Roseville Galleria Time Machine Prank

Planting a Phony Time Machine Inside a Busy Mall

Malls are a prime place to play pranks. I love them. Malls offer plenty of foot traffic and a divided responsibility for what happens there. Unfortunately, due to the risk of theft, there is usually an active security force overseeing mall operations.

One of my first good pranks was the sculpture replacement prank at Downtown Plaza, I claimed victory in a contest at Sunrise Mall, and Sacramento's Arden Fair Mall has been the site of my ashtray prank and the paparazzi contest.

These have mostly been successful endeavors but to be frank, I am running out of malls. There was one left within striking distance, a luxurious clustershop known as the Roseville Galleria.

Pictured above is not the Roseville Galleria, but a roadside dump, where I found the worn-out control panel for a 2018 Ssaurabi Time Machine.

Ok, it wasn't a time machine, but it was something.

It was heavy, about as tall as a speaker's lectern, had a large display and a lot of buttons.

Only when brightly lit could I make out the 7-segment LED display behind the dark plastic.

It needed a home, and I knew just the place! Roseville Galleria!

I don't actually spend much time in Roseville, so I needed a reconnaissance mission to find a suitable location. To disguise my true intentions, I brought two little agents along with me in a jogging stroller.

Jogging strolling around the mall, I quickly located a good spot. A bank of attractively-arranged soda machines in their own little cubbyhole. A new time machine could hide in there with them perfectly.

But I kept looking, and soon came upon a much better location... right in the middle of the mall.

A classy little showroom had been set up in the center court, heralding the latest batch of Hyundai cars.

There were three flatscreen TVs, leather seating and two interactive kiosks.

It was unattended.

The interactive kiosks were not interacting. They both had error messages onscreen.

It looked like this little showroom had been abandoned. They were probably driving the Genesis around in Nordstrom.

This was the spot.

Notes in hand, I headed home and cleaned up the machine.

To delay removal, I drafted a mysterious "don't worry, it is being handled" note and affixed it to the front.

Loaded in the car, I planned my entrance. Walking in with this contraption under my arm was going to look suspicious.

Worse, if I avoided walking through anchor stores, the shortest path to the center court brought me right past the concierge desk, staffed by two comely but bored young women.

There was no hope they wouldn't see me, but I took a chance that they would just assume I was doing something I was supposed to be doing. Otherwise, why would I walk right past them?

I steeled my nerves and went for it.

I should have brought a dolly. By the time I walked past Ruth's Steak house, my arm was tired, and as I trudged in through the automatic doors, I had to shift my hold on the enameled case to avoid dropping it.

I stared straight ahead as I walked past the concierge desk. I hugged the opposite wall, making it less likely that they would shout over to me from behind their counter. I really didn't think they would jump up and come after me.

Then I saw the security guard.

He was walking in my direction, but he wasn't looking at me. He was looking past me, his eyes on the door I just walked through.

I made it.

I walked onto the Hyundai carpet, squeezed past this guy and plopped the time machine down next to the flat panel TV


Immediately I took out my phone and pretended to answer a call. I didn't want to give anyone there an opportunity to start a conversation.

Still chatting on the phone, I pulled out my camera and snapped some pictures. My jerk boss apparently didn't trust me to get the kiosk placement just right.

It looks great and completely at home in the Hyundai Microshowroom. Hopefully I've created a situation where the mall people think it is a Hyundai thing, and the Hyundai people think it is a Mall thing.

Cross your fingers it lasts longer than those ashtrays did at Arden mall. If you are in the area, cruise by and see if anyone has fixed it yet.

Just don't reboot it! The tuning is off by four days!