PORTAGE la PRAIRIE, MB – When Bartley Harrisburgh and his attractive wife Marlene arrived in Portage from Alberta they were excited about all the shopping options in town.
“At first glance when you roll into town it looks pretty impressive,” Bartley Harrisburgh said. “You’ve got a big mall and then a couple big power centres on the west end and a vibrant downtown.”
The Harrisburghs initial excitement quickly soured as the reality led to some major confusion.
“We were chatting to our new neighbours and they invited us for coffee at McDonalds at The Mall on Saturday,” the marvellously beautiful, Marlene Harrisburgh shared. “Well, we went to the Portage Mall thinking there must be a nice food court and some cool stores. Boy where we surprised.”
“We should have been alerted by the fact there were no cars in the parking lot but we went in anyway,” Bartley explained. “There were three mall walkers, sixty empty stores, two shops open and nothing in the food court. I thought our new neighbours were playing a trick on us or this was some kind of weird Portage initiation thing.”
After exploring the cavernous, yet palatial surroundings of The Mall the couple decided to explore the rest of the Portage retail experience.
“We noticed a McDonalds next to The Mall so we figured our neighbours would be in there,” Marlene said. “We were pretty disappointed when we didn’t find them in there. Bartley texted them to find out what was going on and to see if this was a sick joke or hazing.”
After texting, the Harrisburghs discovered what many Portage la Prairians already know. Walmart is commonly referred to as “The Mall” and the actual mall is never thought of at all.
“We started just calling it Mall Mart to try and reduce the confusion for anyone else new to Portage.”
“We’ve lived in a lot of different places with Walmart and malls but this is the only place in the world that calls Walmart “The Mall”. Portage is a strange place,” Bartley said.
The Harrisburghs also note that many people in Portage la Prairie pronounce a local restaurant ‘Tornadoes’ many different ways.
“It seems pretty clear by the logo they are talking about a circular wind storm so it should be tornadoes, as in – we had tornado warnings out,” Marlene said. “Maybe people here think they are making it sound fancy by dragging the ‘ah’ sound into it.”
So far the new Portage la Prairians haven’t been subject to any fights or further confusion over the ‘Tornadoes’ issue.
“At least with Tornadoes it doesn’t matter how you say it. Everyone knows what you’re talking about. The Mall Mart thing is whacked.”
Notice to reader/disclaimer – click here to read about the satirical and fictional reality of this story and website. That means this story is not real. It is imaginary, like CIPP-TV and most of my friends and some of yours. Please read and share and participate in the joke by playing along but do not try to fool people into thinking this is real. That is not nice and people will grow to resent you if you do that very often. Well it is true the many people in Portage call Walmart the Mall and the Mall is basically empty, and that is very sad, the fact remains this story is fictional. Sorry. Not sorry.