Posts Tagged ‘Shopping Malls’

Previously: The first, well the only redeeming quality, was his ability to score the best Kazakhstan weed. It was probably its influence that made these “artistic” endeavors seem worthwhile. What the hell else could it be?

And now: What the hell else could it be? Indeed. What could make this worse? A veritable Brueggellian nightmare, that’s what.

images-1 Yeah, they did.

I always thought there was more (or less) to Zoltan than met the eye, but I couldn’t put my finger on it though there were too many times I wanted to put my finger squarely in his eye! Not out of any prescient thought on my part, but I never did and am now grateful for that bit of reserve. Ginger informed me that he was going to meet us at the next bus stop and gracefully provide us with our transportation. Probably in one of the last remaining, clapped-out racing Yugos. She also informed me that Zoltan had something else going on the side as well. Why was I not surprised?

The good news is that I would get to leave the acolytes of Amway, the insurance salespeople, and the strange cult-types behind me. The bad news is I’d be riding with Ginger, Zoltan, and who the hell knows what or who else would be joining this not so merry band of pranksters. I hope he had some of that weed. I figured I’d be needing it. If not that, some of the industrial-strength, gut-enflaming booze called Palinka. It looked like water, smelled like the after-waste of some carbon/nuclear plant experiment gone horribly wrong, and tasted, well, let’s just say the description I gave were its good traits. But, a few shots of that and everything was in the past, probably never to be remembered in their entirety.

Thankfully, the next five hours on the bus were spent in relative calm. Ginger had her iPod on listening to Polka versions of Justin Timberlake songs, the Amway folks were quizzing each other on the merits of the newly formulated SA8 soap, and the cult was just gazing out the windows, up at the ceiling, down at the floor, or each other, the floor, mindlessly humming a generic chant from the 20th century. Did I say “thankfully”?

Did you ever wonder where time went? I was thinking just that as the five hours passed way too quickly because we were now making our final bus stop to pick up with Zoltan. Looking out I was gratified to see we would not be engaging in some version of a Yugo demolition derby. No, instead we would be cruising in relative style in a 1975 Cadillac Civil. Yes, Civil. That would be the Iranian version of the American Cadillac Seville. Who knew? Who knew this to be true but it is…look it up.

1978_Cadillac_Seville

The Caddy was tarted up in Kazakhstan livery mode which meant it had every conceivable tschotske known to man including multiple air-fresheners which lent a veritable potpourri of wretched scents. It did indeed smell just like it looked. And behind the faux-fur-covered steering wheel, why Zoltan, of course in his faux-sharkskin splendor. Topping off his ensemble was an equally offensive shag felt fedora, favored by pimps in the ’70’s. Oh, this was going to be interesting… if we survived.

Zoltan signaled us all to get in the Caddy. Sitting next to him was his latest heart-throb, Pooch, a 17 year old Balkan wife-for-sale, Lindsay Lohan look-alike, complete with silver-lame shorts and a halter top that couldn’t halt anything even though it was trying. The back seat next to Ginger looked like the safest place for me.

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!

The State of New Jersey.

What is it about New Jersey that commands such ridicule? Is it the mob life as depicted in The Sopranos or the lesser and incredibly appalling Mob Wives that fuels the national ridicule? Is it the peculiar cuisine defying description? How about its accent? Yes it’s all that but largely it’s New Jersey! Currently, television with it’s Jersey preoccupation is starting to resemble a Jersey mall with all the options that entails. In no particular order, there is the late, lamented Sopranos; Jerseylicious, Cake Boss, Jersey Shore; Glam Fairy; The Real Housewives of New Jersey; Boardwalk Empire; House; Jersey Couture; and really, many more.

It’s there, in the dark, hanging on only by it’s fingertips to the side of New York for dear life, hoping for some glamor and fame to rub off. It’s girls named Dawn, with outrageously teased hair and large jewelry driving around in their Camaros looking for the latest from Hot Topic or whatever else is being hawked at the one of the countless malls in New Jersey. It’s wife-beater shirts being considered appropriate attire for most anywhere, especially the mall.

The State Car of New Jersey.

You have to understand: as soccer is the largest sport in the world, shopping is its equivalent in New Jersey. And as in any sport, there are different levels of proficiency and ability. There are amateurs and there are pros. The amateurs have only a couple of credit cards and none of them are of the gold/platinum/sapphire/unobtainium variety. No, those are for professionals only. (Do not try these shopping stunts at home. You WILL hurt yourself!)

Pros also have charge cards from all the individual stores they stalk. A hugely fat, bulging card wallet is a sure-fire sign of experience, success, (and impending credit default, but that’s for another entry). Shopping in New Jersey reaches Olympic dimensions and should probably have its own event in the summer games. Winter games though might be better because they would involve Christmas and its myriad sales. We’ll bring this up before the committee.

One of the Olympic size shopping stadiums in NJ.

So what do Jerseyans buy? Anything from Pier One for starters, but that’s probably a tie between them and IKEA; all discount electronic and/or appliance stores on major highways with large signs in the windows; and finally anything from a store in Paramus with a “Going Out Of Business” sign on it; don’t laugh, that accounts for at least 25% of all retail businesses in NJ. Incidentally, “Going Out Of Business” is also a major sport in NJ.

What do Jerseyans sound like? It’s a nasal wannabee NYC dialect that sounds like the speaker is chewing gum whether or not they are. Just watch an episode of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and you’ll get the idea. You”ll also get a preview of how Jerseyans decorate their homes. It’s like the visual equivalent of a nasal dialect that sounds like the speaker…. well, you get the idea.

New Jersey has so much to offer and so much to write about. Trust us to keep you in the loop for all things Jersey.