Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween, Now Take Off That Hat

Did you know that there is a mall policy against wearing witch's hats at Pátio Savassi (the closest mall to us here in Belo Horizonte?)

Well, neither did we. And apparently there is no exception for Halloween either. And this is the reason my husband and I nearly got thrown out by and/or in a fight with one hugamongous security guard who looked a lot more 'secret service' than 'mall security'.

Last year we were around for Halloween and decided to be all American and get a little dressed up - nothing too much - and go have supper at TGIFriday's which is in Pátio Savassi. It was a lot of fun, since that was the one place in the city where other people were dressed up and celebrating Halloween. This year we really wanted to go back again and indulge in a little 'Americaness'.

Last week we were lacking any great creativity so we went the boring route and just used our 'costumes' from last year which consisted only of a hat and elf-like ears for Eric and devil horns and elf-like ears for me.

We parked and walked through the mall to get to TGIFriday's - picking up a lot of strange looks along the way. But once we reached the restaurant, we found the place full of people and most everyone was in costume! After consuming a not-so-healthy-but-oh-so-yummy supper of ribs, wings, and onions rings, we decided to go walk around the mall for a while and let our supper settle. By this time we had taken off the ears, since they were hard to keep on, and just had on our Halloween headwear. After walking for a while, someone (I'd hate to incriminate anyone here) really wanted a milkshake, so we headed down to the food court.

Just as we rounded the corner to the food court, we ran into Mr. Hugamongous Security Guy. Mr. HSG said something to Eric that I didn't quite hear, but Eric chuckled and smiled and replied back with something along the lines of "Oh really, and why is that?" (but in Portuguese of course.) Mr. HSG didn't break his very serious expression as he said, "It's mall policy." Still thinking the guy was kidding with us, Eric asked laughing, "Hmmm. Interesting. So there's a no-witches-hat rule on the books, huh?" And our not-so-friendly HSG responded with, "You can't wear fantasy hats in the mall. It's mall policy." I guess it was about now that it occurred to us he was serious. Eric, now a bit annoyed, said, "Look, today's Halloween. Have you been up to TGIFriday?"

And with that we were about to continue on our mission to the milkshake, when Mr. HSG said in a much louder voice now, "You can't stay in the mall if you keep the hat on." Eric shook his head and took the hat off and was saying something to the guy about how ridiculous this is, while I, not so happy about being stalled on my quest to get a milkshake (for Eric, he wanted the milkshake, you know) noticed a teenage boy in a gaggle of teenagers walking towards us with a rather funky-looking hat on. (Not a Halloween hat or anything, just a rather odd looking hat.) In my frustration with the hold-up, I pointed at the kid and told the HSG that he might better go talk to that kid, he looked like trouble with that hat on and all. (Hey, I know, very 1st-grader of me . . . but I've got a whole host of excuses as to why I can't be held accountable for what I say or do when someone comes between me and anything involving ice cream!) Mr. HSG looked at me as if I had lost my mind, so I motioned towards the teenager again. He took one look at the kid, one look at me, shook his head and said, "You need to remove your hat too."

Now I'm not sure if one could be strangled with a headband or not, but if it hadn't been for Eric grabbing my hand and reminding me about the milkshake that was merely steps away . . .


Anonymous said...

why must the security guard ruin the fun?? haha!

I am also a fan of milkshakes! Too big of a fan that is..and it shows!

Márcio Pareto said...

I'm curious... It makes no sense at all. It was halloween, there was a TGI there, there was a lot of people also with costumes... Eu iria no TGI reclamar do segurança. Seria o lugar em que a reclamação teria mais efeito, e cortaria caminho. Obviamente não existe essa regra no shopping, e o segurança deveria ser punido por tentar estragar a noite dos outros apenas para ser chato.
I love your blog. Today I finished reading it from the beginning. :)

Bruno said...

That´s very weird!!

But if I had to guess why this stupid rule exists (if it exists) I´d go back 3 or 4 years ago, when Pátio Savassi was having a lot of trouble with teenagers´ gangs and "urbans tribes", or however you call it. Gothics, cosplayers, "metaleiros", funkeiros... They were constantly fighting inside the mall, if I am not mistaken, a teen had to go to the hospital after one fight in a friday afternoon. So, I guess their "solution" was to prohibit any kind of dress acessory that could identify you as belonging to any of those "tribes".

The problem is that private-secutiry mem are always unprepared, they´re nothing but uneducated rude people. They never know when it´s reasonable to apply a "rule" and when it´s not. He should look at you and see that you´re not "dangerous", you´re not part of a gang. Since you didn´t want to lose time, the best to do was to remove the hat, but if you wanted to stay with it, asking for the rule, saying you want to talk to the manager, whatever, you would certainly "win".

corinne said...

Bruno´s explanation is probably right on, although I have never heard of a policy like this. It really sounds like the security guard wanted to give you guys a hard time (which Eric arguing did not help). I remember reading somewhere that the best predictor of getting a ticket after being pulled over by the cops was how you treated the cop - either by being too mean OR too nice. Sounds like the guy was being especially rigorous in his application of the rule (but now I know what NOT to wear to Pátio Savassi :)

Amanda said...

Well atleast you have another entertaining story and a good Brasilian/halloween memory!

Ray Adkins said...


I was recently told to remove a baseball hat and sunglasses at my local Bank of America branch, but I totally see their reason.
I would totally understand if he told you "all hats" are not allowed, but "costumes hat" are not allowed? That is an interesting one, either he was picking on you guys or they really had a reason for the "costume hats".
Unless, he was a very frustated "Jehovah's Witness" over reacting and being picky about the hat rule...

Tony said...

You guys stay out of trouble down there. I don't want my granddaughter to be born in a Brasilian jail!

AcesHigh said...

and that is the reason he is a security guard. Not lots of brain work.

to me, that sounds like the best reason for the incident: his lack of intelligence in understanding his orders.