Let's, just for fun, catalog the really, really awful things that have happened to me over the course of my life. There was the appendectomy in rural Mexico under a local anesthetic; fairly painful, in retrospect. The 16 mile sprint up and down Georgia's Blood Mountain that left me in so much physical pain that I couldn't leave the house for days. And then there was the encounter between the drunken Nigerian soldier, his drawn pistol and my head, a frightening experience for everyone, I suppose.
Still, none of these terrible events can begin to rival my 45 minute visit today to the Westfield London Shopping Centre. That's all of the time in this, the newest and largest shopping mall in Europe, that I could spend before wishing for death by any other tortured means. Incredibly, there were lines to get into stores. There were lines to get out of stores. People pushed and they shoved for cashmere sweaters at 80% off. The kid's Santaland experience made Nigeria feel like a downright pleasant experience.
If there is a Hell on this earth, I reckon it must be the Westfield London Shopping Centre in December.