I'm a last-minute holiday shopper. Last year, I went to the mall the day before Christmas Eve. When I stopped at the bank prior to the mall and I told the cougar bank teller that I hadn't started my Christmas shopping yet, the lady behind me scoffed, "Good luck." Screw you, old woman. Screw you.
This year, the last minute for me was Friday (Dec. 18). Saturday was a forecasted massive snowstorm; Sunday was football, of course; Monday I had to do my power rankings and watch my 5-unit selection get debaclized; Tuesday is my NFL Picks day; Wednesday is my NFL Mock Draft and Fantasy Rankings day; and Thursday would be Christmas Eve. So, Friday was my last opportunity to buy crappy gifts.
My plan was to wake up around noonish and get to the mall around 2:30 to avoid all of the heavy traffic. Unfortunately, I'm a lazy bastard. I woke up at 2:30, and after eating breakfast, updating a few things on the site and walking my dogs, I finally left my house around 5. If that old woman knew, she'd shake her head and laugh at me. I hate that old b****.
Because I'm lazy and left late, I hit three types of traffic: the people heading home from work; Christmas shoppers like myself; and lunatics heading to the store to prepare for the blizzard. I was seriously stuck at four lights on Roosevelt Boulevard** for half an hour. And I'm a guy who freaks out if I have to stand in any line for more than two minutes.
** Quick sidebar: For those of you unfamiliar with Roosevelt Boulevard, it's an ingenious street that some idiot Philadelphian designed decades ago. It's a 12-lane abomination (six each way), and the northbound side eventually merges into four lanes, then three lanes, then two lanes.
Because people in Philadelphia don't know how to use turn signals, there are always accidents there. In fact, Red Lion and the Boulevard, and Grant and the Boulevard were voted the second- and third-most dangerous intersections in America by State Farm Insurance. It's so bad that they installed video cameras at the lights, and if you run a red light, you automatically get a ticket sent to your house.
If you ever visit Philly, try to stop by and laugh as cars from 16 lanes converge. You'll probably see five accidents if you wait an hour.**
Anyway, I finally got to the mall. I thought about asking some hot girl to accompany me, but I thought I'd do a better job of locating weirdos and a**holes so I could write about them here. Lo and behold...
Before I even got to the mall, I nearly killed two people.
I was making a right into a gas station when I saw these three kids skateboarding down the sidewalk. They were cutting it pretty close, so I honked my horn to alert them.
The kid in the front, who was Indian, stopped and motioned to his friends to let me through. I hit the gas when I noticed that the other two idiots - white kids with long black hair (shocker) - didn't notice. I had to slam my breaks before I nearly crashed into them. However, they didn't panic. They just kept on skating. I looked back at the Indian kid, who waved his hands as if he was apologizing.
I absolutely hate skateboarders. My hatred first manifested in middle school when all the hot girls liked those douche bags. I tried skateboarding myself, but I just fell flat on my face a few times and then just gave up.
I guess that has stuck with me ever since because I stereotype them as long-haired, Mountain Dew-drinking, nonchalant dumba**es who work at gas stations and contribute nothing to society.
And that leads me to ask why there was Indian dude there. Shouldn't he be studying to become a doctor or engineer? Why is he wasting his time with those douche bags?
Indian kid, if you're reading this, put down the skateboard and pick up the medical textbook. We need more doctors in this world; not gas station workers.
2. Crazy DVD Man:
My mom and my sister love sci-fi stuff, so I was in FYE browsing the DVD section. That's when I noticed one of the strangest people I had ever seen. This guy had a gray afro, a light blue t-shirt with some holes in it and plaid shorts that exposed his horribly skinny, pale legs.
I carefully observed as he took out three or four DVDs and moved them around in random spots on the shelves. He then picked up three or four more DVDs and did the same thing. He kept repeating this over and over.
This guy seriously looked like he escaped from a mental hospital. He had drool coming out of his mouth and this crazy look in his eye as he kept rearranging the DVDs in a nonsensical order.
I watched him do this for 10 minutes and was highly amused. Unfortunately, it was getting late and I had some other things to buy. For all I know, he's still in FYE randomly moving DVDs around.
Neshaminy Mall is famous for a few things. It was one of the first malls to be constructed in the U.S. Its movie theater was the first in the Philadelphia area to have stadium seating**. It even has its own Wikipedia page.
**Quick sidebar: I hate stadium seating in movie theaters. I also hate sitting in the back of theaters unless I'm with a girl and having a sexy time. When I'm watching a movie and paying attention to it, I like to be in the fourth or fifth row. I want the full experience. I want the headache after watching a 2-hour film. I want to go blind. I didn't pay $10 to sit in the back as if I were watching TV. I want to be in the fifth row so I can get a damn neck strain!**
Neshaminy Mall is also famous for its prostitots. These are 12- and 13-year-old girls who wear tons of make-up and very revealing clothing, and parade around the mall until it closes. There are seriously thousands of them at Neshaminy Mall at any given time.
When I was in FYE, 20 of them walked in at the same time. They started making loud noises, drawing attention to themselves and annoying the hell out of everyone. If I were R. Kelly, I would have jizzed in pants 10 times in the 20 minutes I spent in the store. Not that there's anything wrong with that (unless you want to go to jail).
4. Spanish Music Prostitot:
While I was standing in line at the FYE, a red-headed prostitot approached a worker there, smiled, and asked, "Excuse me! Do you have any SPANISH music!?"
I capitalized "Spanish" because she yelled and emphasized that word so much that everyone turned around when she said it. The only person who didn't pay attention to her was Crazy DVD Man, who was still hard at work.
I have no idea why, but I started cracking up as soon as she asked the question. If I were that employee, I would have said, "No, we don't have any Spanish music. The only type of music we carry is American music. Sure, we're an enormously large DVD/music chain, and it would make absolutely no sense for us not to carry any Spanish music, but unfortunately for you, that's the case. Now, get out of my store, you red-headed whore!"
Fortunately, I work for myself and can avoid situations like this.
5. CHS Alumni
I went to the second-oldest public high school in America. Central High School was founded in 1836. The school is so old that rather than calling ourselves as the "Class of 2000" or whatever, the people in my grade referred to themselves as "259," as in the 259th graduating class of the school (pronounced two-five-nine).
I had dinner with my former college roommate, Dennis, who put together DraftDebacled.com, two weeks ago to discuss our future plans with the site. I was wearing my Central High School hoodie, so this woman saw it and asked what number I was. I told her I was from 259, and she said her husband was a 236er. We talked for about 10 minutes, and that was pretty much it.
What does this have to do with the mall? Well, it was a week later, but I was so busy with the Web site that outside of playing basketball the following Saturday, the only time I left my house was to walk my dogs.
When I was getting dressed to go to the mall, I put on the same hoodie I wore to the restaurant. I just didn't think anything of it; it was just sitting on my chair and it was the first thing I saw.
Unfortunately, as I walked into Border's the same woman saw me and asked what my number was. I told her I was from 259, and she quickly remembered that she talked to me at the restaurant.
Instead of striking up another conversation with me, she and her husband glanced at my clothes - the same ones I was wearing a week ago - and just looked disappointed. I guess they figured that because I was wearing the same hoodie, I was either a slob (which is true) or an unsuccessful bum. Perhaps both.
I guess it's a good thing that neither one of those people run a Web site. Otherwise, I'd be one of their Loser Bums of the Week (perhaps along with Crazy DVD Man).