Today’s writing prompt comes from 642 Things to Write About by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
Explain to the historians of 2150 what it’s like to go to a shopping mall. Remember that they may not have malls in 2150. Or escalators, food courts, or cash.
Wow. Hey guys. I mean… right? You are guys? I can’t tell what with you all being very caramel skin toned, hairless, and flat chested. Oh, you’re a woman. Gotcha. Uh, pretty swanky digs you’ve got here. I’ve been out of cryogenics for a few days now, but I still haven’t gotten used to… oh, okay, yeah, I’ll be quiet. Hm? Shopping malls? You want to know about shopping malls? You don’t have them? Oh, you don’t know what they are.
Well, okay, let’s see. It’s just a big old building with stores in it. Like, you know, to buy things. What? Oh, that’s neat. I didn’t even know teleportation was a real thing. No need for actual stores, huh? Alright, well… let’s say you wanted to buy a new hat – that is a hat you’re wearing, right? Okay, let’s say you wanted to buy a new hat. You would leave your house, get in your car… craft… hover… vehicle… thing, and go to a big building. Sometimes, it would be a few stories high, other times, it would be a single story. Either way, the building is sectioned off into a lot of… smaller squares. There’s a wide walkway between all those squares so you can travel, on foot, from square to square. And in each of those squares is a store, one store might sell shirts and pants, one store might sell hats, one store might sell electronics. Basically, there was a store for everything.
So, instead of driving… or… uhhh… searching the web… what? Cloud. The web is now a world wide cloud? I guess that’s cool. Well, you wouldn’t need to go searching for any one store or cloud section because you could go to the mall and buy whatever you needed. Except food. They typically didn’t sell food in the mall. You could buy single meals to be eaten right there, sitting down or walking around, but nothing you could take home and store for later use. Bartering? No, we used money. Don’t tell me you don’t have money. All digital. Gotcha. Well, we kind of had digital money, it was just the… uhhh… code that told the computer where to take the money from was stored on a little plastic card. Otherwise we used paper money. It was like… this… I don’t know, it’s paper and it has a value written on it and people generally liked to get the paper money more than the digital money. I don’t know, it was more secure, I guess?
No, no. The stuff you bought was right there in the store. No teleporters or delivery services. You just paid for the stuff, the people who worked at the stores would wrap it up or put it in a bag for you, and you’d walk around carrying your stuff until you got back to your car… vehicle. Um, no, I wouldn’t call it manual labor. I mean, the bags could get heavy if you bought a lot, I guess, but it wasn’t like lifting weights. That term doesn’t make sense to you, does it? Well forget it. It wasn’t manual labor. It was just a part of buying things.
Are we done here? I really need someone to cure this disease they ended up freezing me over for.