Hot Topic is an interesting store. You've probably seen that kid with eye-covering bangs, guyliner, a face full of metal, My Chemical Romance T-shirt, and skinny crotch-hugger jeans who always hangs out with fat chicks and seemingly cries every day.
Hot Topic is attempting to identify with the youth of America to create an anti-establishment image, when sadly they are completely blowing the whole DIY ethics punk rock is based on (the image they are shooting for, but sadly, failing). Instead they trade Metallica for Panic! at the Disco, take Twilight over Dracula, and drag their customers down into the dark, dark depths of self-loathing.
This is a store that tries to get all the "misfit" kids to coincidentally buy Misfits Shirts (even if they have no fucking idea who the Misfits are.). It is the one store trying to attract the outcasts, the weirdos, the gamer nerds and other rather quiet but normal individuals deemed socially inept by the school douchebags. Grieving in agony over their personality disorders and apparent loss of the right to exist among the ranks in high school, these angst-ridden teens flock to the only known store in public where they can quote/unquote: "express themselves."
The original intent of this store was not such a bad idea, considering those that like to wear band T-shirts and other items outside the realm of what we consider "normal" and boring; although some of this stuff is just taking it way too far.
The gauges (HOLY SHIT! And get this: the only way for your ears to ever go back to normal is to have the holes sewn up.):
The bad spin-off of LOL!cats:
We aren't positively sure what this is:
This is typically the kind of person you will see at Hot Topic. Here is a guide, already drawn-out for you:
An important thing to remember is that not every person decked out in black and chains that enters a Hot Topic store is a Marilyn Manson cult worshipper or "misunderstood" emo youth that cries at the drop of a hat. While the "image" is usually aiming for anti-establishment, you also have the gothic-version of a hippie individual, the Gamer, the cartoon nerd, and the always-hated preppy conformist just seeking to "fit in" among the new vampire goth phase in modern fashion. While not always a person that falls under these categories, these are typically the people you have a high risk of running into when you enter your local Hot Topic.
Surprisingly, the "emo" look is now kind of a fashion trend. For some reason, the skinny androgynous outcast in ripped garb that cries a lot and writes suicidal poetry has appeal. Now people consider it "trendy" to gel your greasy hair into a spiky multicolored mess, squeeze into too-tight clothes with pre-ripped fabric, and entangle yourself in a mass of chains and spikes.
This is your typical Hot Topic store. Rusty iron gates of hell for doors, dim lighting, visible display of chains and other pointy objects that would make parents spontaneously combust if they saw their child wearing them--it seems like the typical hangout for the type of customer mentioned above. If not for the "50 percent off" sign drawing in the local nickel-and-dime passerby, generally this sight would send the average customer running for the hills with a vast array of holy objects in tow. It could possibly become the local biker gang store if not for the massive shrine dedicated to Twilight sitting there on the right when you walk in. (Seriously, if you watch for it, Edward's eyes will follow you all around the store.)
They lure you in with promises of great music and deals off on quality clothing, and then you find yourself entangled in a mass of swirling black angst and teenage depression. Your life flashes by you in an instant--all those years of ridicule in high school, that one jock that gave you one-too-many wedgies and swirlies, that girl or guy that wouldn't go to the prom with you because you dressed like a cross between Marilyn Manson and a wannabe gang-banger--and suddenly the negative energy overwhelms you. Without thinking about it, you find yourself reaching for the male junk-cruncher jeans and face-metal Mom never let you wear in your adolescent years.
Okay, so before you decide to dye your hair neon green and start an all guy band called Suffocate My Heart's Beat or Bleed Me Dry! Jane (feel free to use those if you want, by the way), take a look at these survival tips.
1) Ignore the Harry Potter wand earrings and Invader Zim and/or Hello Kitty kink butt-plugs, and get straight to the section you're looking for. Know what you want before you walk in the store.
2) The music is generally located near the band T-shirts, and the good band T-shirts are generally located away from the array of Nightmare Before Christmas bells and whistles.
3) The Twilight shrine (as referred to above) is generally located at the front of the store. Walk on by. Ignore the cult of fangirls worshipping pictures of a glittery half-naked Taylor Lautner. Don't make eye-contact. (They may follow you--remember: they sense movement!)
4) An employee may recommend the latest "goods" to you. Don't buy it. (Even if it is twenty percent off, you cheap asshole.)
5) There will be FRED dolls that talk/scream. Don't touch them. You'll regret it. Warning: High risk of ruptured ear drums and possible seizures.
6) The general customers may pounce on you with "SHUUUUUUUUUNNNNN-NAH! THE NON-BELIEVER! PWNED!!!!111!!" when you're not expecting it. Smile and nod, then walk away. Otherwise be prepared for a horde of camera phones with "Charlie the Unicorn" downloaded into the video files.
7) If someone asks you how you feel about a "screamo emo-core" band you've never heard before, give a short and sweet answer. Otherwise they will corner you and hunt you down for being a sheeple-conformist.
8) You will encounter "Harry Potter vs. Twilight" debate. Don't get involved. Just don't.
9) When you approach the counter to pay for your items, don't attempt to strike up that friendly conversation you usually do with a Wal Mart cashier. Odds are the people that work there hate you for simply existing, though not as much as they hate themselves.
If none of these things work, well, at least we tried.