NEW 119

ďGenius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
--Elbert Hubbard

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      For once, I was the one who was late. Three times I had to stop because of tree trimming. Then I got stuck on Rt 74, the most one-laniest no-passingest road ever, behind a tow truck with 2 SUVs. As soon as I passed it (on the only place you safely can for 20 miles), a state cop was behind me. And when I got there, she wasn't.
      Her car was, but where was Jess? On the other side of the parking lot, checking out a map. I said "Happy Feral Cat Day!" with a 16-pound bag of Purina One in my arms. "How long will this last you, a week?" She said "Yes."
      We were both impressed by how much Putnam has changed since we were last there--what, only 4 months ago? When the economy tanked thanks to the housing bubble 6 years ago (THANKS OBAM--I mean, DUBYA), every time we went, another business had closed. It was amazing how many had opened since the Spring. A new antiques store had opened, as organized as a hoarder's house. Nothing says "WELCOME!" like a bunch of employees loitering by the door smoking. Tables of dirty old bottles and VHS tapes. Nothing was priced, which is always a red flag. "Oh, you're interested in buying that? Now it's going to cost more!" Jess found a Creepy Doll and a ceramic cat. The girl said "Most things aren't priced, because we haven't figured out what's collectable yet!" That's not a flag, that's a flare gun. She checked the price by taking a picture and emailing it to her boss. Because "He needs to see if it's collectable or not!" 10 minutes later, still no price. "Tell your boss he needs to get on the ball!" said Jess, and we left. When we came in, she asked "How long have you been open?" after we'd threaded ourselves around blocked tables of unpriced, random crap. The girl said "Three--" and I thought "..days?" No, "Three MONTHS." Maybe before you open, you should figure out what things cost.
      The comics shop has been there for a long time, but we made maybe our second visit. She started looking at the old issues bin at Sandman comics, with a slightly baffled look. "My Mom collects these," she said. I said "Those probably aren't the ones she wants." Meaning she was looking at Kirby, not Gaiman.
      There was a replacement for the book store. More of a book kiosk, and used, but I bought a CD. Jess groaned when she saw one of daughter's college textbooks there, for a fraction of what she'd paid.
      New stores galore! But not relevant to our interests, so we went to our old haunts. One was a cluttered mess. And if I complain about clutter and mess...! I almost bought a zeppelin model. But, ten bucks, I'll pass.
      At The Big Place, I saw what I guess was this time's theme: Slim Jim mugs. Minutes later, she pointed at a print of the Last Supper and said "Look! It's Jesus, eating a Slim Jim!"
      At the brew pub for lunch, I had a Nut-Meg Ale (did not contain nutmeg; CT is the Nutmeg State) which was good, and an Oktoberfest, which was meh. She filled me in on the latest with her daughter's romance with a guy her husband calls "Mensa", and does so with great irony, and I told her about Kev & Meg's latest adventures. She showed me her purchases. A 1980 Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook that I found, as an Xmas gift to her husband. I didn't know that taun-tauns originally looked less like camel-llamas than like big-beaked emus. Yoda looked like an old hippie. "Bogart that joint, you should not!"
      She bought a ceramic black cat with one painted eye missing. "He's winking," I said, "just like Kill Kill does to me. I ask her, 'Are you flirting with me?'" Some ugly dolls, because: Jess. I said "This doll isn't that creepy by your standards." She said "Look at her head! And the way she holds her arms. I'm going to cut her head off and have her hold it in her hands." Okay, I think we can go with "creepy enough for Jess" then. She also bought a bag of plastic toddler dolls, one of which came with a huge hat. Like some kind of Pilgrim hat. I took it off, and it had hair above some tiara thing, but it was the ultimate buzz cut. It looked like it was undergoing brain surgery. At my suggestion, she's going to paint it so it looks like exposed brains.
      As for me, I found 4 CDs I wanted to buy, but 3 of them were so damaged that they looked unplayable. One clearly had coffee spilled on it. I got a fridge magnet that says "I MADE IT ACROSS THE ROYAL GORGE ON THE AERIAL TRAM," because my collection of fridge magnets is oddly short of aerial tram magnets. I only get the interesting ones now, as I'm running out of fridge. It was in its original 1970s packaging, and Jess found that the company was still in business. I didn't get a Hanna-Barbera superhero comic from 1969, even though it had the Herculoids. Space Ghost, sure, but "BIIIIIIRD MAAAAN!"? Also, The Mighty Mightor, the caveman hero who was the least imaginatively named superhero since The Fucking Fuckhead. Hey, they were cavemen. They didn't have a lot of names.
      I took some photos, but they came out terrible. The camera claims to have an "Image Stabilizer", but it seems to add shaking hands to every pic. Yes, this is the best pic of 3 I took:


      Cloves, Opium, Extract of Cannabis. Make sure what you're looking for before you give Grandma some cloves. Jess said "This has to be in my house!" But it was full of cleaning supplies, so I guess NFS. I also took shots of a 70s stereo, with "STEREO-MATIC FUTURISTIC SOUND", and "POOPS The Ultimate Bathroom Sport", which was a guy sitting on a toilet with his pants around his knees throwing a basketball, because it was just a hoop you hung by the toilet. You wouldn't need this if you just ate some fiber.
      But I did get this:


      Because like I'm gonna pass up on a "Smoking Monkey with Magic Cigarettes". On the back: "AND THE MONKEY WILL SMOKE BLOWING RINGS LIKE A MAN." Yeah, toy designer, when you're designing toys, maybe lay off the Magic Cigarettes.
      Also, that one CD I bought? I own it already.


      I forgot to mention: yesterday, I twice passed a church with a sign that read "JESUS LOVES ASHFORD JOHN 3:16". I did not know that there was a clear reference in the New Testament to a Connecticut suburb. Well, what else has the guy had to do for the last 2000 years? Just obsess on CT towns and appear on tacos.
      (playing the XBox) "Yah, Dad?"
      "When are you going to go out and look for a job?!"
      "GOD, God! Like who's hiring messiahs right now? NO-BOD-Y."
      "The Jews have been looking to fill a position for millennia!"
      (picks up some food, eats) "Sorry, Dad, I can't hear you over this delicious PORK CHOP. Ooh, wait, is this shrimp cocktail?! NOM NOM."
      "MEDAMMIT! Do you want to move in with Lucifer?! Wait till your mother hears about this!"
      "Mom? How old was she when you magic-banged her, like 13? And Uncle Satan, your drinking buddy? He seems cool."
      "JESUS CHRIST, Jesus Christ! You'll not take that tone with me! It's time you got a job and moved out! You're 2,014 years old!"
      "OKAY, I'm doing it, I'm doing it NOW, OKAY!?"
      NEXT DAY:
      "Welcome to the Ashford Cumberland Farms. I love it here! Would you like infinite fishwiches with that?"

      The latest in the "Dear Kitten" series from Friskies. The ad part is very, very brief. Also: dogs are dumb.







      Woman ahead of me in line today, to the cashier: "I have to go to the optometrist to get new eyedrops, because I'm pregnant and my doctor says I have to be careful what I put in my body. Pack of Marlboro Box, please."

      Also, AGAIN, my site has been hacked by some fucking foreign clothing store. For a change, NOT the Swedish coat factory, but a Chinese maker of Uggs.
      Anybody use a host that's not ReadyHosting? If it happens once, it's bullshit. When it's happening several times a year, it's "fuck you, we got your money already" utter incompetence.


      ...Or, um, I could just re-upload my Thoughtviper index page again. Yeah, that worked.


      We have a donation box outside the store, like the Goodwill boxes you may have seen (they're very large and made of metal). They take bags of clothes and shoes and give your out-of-style workshirts and Nikes that aren't trendy enough anymore to people in the Third World.
      Someone left a bunch of boxes in front of the bin. I'm sure that people in impoverished countries really appreciate a blender and a half-dozen old lampshades. They can wear them on their heads after they make margaritas!

      I went to dinner at Mom's. Chicken Parmesan, twice-baked mashed potatoes, apple crisp with Ben & Jerry's, all home made ("Except the ice cream," said Mom). And for beer: Unibroue La Fin du Monde, because MY MOM IS MORE AWESOME THAN YOURS LIKE TEN TIMES MORE.
      She said "Tell your friend Jess that's what I do now that I'm retired!" Retired at 81, and what she did was bogging. Not blogging, going to a Cape Cod cranberry bog. (Oh, the things you people miss by not being New Englanders!) Dinner was interrupted by a phone call. "I need to talk" said one of her old (and I mean old) friends, about a "meeting." She sighed and said, "It's probably about our friend, who's 87, and has lung cancer. Right after getting treated for breast cancer." We talked for another 20 minutes, then the doorbell rang. For the meeting. So we wrapped things up, and she left me with wrapped-up leftovers, several day's worth. She offered to help me bring it out, and I said "You're going out to the meeting anyway." She said, "I have to freshen up first!" Octogenarian women judge each other on their looks?
      I already only cement my hair on workdays, and alternate between the same 2 pairs of pants every day, because I don't care. And I'm 26 years younger. Until Fashion-Sense Jess says "Bill...You need new pants," that's what I'll keep doing.



      I was looking at some InExObs today--navel-gazing, for sure, but I wrote 'em, I can do that. And the link that was always busted was busted again. Here it is, just play this over and over in your cubicle until someone threatens to kick you with their boots:


      And when they do, say "Cheese, what a grouch!" and then loop this: The Wisconsin National Anthem. Any song that promises "Yodeling, too!" and it's not meant as a threat...
      And then spend the rest of the week trying to get those songs out of your head, too. "Sexy little schoolgirls!"
      "HAIL KINKY BOOTS! Cut off one boot, a second and kinkier one will take its place!"
      "But look inside first. There may be some cheese!"       


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