She Said, Z Said: What This Town Needs Is a Manly Man Mall
It's Hi-Time guys had a place to tackle shopping for themselves, Hook, Line & Sinker — and with a Chinese Dragon Massage
Z: If I were a manly manly man, do you know where I would shop?
Z: I don’t think you understand what a manly manly man is.
She: Nothing says manly manly man like a man who buys his wife lots of diamonds.
Z: This mini-mall does. And not only is it ridiculously drenched in testosterone, but it’s actually the closest shopping to us.
Z: I’m talking about that mini-mall on Calle Real between Highway 154 and State Street.
She: I thought that mini-mall was comprised entirely of mini-marts.
Z: But in-between the mini-marts is a manly ultimate shopping fantasy. Going from right to left, there’s Hi-Time Liquor ...
She: For manly booze.
Z: ... then there’s Dodge City, which says “ Ammo Archery Safes ” on its sign.
She: That’s a very clear marketing message.
Z: And then there’s the Great American Baseball Cards store ...
She: I think I saw that place open. Once.
She: Real men would just shop at Dodge City, and get a bow and arrow to hunt their fish. Or a safe, if they were hunting Wile E Coyote.
Z: And then, to end your shopping trip on a happy note, there’s the Chinese Dragon Massage parlor.
Z: I would love to meet the guy who thinks that this mini-mall is Nirvana — the perfect coming together of all his worlds.
She: I’m guessing there are quite a few. Hunting, fishing, baseball cards and booze? All they need is the Sportsman Lounge to play pool and watch football and a lot of guys would never leave. They could market it for bachelor parties, like Mall of America for men.
Z: But the thing that confuses me is that it’s not really Santa Barbara’s style. I would think the perfect Santa Barbara mall would have to have a surf shop, a bike shop, and a men’s casual wear store. Hi-Time would probably be fine there, too.
She: And a flip-flop shop. We should open that mall.
Z: And yet this mini-mall has been here forever. I remember growing up we would go to Hi-Time for little things when going to Jordano’s Supermarket was too much work.
She: Wasn’t Jordano’s Supermarket another two blocks away in Five Points?
Z: Yeah, I don’t know what my parents were thinking. Somehow the “little market” was easier.
She: I bet you even then Five Points had a parking issue.
Z: The mini man mall isn’t the only unusual stretch of shopping in Santa Barbara that we’ve lived near. Our old place had quite the variety.
She: Don’t remind me.
Z: It gave me a great way to calm down Koss when he was fussy in the back seat. I’d let him know we were almost home by announcing the stores like they were subway stops.
She: That’s what you were doing? I always wondered what that was.
Z: “U-Turn. El Mercado. Porn shop. Stained Glass. Methadone Clinic. Payless Loans. Ellll Grrrrulllo!”
She: We’ve lived in all the best retail neighborhoods.
Z: I’ve got to say that it’s not what I picture when you talk about shopping in Santa Barbara.
She: What’s your manly fantasy mall?
Z: Me? The manliest manly mall of them all. I don’t shop if I can possibly help it.
She: Only because you have me to do it for you.
Z: Yes, dear.
Z: Yes, dear.