Mauling the Mall

(An Act in One Play)


BF : Bailiff Fife
CA : Courtroom Audience
CW : Current Witness
DA : Defense Attorney
DM : Defendant (Mall)
DT : Donald Trump
JC : Jury Captain
JU : Jury as a Whole
JW : Judge Wop
JW2: Jehovah's Witness
MO : Mall Owner
NA : Narrator
PA : Prosecuting Attorney
SP : Street Person
SS : Sylvia Seegrist

NA "On Oct. 30, 1985, Sylvia Seegrist walked into the Springfield Mall in suburban Pennsylvania and started to shoot at random with a .22 calibre semi-automatic rifle. Her bullets hit 10 people, killing 3 of them. She was later ruled criminally insane. This Valentine's Day, a Delaware County jury ruled that Ms. Seegrist's crime was the fault of the shopping mall..." [1]

scene: court room. a fairly stout woman in Mall Walkers (tm) is in the witness box)

PA So, on the day of the crime, at the time of the crime, you were where?

CW Springfield Mall, outside Victoria's Secrets, watching all those nasty people who shop at places like that, looking for faces I seen in the post office.

PA And what time was this?

CW All day.

PA Will you tell the court what you saw that pertains to the case at hand?

CW Sure! I had just accosted this 13 year old who claimed he was buying his mother a bra, when this wild-eyed woman come running through, shooting everywhich way with that army assault rifle...

DA Objection! A semi-automatic .22 is NOT an assault rifle!

JW Ma'am, is the weapon you saw here in the court?

CW Sure! That one there.

JW Objection sustained. Looks like an evil assault machine gun to me, and the court will refer to it as such from now on.

DA What? I mean, I object!

JW Bailiff, if that man argues with me again, remove him from the court!

BF (grinning maniacally and fingering his Ruger .44 Magnum, while unbuttoning his shirt pocket) Yessir!

DA I ob, er, I, well. (pauses, looking vaguely worried) Nevermind.

PA You may continue, madame.

CW OOH! You really now to make a gal feel young again! Anyway, this crazy woman come runnin' through shootin' up the whole place with that evil assault machine gun. Mall security didn't do a THING to stop her. Why, one of the bullets missed my nose by only an inch!

DA (sote voce) so close, and yet so far...

PA (peering over glasses at DA) And, madame, is the perpetrator in this court room?

CW No.

DA What?


PA Is the perpetrator recognizable in this picture?

CW Yes - that's the mall right there.


scene: fades to black

NA After the general pandemonium subsided, the Bailiff winged the DA, and Judge Wop evicted the reporters, a lengthy session was held to determine how best to continue the trial. The DA showed a great deal of confusion (not to mention pain), but agreed to defend the Mall instead of Ms. Seegrist. The venue was modified slightly.

scene: main entrance to Springfield Mall. Judge's box and jury box are on the sidewalk. Witness stand is directly in front of main entrance doors. Two Mall security guards, nonplussed, and several well-dressed, overheated executives, who have by now froke out, stand nearby. The prosecutor is agitated, waving his hands wildly.

PA As you can see, your honor, the witness refuses to cooperate!

JW The witness will answer the question at once or be held in contempt of this illustrious and solemn court!

PA I repeat, what did you do to stop this lunatic from murdering innocent victims on your property?

DM (silent)

PA Your honor?

JW You may invoke the fifth amendment, but you MUST respond!

DM (silent)

MO (One of the perspiring executives speaks) Your honor, this all seems...

JW Bailiff! Shoot that man!

BF I only had one bullet, sir.

SP (Entering) Excuse me, could you spare a cigarette?

BF Come with me, you vagrant! (Cuffs & stuffs SP, drags offstage.)

MO Ah, judge?

JW (getting red in the face) You shut up!

CA Shoot him! Shoot him! We want a refund!

JW Order in the court!

DA Your honor, if I may make a suggestion?

JW Yes? (smiling evilly)

DA Your honor, I move we dismiss the charges against my client.

CA Kill him, too!

JW Tempting. (To DA) On what grounds?

DA The Mall is not a legal entity, per se, in the sense that...

JW2 (Tapping JW on the shoulder) Excuse me, we're selling literature that will explain why you may die tomorrow in a cataclysmic nightmare. Care to make a donation?

CA Especially kill her!

DA Excuse me, I know how to handle these people. Your honor?

JW (replacing wallet with obvious relief) Certainly.

DA While I realize that the term Trinity never occurs in the Bible, as far back as 81 AD, in the writings of...

JW2 Oops. Gotta go. Kids are out of school. (Hurries off, hugging literature and mumbling)

JW Well. While I'm afraid I can't simply dismiss the charges, I will most certainly keep all of this in mind as the trial progresses.

PA I object! Your spiritual and monetary ease cannot be a mitigating factor in determination of this...

JW Bailiff. Bailiff?

BF (Returning, staggering under weight of .50 calibre, belt fed machine gun) Yes?

JW Well, jury?

JC Open vote. Well?

JU (As one) We find the defendant guilty as charged, and sentence Springfield Mall to seven years of Buy 1-Get 1 Free sales on all items in every store!

DA What?

CA All right!

PA (still staring at BF) Whew. Thought he meant about me.

JW What about him? (pointing to PA)

JC Furthermore, we find the DA to be a great help, but the PA to be a fish head of the 1st dergee.

JW And the sentence?

PA Hey! I object!

BF Shut up! (Waveringly pointing weapon at PA, while everyone else near PA runs)

CA Shoot him!

JU Shoot him!

JW Shoot him!

BF (3-second burst of 1200RPM fire (60 rounds) in 120 degree arc)

PA plonk

DA plonk

JC plonk

JU plonk plonk plonk plonk plonk plonk plonk plonk plonk plonk plonk

DM (door glass shatters)


SS Hey, can I try that?

JW Court is dismissed. Lunch is on the county!

scene: fades to black as survivors wander towards Woolworths, laughing and planning how best to use the new Mall sale policy to gastronomic advantage. SS and BF are setting machine gun up on hood of judge's Blazer, aimed towards highway, holding hands and smiling shyly at each other.

NA ps this is all true


[1] Reprinted without permission from talk.politics.guns, where it was noted as being reprinted without permission from the WSJ, 4/4/90, page A24, by Bill Meyers. The original author was noted as being Lawrence W. Sherman.

Disclaimer: This is fiction. Other than the background facts presented by the narrator as noted in note [1], no thing, action, person, or place herein is based on reality, to the best knowledge of the author. The author bears sole responsibility for this bit of absurdity, if anyone does other than the judicial system of the United States of America.

Last updated: 7 Jun 1996

Copyright 1990, 1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

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