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Mall apologies



With a grand flourish, high-end retailers like Neiman Marcus, Macy's and Bloomingdale's have flocked to Mall at Millenia, the 1.2 million square foot shoppers' paradise opening Oct. 18 in south Orlando. But every commercial mecca has its dark side, and through unequaled journalistic prowess Orlando Weekly has obtained a list of proposed stores that were denied space in the mall for one reason or another. These are the merchants you might have found yourself patronizing, had the fates so decreed:

Anna's of Hollywood -- That kooky Anna Nicole Smith just keeps rubbing her freakishly distended areolae in our faces. Annamania reaches new heights, depths and (especially) widths with the opening of this intimate-apparel shop, where you'll find industrial-strength boudoir fashions hot enough to make an octogenarian's heart stop beating -- but only after the ink dries on his will, of course. (The undertaking is currently on hold, pending the signing of Lane Bryant as a supplier of designs for the store's "petites" section.)

Pathos Shots -- While other photographers go for glamour, this storefront studio has everything you need to really sell an insurance claim. Available props include neck braces, crutches and full-body casts, and the crack team of makeup specialists can set you up with any feigned injury from a black eye to a vanished limb.

Reuben Kincaid, Painter of Danny -- Take that, Thomas Kinkade Gallery. The erstwhile Partridge Family manager displays his own artistic side, inviting you to purchase a series of portraits he painted during lulls on the group's tour bus. Why is every canvas a depiction of freckled wisenheimer Danny, his mop of red hair ringed by a halo of perfect white luminescence? Maybe for the same reason "uncle" Reuben never found himself a wife.

Gap Crips -- Not a jeans shop for shoppers with spinal-cord damage, but rather a line of apparel licensed from the infamous Los Angeles network of gang-bangers. (Public pressure strangled this one in its infancy, with grandstanding politicos asserting that the availability of gang "colors" would further enflame Orlando hip-hoppers already locked in a bitter East Colonial-West Colonial rivalry.)

Lost Boy Comics -- Cope with the frightening onset of puberty by immersing yourself in the finest masturbatory imagery the worlds of fantasy and science fiction have to offer. A subscription service keeps you up to speed with all the latest "mature content" comics titles, and those statuettes of vampire chicks in black thongs are the next best thing to watching scrambled porn. As an added enticement, the cash register is occasionally tended by a real, live girl.

Squattery Barn -- A partnership between the mall and the city of Orlando, this groundbreaking venture sees local movers and shakers finally getting serious about the scourge of homelessness. Who needs Lake Eola, when every other aisle of this upscale furniture-and-accessories mart doubles as rent-free housing for the indigent? Not only do they get free meals twice a day, they even get to keep the crock pots! Sealing the deal, a blocked-off area immediately outside the store entrance doubles as a panhandling zone. (Note: This high-minded project ultimately fell apart due to complaints of unsightliness and unfair competition from vendors in the nearby food court.)

Jihad Topic -- Remember when the trappings of Goth seemed like the biggest social "no-no" we had to worry about? Kiss those innocent days goodbye at this one-stop outfitter for the Middle Eastern extremist in you. Burkas! Sabers! And yes, even T-shirts! (The anticipated best seller: "I'm the Person Your Office of Homeland Security Warned You About.") From here, it's just a hop, skip and public stoning over to ...

One-Hour Pilot's License -- Throw in your lot with Florida's fastest-growing body of "skilled" labor. A customized coffee mug from Personalization Station is all the I.D. you need to receive an extensive 60 minutes of training in handling the big birds. (Landing techniques are covered in an extension course.) Fill out your final exam within the comfort of our cocktail lounge, reveling in your impending elevation to the friendly skies as you kick back with a refreshing drink. Or three.

Everything but Urine -- With head shops being driven from the strip malls by overeager lawmen, their flight to the swankier indoor gallerias was a fait accompli. This streamlined successor to the traditional paraphernalia store specializes in chemical and mechanical advancements that will help any job-seeking hophead beat a pee test.

Lawyers and Other Monsters -- A sweet deal with a distributor means that this bookseller can devote 100 percent of its shelf space to the works of Stephen King and John Grisham, bypassing all that "literature" stuff that nobody reads. Think of the trees you'll save by patronizing such an eco-conscious, non-elitist establishment. (A nice try, but its backers made the critical error of including neither a large-print nor a books-on-tape section. And where's the coffee bar, brainiacs?)

Things Forgotten -- Tell 'em Chuck Heston sent you! There's no reason why the late stages of Alzheimer's disease should prevent you from owning a gold-plated range rifle, much less one engraved with your favorite inspirational quote from Alcoholics Anonymous. For an extra charge, a photo of your grandkids can be imbedded in the scope. At least, we think they're your grandkids. They could always be tigers. Fire!

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