This afternoon, the First Mate and I decided to spend the afternoon at the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the US and one of the few real tourist destinations in the Twin Cities. People fly here from Europe and Latin America just to shop in the MOA, and it has around a half-dozen souvenir shops promoting itself in over three miles of walking space. Locals like to say they don’t go there, but it’s almost always full year-round — and not too many people come to Minnesota in the winter for fun.

We mostly did some window shopping, buying a couple of items and eating dinner but for the most part we strolled — until we came to one particular display. A sportswear shop for young women had a window display so odd that I had to stop and take a picture with the cell phone:

Brainless

I’ve done a lot of shopping at a lot of malls, and I’ve seen some fairly inventive window displays. Many displays only use the torsos of mannequins, sometimes just legs or arms, and some use just the head. What I’ve never seen is a mannequin with half its head. Take a look at this; it looks like someone took an axe and removed the top half of the skull. It reminded me a little of the demons from Constantine, a pretty good movie if you like your horror Catholic.

Why use half of a head rather than a whole one? Except for the cranium, the mannequins have all of the usual body parts. What is this supposed to say to a shopper — “Come here if you have no brain”? “We’re too cheap to buy wigs”? “Only an idiot would buy this outfit”?