Letter to Mall Security

In a hilarious excerpt from her best-selling Seriously ... I’m Kidding, Ellen DeGeneres details a routine shopping trip gone amuck.

Ellen Degeneres, Seriously...I'm Just Kidding

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To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in regard to your letter dated March 3rd where you cite my potential involvement in what your company has deemed the “Vase-Breaking Incident.”

First of all, kudos to your team for tracking me down so quickly using, I assume, only my license plate number. I assure you I was not “fleeing the scene” as your letter indicated. I was simply on my way to an appointment I suddenly remembered I had. And the reason you may have heard the words “See ya, suckers” as I drove away was because I happened to have a song playing in my car with the lyrics “See ya, suckers, bye-bye, mall cops, try and get me if you can.”

I am willing to admit that it was in fact me riding around the mall on the Segway I borrowed from a mall security officer. I would like to offer my sincerest apology for the chaos that ensued.

It was never my intention to ride the Segway all the way through the mall, up the escalator in Macy’s, down the escalator in JC Penney, around the parking lot, and into the kitchen of the Cheesecake Factory. I thought I was taking it back to mall security headquarters, which I realize now is inside the mall under the sign that says “Mall Security Headquarters” and not inside the Dumpster outside the restaurant.

As for the vase, I did not break it and I’m happy to explain how it ended up shattered all over the floor of Pottery Barn. What happened was, after I did a bit of shopping in the mall, I was tired and decided to sit down inside the Pottery Barn store on the second level. They have the most comfortable sofas by far. I must have dozed off and about an hour or so later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. When I sprang up off the sofa, the reason I punched the Pottery Barn employee in the face was because at that time I was having a dream about being a pro boxer and fighting Mike Tyson inside a Crate & Barrel. Weird, I know, since I was actually, as I stated earlier, inside a Pottery Barn.

The employee—I think his name was Jon or Joe or Wisconsin; I don’t know, everyone’s got weird names nowadays—asked me to leave the store because I wasn’t buying anything and other customers wanted to try out the sofa. He was rude and I told him how I felt.

Just then my phone rang. It was a friend of mine named Carol who I hadn’t talked to in months and months. She had some very exciting news to share about a promotion at work. I won’t go into the specifics, but she’s been working in the sales department of a large telecommunications company for almost 23 years and she’s been waiting for a promotion for a long, long time. They’ve had cutbacks over the years and it’s a hard time right now because so many people are switching to cell phones. Do you know that barely anyone has a landline anymore? Carol is a landline specialist. I don’t know if that’s her exact title, but that’s her department. I always feel a little guilty when she has to call me on my cell phone, like it’s a direct attack on what she does for a living. She doesn’t feel that way. We’ve talked about it before and she has no problem with it, it’s just something I always think about. But it’s conversations like that, where you really get stuff out in the open, that make friendships stronger.

So when Carol told me about her big promotion to vice president or president or something of the entire company—I’m not sure which, it’s very hard to hear inside a mall—I got so excited I started jumping up and down on the sofa. Well, that apparently knocked some cushions off, which in turn knocked into a vase, which in turn fell on the floor and shattered. I don’t know who designs your stores, but carpeting might be a good idea if you’re going to have fragile objects on display that can fall and break into thousands of pieces when someone does something as benign as jumping on a sofa.

So anyway, as you can see this is Carol’s fault. I’m happy to send you her phone number and address so you can send her a copy of the bill. I will be forwarding my invoice on to her as well.

Now, the reason I ran as fast as I could out of the store at the exact moment Carol made me smash the vase was because, as you may recall, Wisconsin had asked me to leave. And after I ran out of the store, the reason I kneeled down behind that mall kiosk until Wisconsin passed me by was because I saw a beautiful hat that I thought might fit my head. I don’t know if you like hats, but that kiosk has so many to choose from. I have a small head and it’s hard for me to find hats, so when I see a few that might work I have to stop.

When Wisconsin finally caught up to me—and good for him for recognizing me under that big sun hat and oversize sunglasses—the reason I spoke with a French accent and pretended not to understand him was because I was practicing for a part I’m playing in a French movie called Le Mysterious Lady.

I really like to get into my roles even when I’m practicing and that’s why I quickly grabbed the Segway from the security guard who started to approach us. You know how every French film has an exciting getaway scene where a car drives down a long set of steps? That’s what I was trying to emulate when I took the Segway down that escalator. I realize now that was very dangerous and it was unfortunate timing that I yelled that minute-long series of very adult words just as those children were leaving the Build-A-Bear Workshop. But you have to admit the way they repeat those words in their tiny little voices is adorable.

As for the money I took out of the mall fountain, that’s a much simpler explanation. After the commotion at Pottery Barn and the Segway chase and my purely coincidental makeover into a geisha at the makeup counter at Bloomingdale’s, I stood next to the fountain to take a breather. I saw some children making wishes and throwing money into it and I happened to tell them that the more money they throw in, the more likely it is that their wishes will come true. I mean, a penny doesn’t get you anything nowadays and kids need to learn that lesson. It was my understanding that any money they threw in the fountain that exceeded one cent then belonged to me. I definitely didn’t realize that my getting in the fountain to claim my money would result in such an intense underwater handstand competition between so many people.

I realize that you still might be interested in pressing charges, but I have to say if it wasn’t for all the stress Carol caused by breaking the vase, none of this would have happened.
Sincerely and fondly,

PS—If you’re wondering how three of the horses from the carousel next to the food court ended up in my backyard, I am happy to explain that in a separate letter.

From the book Seriously … I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres. © 2011 by Crazy Monkey, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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