Strip malls are a microcosm of American life. Seriously. You show me a strip mall and the stores contained within it and I can tell you what the people living in the immediate vicinity do for a living, what they're like, how they vote, etc. If your strip mall has a dry cleaners, a fast food store, and a 24-hour pharmacy then your area consists of white collar suburbanites.
Damn, I'm good. Right?
And then there's this strip mall just two miles from my house:
(Embiggen to see the store signs. I'll wait.)
Essentially, it's a tow company, tattoo shop, pawn shop, and bridal/formal wear.
To me, this screams Dang! My Oldsmobile Cutlass done quit on me again! I gotta get it towed! Wait, while I'm here, I'll just stop into the tat shop and get some ink. Maybe I'll get my girl's name on my one o' my guns! And speakin' of guns, I gotta get in that pawn shop and pick me up a Remington. Wal-Mart's too pricey and huntin' season's around the corner. And since I got my girl inked on my arm, I guess it's time for us to make Junior a legal member of the family. I'll tell Sugar Booger to get down here and pick her out a weddin' dress. Hell, I think we can swing it if it ain't more than $30.
Yep, when I see this strip mall ten times a week during my trips to and from the twins' school, I picture rednecks, with old, tired American cars, pawning anything and everything they own to get inked and get hitched.
Sometimes my neighbors scare me.