Even at the quiet, dark end of the Huntington Beach Mall, lights flash from the theater marquee, the neon sign in the Buster Brown Shoe Store, the drift of human shadows; the center at night is a cacophony of light rhythms. The sound is country muzak, fall of chunky heels, murmur of discontent. Stores may languish for years or open and close practically overnight. It is here that I discovered the Bet Your Life shop, run by one Annabelle Thompson. At first I thought it was just a simple success story, your Southern California fad machine at work. But now I am not so sure.