When your wife is incredibly social (as mine is) and your son is the cutest child on earth (as mine is), you get used to participating in unwanted social interaction in public places. But even I can't get behind the actions of the Westfield Galleria - a mall in Roseville, California, that recently attempted to invoke a no socializing rule on all shoppers.
The shut up and shop policy was predictably struck down by a state appellate court, which declared the rule to be unconstitutional. This story in The Sacramento Bee fully explains the no talking rule this way:
The specific rule at issue prohibits a person in the center's common areas from "approaching patrons with whom he or she was not previously acquainted for the purpose of communicating with them on a topic unrelated to the business interests" of the mall or its tenants.
It continues with this hilarious caveat on banned discussion topics:
Weather is a no-no, unless one is intuitive enough to observe how it may be affecting the size of the crowd at the mall.
And even throws in this Draconian touch:
Another rule requires written applications for permission to make such contacts "to be submitted to the mall's security office four days in advance. Mall management will review the application to determine if the proposed activity is permissible."
[Via The Consumerist]