell.
  • a big plastic jar of genuine Good Shepherd peanut brittles from a student who attended a convention in Baguio.
All went through without a hitch. No questions asked, no curiosity aroused, no sniffing dog (if one was around) bothered.

Substitute "gun," "grenade," "bomb," or "poison gas" for any of the items enumerated above, and you'll get the picture of what security was like then.

And then that shooting incident happened and every guard in every adit/exit of the mall is now on high alert. 

Darn! I was intending to bring home a kitten to replace my old cat that recently died -- no, not from cancer from eating too much tinapang galunggong. The ingenious plan calls for the kitten to be comfortably sleeping in my bag, with the zipper open just a little bit for ventilation,  while I took a quick lunch break in the mall before going home.

With the heightened security, I now doubt if the poor creature could withstand being felt and poked at without emitting a warning meow followed by the furious slashing of its front paws.

And I'd be accused of carrying a deadly weapon, as evidenced by the security guard's bloody scratches.

Of course, I could always feign innocence and claim that the kitten was planted.

[August 15, 2005]