Mall Warnings: Flat Tire and the Perfume Salesman

Flat Tire

About a month ago there was a woman standing by the Mega Mall entrance passing out flyers to all the women going in. The woman had written the flyer herself to tell about an experience she had, so that she might warn other women.

The previous day, this woman had finished shopping, went out to her car and discovered that she had a flat. She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat. A nice man dressed in business suit and carrying a briefcase walked up to her and said, "I notice you are changing a flat tire. Would you like me to take care of it for you?" The woman was grateful for his offer and accepted his help. They chatted amiably while the man changed the flat, and then put the flat tire and the jack in the trunk, shut it and dusted his hands off.

The woman thanked him profusely, and as she was about to get in her car, when the man told her that he left his car around on the other side of the mall, and asked if she would mind giving him a lift to his car.

She was a little surprised and asked him why his car was on other side.

He explained that he had seen an old friend in the mall that he hadn’t seen for some time and they had a bite to eat and visited for a while; he got turned around in the mall and left through the wrong exit, and now he was running late and his car was clear around on the other side of the mall.

The woman hated to tell him "no" because he had just rescued her from having to change her flat tire all by herself, but she felt uneasy.

Then she remembered seeing the man put his briefcase in her trunk before shutting it and before he asked her for a ride to his car.

She told him that she’d be happy to drive him to his car, but she just remembered one last thing she needed to buy. She said she would only be few minutes; he could sit down in her car and wait for her; she would be as quick as she could be.

She hurried into the mall, and told a security guard what had happened; the guard came out to her car with her, but the man had left.

They opened the trunk, took out his locked briefcase and took it down to the police station. The police opened it (ostensibly to look for ID so they could return it to the man). What they found was rope, duct tape and knives.

When the police checked her "flat" tire, there was nothing wrong with it; the air had simply been let out. It was obvious what the man’s motive was, and obvious that he had carefully thought it out in advance.

The woman was blessed to have escaped harm. How much worse it would have been had she waited in the car while the man fixed the tire, or if she had a baby strapped into a car seat. Or if she’d gone against her judgment and given him a lift.

Perfume Salesman

In recent years a terror stalks the department stores and malls of America. After an afternoon of shopping a woman leaves the mall, but feels someone behind her as she crosses the parking lot. As she turns around she sees a salesman armed with perfume hurrying after her. He offers her a spray insisting that she try it. She refuses but he persists, saying its the hottest new fragrance meant to drive men crazy and its on sale. He won’t take no for an answer.

Exasperated she finally gives in and tries it but she’s immediately disgusted. She gives the sales person a firm "No thank you", and heads back towards her car.

As she walks, she begins to feel light headed. Everything moves in slow motion. Each step is like lifting a lead weight. The distance to her car seems to stretch out in front of her and when she finally makes it to her car she drops her keys then she looses her balance. Just before she slips into unconsciousness, the last face she sees is that of the pestering salesman.

There are several different versions of the ending of this story. Sometimes a shopper finds the nude body of a woman, in the store parking lot. Another version has an ex boyfriend who is enraged by his girlfriend for dumping him. He concocts a sleeping potion, disguised as perfume. He puts on a disguise and stalks his former lover to a mall. He uses the perfume sale’s man gimmick to spray the knock out potion in her face. While unconscious, he drags her inside her vehicle. He strips her of all her clothes and takes them, then he hides somewhere. When she comes to, she finds herself alone inside her vehicle and completely nude. With her head throbbing, she gets out and groggily goes into the store, and tells her story. The ex boyfriend takes pictures of her while unsuspecting and naked and later he posts the pictures on the Internet for all to see.

Jason Qualls from Elkhart, Indiana