Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Previously: He’s discovered a new Czardas channel he’s been dying to listen to but Pooch says it makes her homesick. This has gotten plenty weird, way weird enough for me to last several lifetimes. But, right, it’s about to get even stranger.

And now: So the jewelry was bought. Thousands were spent by Pooch and Ginger on their Bataan-like Death March shopping spree. No prisoners were taken but a hell of a lot of merchandise was. I’m assuming it was paid for, bankrolled by Zoltan’s generosity, but with these two, who knows?

8632644852_d54706acfb                                    It ain’t shopping!

Zoltan gathers us up in his car and takes us someplace he guarantees will shake my very foundations. Well, those weren’t his words exactly, but you get the gist, right? And he is right. We drive to some abandoned Hardee’s Hamburger joint. It’s seen better days, certainly better than their food. It’s barely standing on its own. There is nothing else around it. It looks like it was dropped by some refugee from Area 51, it’s so out of place. The only thing around it is a suspiciously familiar Honda CR-V. This is starting to creep me out big time. I know of only one other person with a CR-V and with specialty plates like these. We pull up and part next to it. Someone in a NY Giants jersey is sitting in it listening to folk music while gorging on Raisinets. This is going downhill fast. It could only be one person.

He gets out, smiling sheepishly, chocolate smudging the corners of his mouth. “You didn’t think I was going to let you get away with this, did you, Fog Calamari? What kind of schmuck name is that, Bruce?”

3949821038_77224c539a                                   The other other Bruce is back, not this one.

“Er, Hi Bruce.” It’s the other Bruce. I thought I had gotten rid of him months ago. He disappeared and left me to do this and now he walks right back in as if nothing had happened. Doesn’t he know how successful “Fog Calamari” has been? He probably does. I’m in negotiations right now for serialization and film. And now he wants back in? The big question in my mind is how did he find me? “Bruce, how did you find me?”

“Really? You don’t know? Zoltan, educate the poor boy.”

Zoltan grins at me. “We knew you were planning to highjack the blog. We watched you. You think it was coincidence that Ginger was on that bus with you? Brucie baby (I hate that name Brucie and so does Bruce, but Zoltan knew it bugged me so he used it.),  you’re smarter than that or at least I thought so. I want in on Fog. We are partners after all.” He was right but damned if I was going to share Fog with him.

“Look Bruce, Fog was cute. Clever a little too. But the blog is sacred and we’ve got to get it back to where it belongs – social commentary nobody cares about. My life hasn’t been the same since The Two Bruces morphed into Fog. That’s just not right. We gotta fix this.”

“And how do you propose that? Fog has been growing.”

Bruce looked at me as if I was a fresh bag of string cheese, hungrily. “Easy, Brucie (him too?) baby. We do both. The Two Bruces will return and you can do your miserable Fog thing. Just keep it away from me. Some of those characters are just creepy. capisce?”

I capisced. But I knew Fog would be back. And soon.

Previously: Zoltan, turning around, hands each of us a handgun, saying these were for good luck. I have an aversion to guns of any size, with any predilection for luck of any kind. I started to protest when Zoltan made it clear in no uncertain terms that I was to start packing, and not my bags: we were going to the mall!

And now: Great. Out of the frying pan into the fire. If there’s anything I like less than bus rides, tarted-up Caddies, and hand guns, it’s shopping malls. Being originally from Jersey where malls are as ubiquitous as Mickey Dee’s, I believe they contribute as much to divorce as infidelity and as much to disease as handrails in hospitals. They are as bad as a war zone in Bosnia, only with free parking and not as pretty. But to the mall we were going. Zoltan likes malls because of the free parking and they appear to be open all the time.


Obviously, not the most current of malls, but where the hell were we anyway?

And as if that weren’t bad enough, Pooch (the for-sale-bride) and Ginger were hitting it off, exchanging the latest in cutting-edge fashion ideas. The bastard child of this retail coupling could only be likened to that of the illegitimate lovechild between Frankenstein and the Kardashians, with the nod for good taste going to old Frank. I hope the stores were well-stocked. And Zoltan was only too happy to bankroll this backwater version of Project Runway. Pulling out a roll of cash large enough to choke a Florida sinkhole, he dispatched Pooch and Ginger off to a shopping orgy commanding them to text him no sooner than three hours while commanding me to stay with him. Of course, he wants to have a latte with me and discuss the finer points of Instagram. Ehhh, not really. He wants my opinion on some jewelry he’s planning on getting Pooch. What a guy! Why in hell does he need me for that? I’m about to find out.

Zoltan figures the girls will be gone at least three hours before we even hear from them so he can do whatever it is he had planned for us. We walk down the main concourse of the mall passing numerous jewelry stores, Gaps, Foot Lockers, cell phone kiosks, until we come across this odd, little store run by some of his “friends.” He smiles at me, winking conspiratorially, and says under his breath, “They give me good deal. Or I give them something else, ehh?” I suddenly realize what the guns are for. Aww, c’mon, I just wanted to get away from my family! But as usual, I get it wrong. But I am starting to miss Ahmed and Kippy.

We walk into the store and are greeted by a stunning redhead, save for her lack of dental accoutrements. Zoltan walks up to her sheepishly, apologizing for being away so long, and kisses her on the cheek telling her his friend, me!, wants to buy a gift for his girlfriend, Pooch! He’s two-timing her! Maybe three- or four-timing her for all I know and he’s now made me an accomplice to his horniness. Not wanting to jeopardize his relationship with Red, he’s got me covering for him. He tells me to pick out the most expensive bauble for my “girlfriend”, explaining to the redhead I’m too shy to do this on my own. Riiight… and he’s there for moral support. While the redhead is showcasing her attributes, the jewelry that is, Zoltan is stuffing a wad of cash in my back pocket, in complete contradiction in what he usually does with such an activity. This is so wrong on so many counts. But, I’ve now got his cash in one pocket, one of his guns in another, and yet Zoltan with another gun gently prodding my back. Well, this is just one more friggin’ reason to hate malls.

4435622489_4ee47e137a This is what Zoltan really liked!

I choose something extremely expensive and equally gaudy and we leave, Zoltan promising the redhead that he’ll get her those new dental implants he’s been promising her. What a guy! It’s only been about half an hour and we’ve still time to kill. I realize that that was probably not the best way to phrase it. Zoltan suggest we go back out to the car and listen to some satellite radio. He’s discovered a new Czardas channel he’s been dying to listen to but Pooch says it makes her homesick. This has gotten plenty weird, way weird enough for me to last several lifetimes. But, right, it’s about to get even stranger.