Why radio works: The Mall Walkers Club – “Their next mystery is a store-front away” July 6, 2007Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Out Basket, >> Radio Drama.
New Jersey – Stories inspired by The Shopping State
One of the great and fascinating aspects of life in New Jersey is the proliferation of malls. From outlet centers to multi-tiered megaplexes, shopping seems to be our State Sport. Some parts of the state, Route One, for instance, have so many ways to buy so many different things that it’s impossible to travel more than a couple tenths of a mile without passing a new cluster of stores.
Consequently, a lot of our society happens within these glassy, gleaming commercial citadels. From birthday parties to eating to entertainment to weddings, a lot of our lives take place in malls. There’s even accommodations for walking around the malls’ perimeters for exercise.
Thus, is born The Mall Walkers Club.
Imagine a group of mature and retired individuals raising funds for a worthy cause. Suppose our characters live in a nearby assisted-living facility and the money they raise will help their friends move into the same facility.
To coincide with the opening of a new upscale mall, they solicit sponsors who will pay them for each lap they walk around it. The owner of the mall is thrilled about the extra publicity and traffic the mall walkers are generating but the owner’s security consultant warns of the difficulty of maintaining security with so many additional people.
On the morning of the mall’s grand opening and the Mall Walkers fundraising laps, one of the bigger tenant stores is vandalized. The security consultant reminds the mall owner that this was predicted and the owner threatens to cancel the opening and, consequently, the fund raising walk. The Mall Walkers offer to solve the mystery of who vandalized the store if the grand opening is not postponed. They have one hour.
Of course, they succeed and their fund raising begins. Episode by mall-mystery episode their friends are moved into the facility. The structure has room for poignant, comic, and sad twists.
- Mall Walkers – Equal numbers of men and women; single, divorced, and widowed. Some professionals, some hobbyists, and some have never worked a day.
- Mall Owner – Male or female. Eager to create buzz for launching mall.
- Security Consultant – Male or female. Unctuous and self-serving.
- Coordinator from Assisted Living Faciltiy – Male or female. Perky and upbeat. Also totally clueless.
Radio works. Even from the unexpected walking lanes of New Jersey’s malls, radio works.
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