Here we have a classic bit from the 1970s hit TV Show, WKRP in Cincinnati. The viewer may have been watching TV but they never get to see what the newscaster sees. Instead the viewer is invited to be a radio listener. The listener has to use their imagination. It’s called “Theater of the Mind“.
In the sequence, reporter Les Nessman (played by Richard Sanders) is dispatched to local shopping center. The program director had arranged for a number of living turkeys to be thrown from a helicopter onto the shopping area. He was hoping the stunt would help promote the radio station, under the impression that these turkeys would just fly away. Needless to say, turkeys raised as human food can not fly. Something else entirely occurred. the Hindenburg disaster was referenced.
The show was trying to save money by not showing the turkeys falling from the sky and onto the crowd of people below. They needed cheep because they were already paying a fortune to licence all the rock music heard on the show. Still, it would have been great to see the mayhem described actually appear on the screen.
To help you visualize what Les is seeing, we’ve created this cheeky little rendering with Photoshop.
To be fair, this is not real footage. It’s actually a still image with audio. Nevertheless, it captures a feeling I’ve had at those two malls back in the 2000s.
That was a long time ago. Maybe things have changed? I really wouldn’t know because I do most of my shopping online like most Americans these days. Black Friday has been extended to an entire week by retailers both online and in the real world. Therefore it’s not really a thing anymore. Good riddance.
Malls are not likely to have a lot of foot traffic on the day after Thanksgiving for the years to come. If you enjoy desolation it might be just the thing.
If anything, November 25 will be the perfect day for members of the Emo and/or Scene subculture(s) to fade into small nonverbal gatherings conducted in odd corners and around dry water fountains. This provides the perfect balance of privacy and publicity.
I don’t really miss socializing at the mall but I do miss the people watching. Somebody recommend a good public webcam.