[W]e're losing something as the big stores fade from the scene, even if it's less an efficient or agreeable shopping experience than a collective cultural memory. They're now almost quaint relics; at this point the soul of the May Company lives on less in the Robinson's-May stores than in the minds of old-time radio fans: Jack Benny famously encountered his wife-to-be, Mary Livingstone, at the May Company in L.A., where she was a lingerie salesgirl. (They'd met originally a few years earlier at her family's home when she was 14; she showed up with a couple of friends to heckle his act the next night.) "Pardon me, Miss, but where's the mens' room?" Benny asked loudly, probably just to be obnoxious. "Ask the floorwalker!" she snapped back.