Rain, followed by darkness

As November winds down, we enter the darkest days of the year as winter approacheth. So supersize those sun lamps, and try jolly holiday lights as fashion accessories. Let’s shine a glowy nightlight on the headlines:

•”Heavy rain will follow record rainfall”: Seasoned Northwesterners know that means to be sure to take care when plugging in your jolly holiday lighting accessories. Electrocution can ruin an outfit with unflattering, and injurious, illumination.

•”If you’re attending an office party, this may be a good year to skip the booze”: Office party?

Yes, after you take a ride in your Wayback Machine, be sure to behave well at the company soiree. You wouldn’t want to miss out on your bonus. But you’ll have to get back in your time machine again.

•”Customers may shop online while in store”: Remember when the Internet was going to destroy “brick-and-mortar” stores? Instead, savvy stores are discovering the merging of the two best meets customer demand. Nicely played, retailers. Nicely played.

•”Will your mall be tracking your cellphone today?”: A technology called FootPath tracks shoppers’ cell phone signals and feeds the data into a processing center. That way mall management can “gain insight into customers’ shopping habits,” Time magazine reported. Proponents say it’s OK, it’s just like how people are tracked when they buy things online. Oh, well, then. That is comforting. Because everyone is super supportive of being tracked on the Internet. And who wouldn’t prefer electronic monitoring to an old-fashioned, paranoia-inducing physical following?

CNN reassuringly notes: “Some retail analysts say the new technology is nothing to be worried about. Malls have been tracking shoppers for years through people counters, security cameras, heat maps and even undercover researchers who follow shoppers around.”

Heat maps? Really, mall managers? Heat maps? Is it a hot shopping spot? Or just an overheated, over-surveilled shopper? Creepily played, malls. Creepily played.

•”Allergy sufferers should prepare for holiday triggers”: If being monitored causes you to break out in hives, take a break from the mall. And the Internet.

If an overdose of egg nog and online shopping makes you break out in a heat map, er, heat rash, just wait 24 hours and then triple-check your final order before hitting “purchase.”

If your necklace of mistletoe causes a heat rash in others, tell them not to fret, you’ve been stalking, er, tracking holiday friends at the mall this way for years. In fact, you are personally responsible for that one infamous heat map that pretty much brought the whole system to a screeching halt.

Happy illuminating Monday.