Basic Shopping Mall Walking Guide (Complete with diagrams)

This is a guide on how to walk through a shopping mall.


I know, eh? The final straw came after my visit to the Mall of America last weekend, where I was once again stupefied at so many [Redacted for profanity as my parents now read this blog] people incapable of spacing, pacing and respecting personal zones.

Y’all can thank me now for this. Or later. Or post it to your facebook page, in a passive-aggressive manner for all the people you know who ruin malls for everyone else.

In an ideal magical-happy-land filled with elves and unicorns, this is what should happen when walking through the mall:

Ideal mall walking scenarioHoly snap, what’s that? It’s like the BASIC RULES OF DRIVING. Ridiculous! Stick to the right side for whatever direction you’re heading. Slower traffic even further to the right. Faster traffic to the left. Stay in your lane unless turning. If turning, be careful not to crash into anyone.

Although considering the number of horrific drivers out there, we shouldn’t be surprised that the following mall-fail scenarios occur:


Mall walking diagram, with a person going the wrong way.See what’s happening there? When you walk on the wrong side, you just bottleneck it for everyone. And FSM help you, if I’m in the “walking briskly” lane I WILL BODY CHECK YOU. Why? Because I can and I will stand up for what is my designated personal walking space.

… unless you’re a senior citizen or child. For some reason body checking seniors and children is frowned upon. In that case I will masterfully dodge around you like a ninja, but I will not be happy about it.

Bottom line: you are not British. Or if you are, tough. This is Americ…Canada. Whatever. Walk on the other side in your own country, but not here.


Clumping. Bad for hair, bad for mallsLook, I get the need to stare at sparkly awesome things. That doesn’t mean that this moth-to-a-flame reaction should impact others. Stay out of the way when looking at the pretties in the window. Especially if you’re pulling fellow moths into the sparkly flame.

Because otherwise your group expands outwards and blocks people’s paths, creating more bottleneck situations and ultimately causing someone to crash into one of those really sad looking people who are stuck hanging out at the centre kiosks.

This is why they put in the benches and the open middle spaces. Use them.

You are a moth. Not a [Redacted for profanity] special butterfly. If people have to step around you, you are mall-ing wrong.


Do not suddenly stop.Short of “HOLY [Redacted for profanity] THERE’S A MOOSE!” (Or person, or need to prevent an accident) there is no good reason to suddenly hit the breaks when driving your car.

So why would you do that while walking in a crowded space?

The last time I did a sudden stop in my car, it was for a stupid snapping turtle the size of a curb in the middle of the road. I was promptly rear-ended by a black SUV which had come out of nowhere and was tailgating me. Moral of the story: Don’t stop for anything except a moose-human. Also, turtles are [Redacted for profanity].

This equally applies to the mall.

And at least cars have stop lights. You don’t.


Are you drunk? If not, then there is no excuse for this wobbly back and forth meandering. Stick to a straight line, you [Redacted for profanity].

Now, if you are drunk and wandering around a mall in this manner, this post is to serve as an intervention. See the diagram and that red line? That is the effect you have on us when you do this. We love you, but you are hurting us. We are asking you to make positive choices and changes in your life.


If one person screwing up the mall isn’t enough, we also have the human-traffic-clot. Mix together not just one “Captain Oblivious” but multiple captains, and you get the League of Oblivious Idiots.

Worst. Superhero. Team. Ever.

The only way for everyone else to break through is to hope that the people-clot eventually turns into a store, to push our way through, or to jump over into oncoming traffic and become THAT PERSON going the wrong direction.

Some people are so beyond [Redacted for profanity] skilled at clotting that they don’t even need teammates to block off a whole walkway. They diffuse outwards. No, this isn’t a jab at bigger people—I’ve seen plenty of tinier people diffuse outwards by hauling strollers, or holding a ridiculous number of shopping bags.

Single or double file. That is all we’re asking. If you’re afraid of losing the people you’re with, make everyone hold onto a rope like some kindergarten classes do when walking somewhere in public. Sure your teenagers won’t like it, but everyone else will.

aka “Mall-Hell”

If individual acts of mall-stupidity weren’t enough, there’s plenty of people who combine the each act into one glorious mall walking failure of epic proportions. Congratulations to all who do this. You are awful human beings.


These fails do not apply to people with different levels of ability who require more time and space (etc) to navigate through crowds. If anything, mall-walking-fails make crowd navigation even more difficult for them. So don’t be an oblivious [Redacted due to profanity]. This is also not an excuse to bash parents with young children. Young children are wild creatures who cannot always be controlled. I appreciate the anarchy and chaos they bring to the world. Mainly because I don’t have to clean up after them.
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2 Responses to Basic Shopping Mall Walking Guide (Complete with diagrams)

  1. Joy Littler says:

    So true! And quit walking straight at me/cutting me off in a game of chicken when I’m adhering to mall walking rules!

    • Pegs says:

      And that is why we should all get magical personal space bubbles that will bounce those people away from us. Scientists of the world – get on that!

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