DOWN HOME: Mutual mall relief: Guys Go Here


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Here’s an entrepreneurial idea for you. I readily acknowledge it’s mostly a seasonal opportunity. But I think it would go over. Big.

Here you go: Franchise a chain of men’s waiting rooms—called Guys Go Here—in malls all across America.

Genius, huh?

This time of year, a disproportionate number of men accompany their wives, girlfriends and daughters to malls for Christmas shopping. The problem is, we’re lousy at it.

Chances are, you already know what I mean.

Men, you know your feet get tired just thinking about walking around the mall.

Women, you know your right arm gets tired dragging your man from store to store; your voice hoarsens to a whisper from saying, “Just one more stop, I promise” over and over. The last time you put up with such behavior was the family vacation to the Grand Canyon, when the kids asked, “Are we there yet?” every 10 miles.

A guy just can’t stand in The Gap forever. He can’t fly around American Eagle interminably. He thinks Williams-Sonoma is a cure for insomnia. After awhile, he starts looking for the mace in Macy’s. Five minutes in Bombay Company, he starts thinking about “bomb’s away.” Waterford reminds him of Waterloo.

I know I’m painting with a broad brush here, but most guys are just lousy shoppers. Joanna will verify I’m no good at it. We can look at a rack of clothes, and while my mind turns to lint, she sees the perfect shirt—right color, my size, on sale. I have neither the comparative intellect nor the emotional stamina to shop well.

I don’t think I’m out of step with all my fellow fellows. After awhile, we just wanna sit down. And malls never have enough chairs.

So, rent a store location. Decorate it with couches, recliners (no love seats; guy’s won’t sit that close) and wide-screen TVs. Stock it with soft drinks, chips and dip. Charge an astronomical price to get in. Guys will fill it up.

Pricing is important. It has to be high. That keeps teenagers out. This is vital.

If you want to make big money, you can rent bracelets with Global Positioning Systems built in, so the men can know where their women are at all times. And if you want to make even more money, you can rent larger bracelets, so the women can locate their men if, for some inexplicable reason, they leave Guys Go Here, wander off and get lost.

This time of year, Guys Go Here could provide a wonderful witnessing opportunity, too. All the TVs would be showing football all the time. Franchise licenses would include a program that blanks out all the beer commercials, and area churches could substitute messages about the true meaning of Christmas. Next year, you’ll need a Gals Go There franchise, where the women can wait while their men finish watching the game.


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