BANNED FOR LIFE.
I have been meaning to write more on here to tell some of the stories that have taken place during the course of my Last Indian exploits. Today was a good time. I set out to go to the Mall. I won’t name which mall so as to not incriminate anyone, but the mall nonetheless. Simple enough. The idea was to get in, actually buy some stuff for my wife for Christmas, and document the hoopla, the shopping, the window shopping and of course, the interactions. Dakota, the photographer I have been working with closely, is supportive of anything I want to do, if not a pure unadulterated enabler. And thank goodness for that.
Overall the trip was uneventful. People wanted pictures, some made racist and/or bigoted comments (pretty low key for this trip, actually), looks of awe, excitement and romanticized wonderment…all pretty much the norm. I made a significant purchase at Bath and Bodyworks (not the most masculine store I’ve ever been in), and ultimately went to see Santa. Of course. While all this is happening, Dakota was documenting everything in photos and video.
Someone complained about the video part to security. Uh Oh.
Security were very secure. Segway riding, pepper spray having rent a cops. Magnificent. They came up to us saying that a complaint was made and that we needed to stop filming. “ok” we said. Done. I could tell they were a bit nervous about exersising their ‘authority’. I use quotes on authority because in this capacity, it’s pretty much made up.
We meet up with Santa. Dakota still documenting even after the warning.
Following pictures with Santa, (who was very nice and please to see me, btw). we were on our way out. As we were leaving, an older security guard came up behind us. I had interaction with this guy previously, and he was suspicious of me and my headdress last time, so I knew this might not go well. Here is how it went:
Paul Blart: One of my men have already asked you to stop recording. I have observed you video taping, and now I am going to ask you to leave.
Me: We were on our way out, actually.
Paul Blart: Please make your way to the nearest exit NOW.
Dakota: We are.
-Both of us are smiling-
Dakota: So why exactly ware we being asked to leave?
Paul Blart: You’re on private property, and about 1000 other reasons. Not to mention I’m suspicious of the package he is carrying. *points to me*
Me: *stopping in my tracks, turning around and opening the bag from my purchase at Bath and Body Works* This is my purchase from Bath and Body works. I’ve been just doing some Christmas shopping.
Paul Blart: Well, I didn’t ask to see it, but I appreciate you showing me.
At this point it gets a bit fuzzy to me. The exchange went along the lines of Dakota and me laughing at Paul, and at one point Dakota saying “sorry, I am just laughing at you” and Dakota showing Paul that he was not only recording, but that he was still recording and has the entire exchange that was happening right then and there. It was at this point where Paul the crumudgen firmly stated “You and your little friend are now banned from this mall forever. If you step foot on the premises we will contact the authorities and have you removed”, or something to that effect.
We both laughed. It was just so absurd.
As soon as we left, crossed the crosswalk to the parking lot, I told Dakota to turn the camera back on to I could talk to it. He obliged, and I began to explain a little bit of what happened. Mid interview, another security guard came up and asked us to leave immediately with statements of private property, tresspassing and what have you. We acted exasperated, smiled and made our way out. We partked at the far end of the parking lot, and as we looked back to the enterence, I could see security standing there and seeing us off. It was kind of sweet, and poetic like in Legends of the Fall, watching sweet Tristen ride off into the sunset.
What ever will I do without the mall?
My biggest regret was that when Paul said we were banned, that I didn’t yell out “WHAT?! NOOOOOO!!!” or something to that effect. I did get a sweet photo with Santa though!
The biggest bit of irony in all this is the amount of camera phones taking my photo, taking video, much of it without my permission, all in a public (but seemingly private) place. In all this, I must admit my love and appreciation for Dakota. He knows his rights, stands his ground, and enables me to do the same.
You’ve taken my land, and now you’ve taken my mall. When will Indians start winning? #sarcasm