The horror of sports store mannequins

Why those spooky display statues are a menace

(Kristen Frier)

Do you know what creeps me out? Those headless statues at sporting goods stores. They’re hazards for customers.

You’re looking at one of these displays, admiring the clothes they’re wearing that could be yours. Then you’re snapped out of your fantasy when you collide into a table and a leaning tower of neatly folded shirts comes crashing down onto the dirty floor. 

Now you’re stuck having to overcompensate for your clumsiness and unleash your inner Canadian by saying “sorry” a bunch of times as you help an employee put those shirts back. How bothersome.

One time, I got a T-shirt and was about to pay for my stuff — until my eye almost got poked by a protruding hand that suddenly entered my peripherals. The limb belonged to a headless mannequin in a shirt, shorts, and sneakers. The display was in a sprinting pose as if it was eagerly running up to me specifically, in order to try and ruin my vision. I stepped back from the statue’s attempt to rob me of my depth perception. 

A staff member noticed my distress. She asked me, “Are you okay?” 

“No, I’m not okay,” I said, gesturing at the statue, “I nearly got my eye poked out by headless Usain Bolt!” 

Was I overreacting? Maybe. I survived my hand-to-eye tussle with headless Usain, but my fears of him and his fellow mannequins had just begun.

Since that time, I avoided sporting goods stores altogether. I don’t care if they had those large yellow signs with bright red borders on the windows saying that everything was 100 per cent off. That headless mannequin did a number on me.

Now I’m afraid it’ll be like Night at the Museum, where those statues would come to life and challenge me to a pick-up game. Do you know what’s scarier? They know I’m terrible at anything involving a ball, frisbee, or puck. 

How did they know I’m bad at sports? Did they read my mind? They must have those sneaky hooligans.

Is it more like Toy Story then, with those statues animating to life and just gathering after closing time when no humans are around. Do they huddle, laugh, and snicker together, planning which person to traumatize next with their eye-poking postures? The thought of it just makes me wonder if it’s worth being a customer anymore.

Someone should do something about those mannequins. Where did their heads go? Did the manufacturer just forget to attach them? Maybe he going over his inventory list and said something like, “Hmm, let’s see, got the legs, arms, torso, anything missing? Nope. Alright Larry, ship ‘em out.” 

It’s no wonder those displays have no conscience. No decency.

I think people should be more aware of how scary those headless mannequins at sporting goods stores can be. If you don’t want to live in fear every day like me, take my words seriously. Let’s work together to figure out these antagonizing statues and end their reign of eye-poking horror.