Let's get one thing clear right now: this article is not a GUIDE on how to actually become a mall punk, that is, DO NOT FOLLOW THIS GUIDE AND BECOME A MALL PUNK. There are several reasons for this, the first being that mall punks are absolutely fucking lame. Second, if you actually follow a guide to become a certain image, especially the mall punk image, you are even lamer than Jeff. Besides, everyone knows that to be cool these days, you have to be scream-o. Third, like I said, this article is intended for entertainment purposes only; it has no educational value whatsoever.
Tools of the Trade
This section is devoted to the things you will need to have on your body before you head over to your local mall. Some of these items may be purchased at the mall once you arrive or at a drugstore that is on the way to the mall, but all items, with some exceptions, are crucial to the desired look.
1) Stiff Hair Gel- I'm talking spiky and offensive! It's your duty as a mall punk to disgust and annoy fellow mall mates with your wild and crazy hairdo. Under no circumstances should you attend the mall without an ounce of gel in your hair. Other considerations for offensive hair are beeswax, pomade, glue, egg whites, semen, or bird shit. As long is it is large and in charge, the people will be whispering about how weird and dangerous you are. Isn't that the goal of being a mall punk anyway?
2) Colored Hair Spray- Colored hair spray is a great addition to your head wardrobe and adds life to your spiky hairdo. There are many brands of hair spray, but the most cost effective brand I found was Punky Colour. It was about three dollars and one can covered one head. This is one of the products you can find at your local drugstore. A good idea, if you have a buddy going out punking with you, is to buy two different colors and share the bottles. This way, you can intensify the offensiveness with two colors! Two shades are better than one, just make sure that they clash. Everybody in the mall knows that if you use complementary colors, you're just a tool of the man! Under no circumstances should you actually dye your hair. Your parents will be upset, and they won't drive you to the mall anymore. Don't piss off the person that has the ability to ground you. Besides, hair dye is much too permanent for the budding young mall punk who should jump from trend to trend like a little frog jumps from lily pad to lily pad.
This section allows for a little more originality than the last section. While every mall punk worth his or her salt absolutely has to have spiky, colored hair, they can use their imagination for the torso area.
1) Jacket- The jacket can be anything from a green Hess jacket (like my friend Aaron had) to a tan fishing jacket with lots of pockets to a sleeveless denim jacket. It really doesn't matter what the jacket is, unless of course it is leather. Leather jackets go against everything that the mall punk stands for: ANARCHY IN THE SHOPPING MALL! The important thing to remember about the jacket is what things you put ON the jacket. If you want to look lean and mean in your punk apparel, you must add patches. The patches can be homemade or actual band patches. Here's how to make your own:
Directions for Patch Making Punkers
(This is called DIY! An important part of your punk cred!)
1) Find an old pair of blue jeans.
2) Find an old pair of scissors.
3) Find an old permanent marker.
4) Take old scissors and cut old blue-jeans into patch sized tid-bits.
5) Use old permanent marker to write band names and draw band logos.
6) YOU JUST MADE YOUR FIRST PATCH!
Now, that you've got patches, you have to put them on your desired jacket! The preferred method of patch placement is the use of safety pins (danger pins as they're called in the dark, mall punk underworld). Fuck that iron-on bullshit. Mall punks don't even own ironsâ€¦their parents do.
3) Homemade or Dead Kennedy's T-Shirt - To tell you the truth, I haven't seen may mall punks with homemade t-shirts. I was the only asshole who did that lame shit. Can you guess what my shirt said? If you guessed, "The Man Ã¡ The Legend Ã¢," then you would be wrong but if you guessed, "PUNX NOT DEAD," then you would be correct! Anyhow, the real deal would be the Dead Kennedy's t-shirt. This is actually just a generalization for any t-shirt purchased at Hot Topic or from some sort of "punk rock" mail order catalogue. All with your parents money, of course.
4) Backpack - If you choose to wear a backpack, make sure it's missing a strap, the zippers do not work, and there is a huge hole in it somewhere. Don't worry, you'll keep it together with safety pins. You'll also want to write every band name you can think of in white-out, even if you don't like them. Don't forget to wear it at every show!
Lower Extremities Accessories
1) Pants Cut Into Shorts - Preferably Dickies, but any style of jeans or pants will suffice. Just remember to leave the strands hanging off. You're not going to be a capitalist tool and buy shorts from shorts makers. You're going to make your own shorts from pants makers. Stick a patch on there if you're feeling really "punk." Fight the system!
2) Studded Belt - Every self-respecting mall punk has one of these bad boys. Remember, one or two of the spikes must be missing to give it that authentic punk feel. This gives the impression that you didn't just buy this at a store in the mall, you've had this belt your whole life. If you did just buy this at a store in the mall, then take off a couple spikes to preserve your authenticity. Hot Topic sells these studded belts. Make sure to shop there at least once a week while telling all your friends how you wouldn't be caught dead within thirty feet of the place unless it was to smash it in a fit of RIGHTOUS ANARCHY!
3) Wallet Chain - The wallet chain not only functions as an attractive addition to your punk persona, but as a weapon as well. Whenever those "crazy rap kids" are making fun of your hairdo, you can whip this out, hit 'em, and run! Don't get caught or you could get strangled by your own weapon, you fucking pussy. Oh, and about that wallet attached to the chain. Make sure to write an anarchy sign on it with a Sharpie, or if it's black leather just carve that shit in it with a knife. It's even more punk that way. Store clerks will cringe in horror at how punk your money is (especially if you write anti-American slogans, like "This will be the death of you." on the bills).
4) Shoes - If you don't wear Vans, you're not a mall punk. Vans puts on the Warped Tour, and there's nothing more punk than that. You might be able to get by wearing some Converse All Stars, but people may mistake you for emo. FUCK THE SYSTEM!
CD's To Own
Here's a list of bands you must claim to own at LEAST one album from. They are in no particular order.
- Dead Kennedys
- Operation Ivy
- Any band on Fat Wreck Chords (namely No Use For A Name and Lagwagon)
- Any band on Drive Thru Records, but especially Midtown and New Found Glory
- Black Flag (to show you've got roots [this requires that you know who Henry Rollins is, you poser fuck])
- Green Day (Dookie or earlier)
- Many, many compilations with at least 30 songs each (This will allow you to name drop and keep up with any conversation you start. This will let you hear at least one shitty song by every shitty band in existence.)
- Any band on this year's Vans Warped Tour
- A "Before You Were Punk" CD (but you must hate Vagrant records)
- Screeching Weasel
- Gutter "The Worst Band In Existence" Mouth
How to Act Once You Get To the Mall
Ok, now you have everything you need to be a mall punk. Here are some anecdotes (stories, for you dumb shits) from my days as a mall punk that may help you in figuring out what to do once you get to the mall.
First thing's first, you have to try your hardest to annoy everyone around you. You can accomplish this in several ways such as doing a pointless dance every few feet, sliding off the edge of those rectangular bench things that have plants in the middle, or saying "Good Morrow" to every passing person with your hands clasped in front of you like you're fucking punk rock Friar Tuck. Remember, this shit isn't silly, it's punk rock.
Here's an example of what not to do because under no circumstances are you to get kicked out of the mall. It was a special day in the mall when various small businesses were allowed to set up stands to sell items and give out free balloons. Of course we picked up some balloons to make our voices all high pitched because helium voices are totally punk rock. So there we are, holding our punk rock balloons and engaging in some pleasurable small talk, when our friend Hosein (not Saddam) throws a tooth pick at my balloon, popping it and making a loud noise. Inbred mall security showed up to kick us out because we were disturbing the other mall goers or some shit like that. Anyway, the point is, balloons are no longer punk rock because they get you kicked out of the mall.
Radio is not punk, dude.
A great way to get a few laughs that aren't directed at your ridiculous outfit is to bring along some fake dog crap and lay it out at random store entrances. First they will be flabbergasted, then they will be disgusted, then they will see an asshole sitting nearby laughing and realized they've been duped by the forces of pure anarchy. FIGHT THE SYSTEM!
Remember, these rules don't mean anything if you can't get a ride to the mall