What Credit Crunch?

The answer to the country's credit crisis might be found in a walk around the mall.

Like 97 percent percent of us, I pay my bills, my mortgage. And because 3 percent of the people in our country are raging deadbeats, our leaders now have us believing that Armageddon is coming. 

But I wasn’t buying the dance, not by a long shot. We Americans are resilient consumers who spend on our egos. That’s why we walk the malls searching for a new look, charging the slightest of improvements along the way.  

So recently, at four in the afternoon, I conducted my own experiment at the Mall of New Hampshire. I wanted to know how much credit I could get during this so-called “credit crisis.” I focused on seven different stores and set a goal to get $10,000 worth of credit in under an hour. 

I parked outside Macy’s and headed for the service counter. The perfume aisle in the women's department curled my nose hairs. “Can I get a credit card?” I asked the middle-aged woman behind the counter at customer service. “Sure can,” she said. I expected to be fingerprinted or even water boarded for asking. After a quick read of my license and some personal information, I had my first $1,000 line of credit, and it was only 4:07 p.m. 

I cut a hard, dry laugh, shot my shoulders, then headed out into the mall. 

Next stop: Zale’s Jewelry. Nice, pricey items made of silver and gold. They’d never let a Greasehead like me run a tab here. I asked the woman behind the glass counter if I could get a Zale’s credit card. “I’d just need some information, she said. “I have that.” I told her. “Well, it only takes a minute," she said. Perfect. I've got time. 

By 4:26 p.m. I was approved for another $5,000 at Zale’s. Amazing. I told the woman I might see her on Saturday. I’ve been thinking about getting a silver pinkie ring in the shape of a horseshoe.

Half-cocked with confidence, I headed over to Abercrombie and Fitch to roll some dice. A girl with a Bedford-style smile approached me near the sweater vests. I told her I was looking for a credit card. “We have that,” she said. " Right over here, please.” Same drill: my license and a couple signatures. It wasn’t even quarter-till-five and I was approved for yet another $1,000.

I had 15 mintes to go before my experiment was over. I was down $3,000. Radio Shack told me my approval would take a week. As did Victoria Secrets. I asked the long-legged woman behind the counter if she minded if I hung out until then. Denied, yet undaunted, I motored over to Old Navy. Right away I was hustled to the second register. I punched in my S.S. number and presto: another grand was granted. Love this country!

By now I was down $2,000 with only five minutes to play. Staring up at Eastern Mountain Sports, I laughed at myself. “You can’t hardly swim, rookie!” I wasn’t even sure EMS provided credit cards. Well, they do, and before I knew it I was approved for another $3,500. Rattlesnake Mountain here I come!

It was just shy of 5 p.m. and I had about $12,000 in fresh credit to spend. I was tempted to buy some new club shirts, a bottle of Mambo Cologne and some wing tipped leather shoes. Instead, I went home, canceled each card with an annual payment, then looked up at the sky and was happy just knowing it wasn't on fire. 


Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. 2015 It List
    Our 2015 It List is the who’s who of New Hampshire. Meet 14 influential Granite Staters who...
  2. Miracle on Beech Street
    At the Manchester Police Athletic League, officers change the lives of local youth for the better.
  3. 28 Ways to Have Fun This Winter
    This year, why not resolve to make the best of the snow and ice? Here are 28 things to do...
  4. Challenge Yourself with Snowshoe Racing
    Put on your snowshoes and run! If you enjoy regular races, you just might like the added...
  5. Understanding and Alleviating Dry Eye
    The syndrome puts comfort and eye health at risk.
  6. Holiday Shopping in Concord
    Concord’s Main Street is back and beautiful. The recent downtown renovation has made for a...
  7. Alexander Heffner Host of “The Open Mind”
    "The Open Mind,” which turns 60 this year, got a new lease on life when Alexander Heffner,...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags