Blog Wheel: Do’s and Don’ts of Hot Topics

I’m never sure I correctly pluralize the “don’ts”. The internet tells me I’m right, but it never feels right. Something about having 2 letters after the apostrophe. My best friend texted me yesterday and said I should pay for a Grammarly subscription. I have never been so offended in my entire life. Independence Day, no less. Fuck you Cubbz.

My favorite blog I’ve ever written is “Thanksgiving Do’s and Don’ts for Women”. It got 9 likes which was really good for me. This was the first blog I wrote for They didn’t even tweet it. I don’t think they knew what to do with it. I’m very happy to repost it on Barstool this Thanksgiving this year. Please leave it to me, Nate.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do: Go straight past the hot topic when you encounter it in the mall

– There’s a real reason you came to the mall. Hot Topic is not that reason.

Don’t: Jump into the hot topic

– Redundant, but I want to drive home the point. Do not enter. You can’t stand it.

Do: Buy a band shirt from another store

– You can definitely find them online. They might also have some cool band shirts in Zumiez. Zumiez is a little more acceptable store for you. They have cool windbreakers. But don’t go to the Zumiez at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. The last time I walked in, the teens at the counter sprayed me with a water gun. It was really unprofessional and I felt really uncool. I laughed about it but it really hurt me. I had just turned 29. Guess that’s a sign that I shouldn’t go to stores like that anymore. I bought this jacket that shines when wet. Except in this photo, it looks like semen.

Don’t: Stop by to watch PopSockets to cell phone accessories stand out in front of the Hot Topic

– The longer you linger around the entrance, the more likely you are to enter. There’s probably another cell phone accessories stall a few hundred yards away anyway.

Do: Use Hot Topic as an alibi if you need to convince people you didn’t kill someone and weren’t at the crime scene

– You were there all day looking at belts. It’s a specific enough alibi that people won’t question it, but Hot Topic gets enough foot traffic that no one can really pin you on it. They’re not going to check the cameras. Why would you lie about being on Hot Topic?

Don’t: Take a soft pretzel from Aunt Anne in the hot topic

– Even if you’re just killing time. No matter how flavorful your pretzel is, just take it somewhere else. Enjoy your pretzel at a department store like Macy’s or Von Maur. These are the types of stores you should shop at.

Do: Go to Spencer’s Gifts

– It will scratch the same itch as getting into a hot topic. Getting into Spencer’s Gifts is a fun part you can do with your friends. “Haha look guys it’s a big rubber penis.” Makes you laugh every time. Getting into Hot Topic might seem like a bit at first, but you’ll end up buying something that will end up being worn without irony. Like this shirt I wore on Sunday for example.

Don’t: Walk past Hot Topic after drinking cocktails at California Pizza Kitchen

– Once you’re drunk, it’s all over. Avoid Hot Topic like the plague. Even if you just need time to sober up before heading home. Just walk out of the mall and sit on a warm bench. You’ll be sweating the booze in no time. You could probably buy one of these disposable breathalyzers at Spencer’s Gifts. It looks like something they could sell. The legal limit is 0.08.

Do: template for a hot topic if given the chance

– Modeling is a very difficult business to break into. You shouldn’t pass up such paid opportunities, even if it’s a bit inconvenient.

Don’t: Browse the Hot Topic website when you get home

– The Hot Topic website has an even better selection than the store. There are 7 Invader Zim product pages.

Do: Stick to the sunglasses section if you really have to go

– I understand that sometimes you don’t have a choice. There are only so many stores at the mall. The sunglasses display that spins around and has a small mirror on the top usually has reasonably priced sunglasses. You can buy a pair that no one would even know was from Hot Topic. Buy the sunglasses and go on with your life.

Don’t: Make eye contact with the employee who is looking rather sexy in an emo way

– She knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s the best saleswoman in all of Columbus. If you touch an item of clothing, she’ll tell you how cool it is and how she got those same joggers as a Christmas present for her brother. He does sports and doesn’t normally shop either, but he really likes this pair. If you acknowledge its existence, you walk out of there with a comically oversized shopping bag. You’ll spend the rest of your day at the mall as a walking Hot Topic billboard.

Do: Tell him you have a girlfriend

– I just thought about it now. I think it’s genius. She doesn’t flirt with you at all. However, she will be so disgusted by the fact that you thought she was that she will probably leave you alone.

Don’t: Look at loud, colorful sweatshirts

– You are 30 now. You have always dressed quite conservatively. American Eagle jeans and Nike shoes. Maybe the occasional Pac-Sun hoodie you only wear on vacation or in towns where you don’t know anyone, but nothing more. That sweatshirt you’re considering is way too much. You are currently wearing an old hockey club t-shirt from that year you played in college. It’s who you are. You are not a cool guy. Just buy that pair of aviators in your hand and get the hell out of there.

Do: Only buy one piece of clothing if you really see something you like

– You’re too involved now. You’ve convinced yourself that you can start dressing cool. You’ve never taken a fashion risk in your entire life. Why not now? You see people who dress differently from you all the time, but you don’t think twice. Why can’t you be one of those people?

Don’t: Join the Hot Topic Guest List Rewards Program

– I know this girl is sexy in a attainable way, but you have to come out with at least an ounce of dignity. You are not his type. You are a dollar sign to her. She takes care of a hundred of you every day. She earns $1 in commission on all of you. That’s a pretty decent salary for someone working in a mall. Are you really going to keep a Hot Topic Guest List reward card in your wallet? Sure, it can be fun to do drugs once in a while, but it’ll mostly be a reminder of that goddamn sweatshirt you spent $50 on that’s still gathering dust in your closet.

Jessica C. Bell