Dancing Skeleton

Yesterday I was attending the second of a two-day job hunting seminar that was sponsored by the State of Maryland at this office building that’s adjacent to the Laurel Shopping Center. During one of my breaks I walked outside to the shopping center where I saw heard something so bizarre that I made a short video documenting it.

The Laurel Shopping Center has long been notorious for being the place where notorious segregationist and former Alabama Governor George Wallace was the target of an assassination attempt while he was running for U.S. president during the 1972 primary elections. Governor Wallace survived the attempt but he ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. (The Lost Laurel blog has a post providing the details of that event.)

I’ve long known about the assassination attempt so I mentioned it at the beginning of my latest video. However, after I uploaded the video online, I did a Google search where I found out that the Laurel Shopping Center also has historic notoriety for another reason. Shortly before the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 one of the would-be hijackers, Mohamed Atta, went to Giant Food where he wired $5,000 to one of the other would-be hijackers, Mustafa Ahmad.

Despite the twin notorieties, the Laurel Shopping Center is basically thriving. I was inspired to shoot this video for a reason that had nothing to do with Governor George Wallace or the 9/11 terrorists.

I was spending my break walking around the shopping center towards this haunted house that had set up shop in the space that was formerly occupied by a movie theater. (It was a bargain cinema that showed second-run movies at discount prices. I remember when my then-husband and I saw Pulp Fiction in that theater, but I digress.) I also noticed that the shopping center’s public address system was playing Christmas music despite the fact that 1) it was November 1, 2) it was the day after Halloween, 3) it was the first day of the two-day Mexican holiday El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and 4) Thanksgiving Day isn’t scheduled to arrive for another four weeks. It was especially surreal hearing Christmas music outside a haunted house that had a large cardboard display of Chuckie the killer doll from the Child’s Play movies prominently displayed.

Here’s the video showing what this madness was like.