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Hot Topic Braces for Wave of Confused Relatives Buying Gifts for Teens

FRISCO, Texas — Hot Topic manager Julia Hargrave reportedly urged employees to prepare for an influx of older relatives with limited pop culture knowledge to patronize the store this holiday season, underpaid goth sources confirmed.

“Usually our only customers over 20 are the Funko Pop collectors, but holiday shopping always brings in record numbers of parents, grandparents, and generally uncultured people who don’t understand the angsty teens in their lives,” Hargrave said during her lunch break at Sbarro. “I’m scheduling extra training sessions so that everyone remembers to be kind to the elderly Gen Xers and boomers in the store. Still, I have to go take deep breaths in the back room when these people complain about the music or mix up band names. No wonder their kids hate them so much.”

Local mother Carrie Scrivener had her own ideas about how Hot Topic could improve its holiday shopping experience.

“I wouldn’t need some 17-year-old cashier to help me identify band logos if this place had better lighting. Between my daughter’s love for annoying music and my son’s obsession with anime tees, I’m definitely spending enough on Christmas here for this place to afford their electric bill,” said Scrivner while knocking over a cardboard cutout of Jack Skellington. “It would also be easier to ask these punks about the return policy if the music wasn’t so horribly loud. I know I’m old and out of touch but surely we can find common ground over The Cure or another band where I can actually understand the words they are saying.”

Mall commerce expert Frank Paternoster noted this annual increase of well-meaning parents struggling with their shopping has never been exclusive to Hot Topic or edgy teens in general.

“Even if their kids don’t belong to a weird subculture, the holiday season is always stressful for older customers who just want to buy the right gifts. Moms can complain about Hot Topic’s atmosphere all they want but at least that place has an excuse to be dark, gloomy, and difficult to navigate,” said Paternoster while organizing his Auntie Anne’s coupons. “Hollister is 10 times more haunted and their workers aren’t even goth. Malls are simply designed to make shopping as difficult as possible so parents will spend more on Auntie Anne’s once their stress turns into hunger. That’s where they really profit from this.”

At press time, Scrivener proudly made her way to the register upon finding My Chemical Romance merchandise without violent imagery, blissfully unaware that it was actually a My Morning Jacket shirt.