Today In Chain Stores: Everything Is Ending

These are bleak days for American consumers. We have no money, all the malls are closing, and everywhere we look some trusted brand is being attacked or irrevocably changed. Let's take a look at the news of today's commercial decay.

Let's start with the gross news. Like puka-fetishist Hollister and American Bel Ami training camp Abercrombie & Fitch before it, another New York branch of a popular clothing store has come down with a case of the sleeplessness plague, bedbugs. This is perhaps the worst infestation yet, not because of its size — it's smaller and has apparently been contained — but because of where these clothes go. The store is the Lexington & 58th street location of Victoria's Secret. Yes, boob and bagina covers, crawling with bedbugs. Now the store was only closed for a day or so and the problem has supposedly been fully dealt with (bras burned and all that), but be honest. Could you ever shop at an underpants store that had bedbugs? I mean, probably most of them have, but an underpants store you knew for certain to have had bedbugs? I think the ladies of the Lower-Upper East Side might have to start looking elsewhere for their delicates. Maybe something local. Which sounds scary.

Speaking of scary, do you know Cinnabon? My greatest natural enemy (ever had food poisoning on a plane? It's unpleasant) has decided to scrap its mission statement entirely and start all over again. Yes, the disgustingly sticky (getting nauseous just thinking about the smell) cinnamon bun chain has decided to reinvent itself, as more of a fancy bakery/café place. Y'know, something classylike. They'll have breakfast sandwiches and fancy coffee drinks and stuff. Does this mean that Louis CK's wonderful Cinnabon routine won't be relevant anymore? The world truly is darkening and dying.

Lastly on our mall-parade of miseries, let's turn to Baskin-Robbins. You know, that ice cream eatery that some of you weirdos out there call "31 Flavors"? Well, get ready to start calling it 26 Flavors. Well, OK, so they're getting rid of four new-ish flavors — Caramel Praline Cheesecake (ew), Campfire S'mores (yuck), Apple Pie a La Mode (gross), Superfudge Truffle (America is doomed) — and one classic, French Vanilla, which has been served at the sugar shack since 1945. But don't worry! They're going to be replaced by five new flavors, so yeah, it'll still be 31. It just won't be the same 31. And if there's anything we can say about people in this country, it's that we don't like change. No siree. If I can't surround myself with straight white people and wave my flag while praying and eating Superfudge Caramel S'more Praline a La Mode ice cream, then I don't recognize this place anymore. Thanks a lot, B.H.

So as you can see, America's chain stores are under attack. They are being altered and destroyed. (And destroyed in the altering.) But there is some hope. We continue to ensnare consumers at younger and younger ages. The children may indeed be the future.