The Mall of St. Matthews
Nick, who works at a children's portrait studio in the mall, is standing in line at the Chinese Gourmet Express in the food court dressed up as a caveman. People are turning their heads, pointing and staring at him as he waits his turn. Nick is dressed-up today to entertain children and be a little different by getting out of his standard work outfit. As a full-time theology student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Nick wants to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to various parts of the world by becoming a missionary. He is especially interested in traveling to Asia and Africa, but is willing to go wherever God leads him. When asked what the good news was Nick answered, "The good word is the news that Jesus Christ came down to the earth, lived the perfect life and saved us from our sins." Nick believes that many people have lost hope in today’s "fallen world". But he says that as long as you believe and trust in your heart that Jesus is Lord, one can truly proceed knowing that there is hope. However, Nick does believe that it is inevitable the world will end. He explains, "In Revelations it states that God is going to destroy the earth with fire and those who are not saved aren't going to get caught up with him. So for those who are saved, we are in the clearing. I am not for sure when the end will happen, but my own personal belief is that we are getting closer every day just by how the world is turning out." Despite believing the world will soon end, Nick still actively makes an effort to better the world while he is still here on earth. For example, he recycles and is concerned about the environment. After all he is from Sassafras, Kentucky -- a place where the water is so clean, you can drink it straight from the pond. Nick enjoys making people laugh, so he doesn’t mind that people are laughing at him as he walks through the mall back to his job. When asked if the caveman outfit made him feel stronger, he replied, "Well, I am caring three drinks and I never really do that...so sure."
This is Chase, and today he is greeting people as they enter the Abercrombie and Fitch store dressed in a nice, warm winter jacket, which is open to display his bare, muscular, shiny chest. Behind him hangs a gigantic framed photograph of an Abercrombie model who is dressed and posed in a similar way as Chase. About a year ago, Chase moved to Louisville to attend college and started working at the Abercrombie store. One day his coworkers saw him with his shirt off, took a picture, and sent it to the Abercrombie Headquarters who approved for him to do this particular promotion. Last year around Christmas time, Chase went bare-chested for the first time as people paid money for charity to have their pictures taken with him. Chase usually tries to train before a bare-chest-promotion, but was recently sick and has not made it to the gym much lately. Today he feels confident, but then again he says he feels confident all the time. "People stare at me, some people give me dirty looks, some people smile," he says. So far no one has approached him for a date, but last year on Valentines Day, a little girl asked if he would be her valentine. Sometimes old women like to come up to him and give him a pinch too. Chase has become somewhat of a local celebrity and people often recognize him outside of the mall. When he's not at work, Chase never wears his jacket without lots of layers, but he does not mind the look in the store. When asked how he felt standing next to the photograph of the Abercrombie Model, Chase shrugged, titled his head, smirked and exhaled, "Ahhhh, he's nothing".