The Menzoid is not a big shopping fan. For him, the idea of spending hours at the mall is akin to a kinder, gentler form of water-boarding — especially at this time of year when your friendly neighbourhood shopping centre resembles a set piece from Soylent Green.
Needless to say, it takes a special request to get The Menzoid out to a mall in December… and such a request emerged last week from The Menzoid’s pal, Phil.
So it was that The Menzoid and Phil shuffled off to the Vaughan Mills mega-mall north of Toronto. On the bright side, The Menzoid took some consolation that Phil’s shopping safari was taking place at Vaughan Mills given this shopping emporium is home to the ultimate guy store – Bass Pro Shops. Ah, yes, Bass Pro Shops: crossbows, guns, all-terrain-vehicles… a manly-man store where a guy feels as if he’s on a grand expedition in the great outdoors without forfeiting that gift from God known as central heating.
Curiously, however, Phil did not ease into a parking spot near the Bass Pro Shops entrance. Oh well… The Menzoid reckoned they’d make their way to the He-Man emporium via an indoor hike.
Alas, Phil eventually informed The Menzoid he had no intention of going to Bass Pro Shops or even Pro Hockey Life or any other superb “guy” store. No. His destination was La Senza, Canada’s answer to Victoria’s Secret.
All-right-tee, then, figured The Menzoid. Phil was obviously hoping to pick up some lingerie for Mrs. Phil. So, under mild protest, The Menzoid followed Phil into a boutique stocked to the rafters with frilly girlie-girl undergarments.
Phil made a bee-line to the brassiere section and started to diligently pick out several boulder-holders of various sizes.
Said the Menzoid: “I’m assuming you know your wife’s dimensions because trying to return something to a store during Boxing Week is NOT a fun experience and I won’t be coming with you a second time.”
Phil replied: “No problem, Menzoid. I’ll be trying on these bras first.”
Sadly, Phil was not suffering from pronoun trouble…
Full disclosure: The Menzoid neglected to provide a descriptor of Phil, something that wouldn’t normally be relevant. You see, Phil is –how does The Menzoid put this politely? – super-sized. Phil could be the mall Santa if he so desired. And because The Menzoid has seen Phil in a state of undress in a hockey dressing room, The Menzoid soon realized the awful truth: Phil wasn’t shopping for Mrs. Phil; rather, Phil was shopping for Phil!
Alas, poor Phil is one of those guys cursed with “man-boobs.” And much to The Menzoid’s shock and chagrin, Phil decided he wanted some added support for those male-udders lurking beneath his triple-XL sweatshirt.
The Menzoid gulped. Suddenly he was experiencing a real-life Seinfeldian moment:
Oh boy, do we need to talk…
It only got worse when a female sales clerk approached us, asking if we needed assistance. The idiot Phil answered honestly, explaining that he was shopping for a bra for his own personal use and that he’d like to try on a few in the fitting room.
The Menzoid wanted to make sure there was absolutely no misunderstanding here, so he nervously informed the clerk: “Just so you know, we’re not ‘a couple’ or anything like that, eh?”
The clerk giggled and said not to worry because she wasn’t “judgmental.” The Menzoid’s stomach was now doing somersaults… So much so in fact that The Menzoid made a beeline out of La Senza at near-Olympian speed (almost knocking over a display of G-strings in the process). The Menzoid ran and ran, never looking back at the tragic spectacle behind him. He ran all the way to Bass Pro Shops where he promptly immersed himself in uber-masculine, Y chromosome-friendly merchandise. He cocooned himself in camouflage jackets and balaclavas and played with a knife that would’ve impressed Crocodile Dundee.
The Menzoid managed to avoid Phil for the rest of the evening, even though this meant The Menzoid had to take public transit back home. That was a hassle to be sure. But at least it didn’t appear anyone on the bus was wearing a Bro. Or a manzier.