Christmas shopping is often agonizing for people. You hear horror stories about paying too much for a perfect gift, having to wake up early on Black Friday and spending an obscene amount of time in traffic going to and from the mall.
I, on the other hand, love Christmas shopping. Buying stuff for myself is great and all, but the primary appeal is finding some jerks at the mall. There always a ton of them during the holiday season. I've chronicled my adventures over the years. Just last December, I managed to elude the evil Count of Neshaminy Mall. The year before that, I encountered the 12 Jerks of Christmas. And then there was the time a href="/jerksoftheweek091221.php"> I nearly killed a . Good times.
This December was no different. I went to Neshaminy Mall the Friday before Christmas. I had already bought some stuff online, but there were a few things I needed to purchase at the mall. I anticipated finding numerous jerks there, and I was not disappointed. In fact, the first person I saw as soon as I entered the doors near the food court was some guy in a wheelchair who was kicking his legs to move himself around. He had this insane expression on his face as if he just escaped from a mental hospital and didn't understand that he wasn't paralyzed and didn't need a wheelchair. And that's when I knew it would be an adventurous jerk-finding day.
Well, it wasn't an adventurous jerk-finding day initially. I wandered the mall, searching specifically for jerks, but I couldn't find any. The closest thing to one was this 13-year-old chubby dude who inexplicably did a crazy jig in the video game store, prompting the skinny girl he was with to comment, "Ugh I need some more friends that are girls."
I left that store and wandered toward the area where Santa Claus is usually set up. I naturally would see lots of kids or dumb parents worth writing about there, so why not? I was thinking about the possibilities when suddenly this old lady walking in front of me tripped and fell. She just collapsed out of nowhere.
The younger woman accompanying the old lady shouted for help, while this other guy sprinted over and asked if she was OK. Me? I just kept walking by. I thought about assisting her, but there were already two people there, so I didn't think my help was needed. I mean, why would they need a second dude? I was conflicted, but ultimately decided that it would be better off if I continued my trek toward Santa's station, which was right ahead of me.
Oddly enough, there were no kids or parents waiting in line to see Santa. His helper chicks were there, but no eager kids or parents were vulturing around his fenced-in area like last year, which I thought was strange. I then realized he probably just took a break to drink some booze or bang one of his helpers.
I approached the fence encircling Santa's area to get a good look at the iconic figure. I was just curious if Neshaminy Mall did a good job of hiring this guy. As I stared at Santa, he glanced back at me, and our eyes met. He then gave me a scowl and shook his head disapprovingly. After about 10 seconds of this, he looked back at the poor old woman, who was being tended to by several concerned bystanders. He then focused on me and continued to shake his head. I then noticed that all of his helper chicks glared at me as if I were the devil.
Crap, I guess I'm getting coal for Christmas, I thought as I walked away. But part of me was happy because I would be able to write about how I offended Santa. All it took was indifference toward a woman who probably broke her leg. That's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
2. Horny Mother
If you're a guy, you might read the words "horny mother" and get excited, but you shouldn't be. This lady was disgusting. She had so much makeup on, she looked like a clown, and her teeth were moldy from smoking too many cigarettes.
I encountered Horny Mother at the Best Buy Mobile store. I was buying an iPad for my dad, which was an adventure in itself. There were all of these options - iPad wi-fi, iPad 3G, iPad 2 - and I was so confused. The bearded salesman had to explain it to me five times. Despite running a Web site for a living, I am absolutely clueless when it comes to technological stuff like this. I recently discovered what the hell 3G and 4G even mean. My phone, by the way, is 1X. It's true. Here's a link to what my phone looks like.
I sat down at the purchasing kiosk when Horny Mother and her daughter walked into the store. Unlike her mom, the daughter wasn't hideous. She was a blonde wearing a dress for some reason. Her attractiveness was irrelevant, however, because of her shrill voice, which was noticeable when she started whining, "Ma, they don't have these in white! I wanted one in white!"
The other salesman, a tall, lean black guy, instantly came to her rescue and informed her that they had some in the back. He retrieved a white version of what she wanted and began flirting with the daughter. He said some cheesy stuff like "this would look good with you," or whatever.
The salesman's game was working - only the daughter wasn't the one who was interested. Horny Mother was instantly jealous that her daughter was getting all of the attention. She started touching the salesman's arm, and when he said something nice about the daughter again, she laughed, exposing her black teeth, and said, "You know how the sayin' go, like dawta like motha!"
When has anyone in the history of this planet said this? I heard of "like mother, like daughter," but not the other way around. I guess that's a common idiom in her trailer park.
I left the store while Horny Mother and her daughter were in there, so I have no idea if she ever successfully banged the black salesman. At the very worst, she'd be able to get lucky with Santa on his next break.
3. Gay Nail Guy 3.0
In my 12 Jerks of Christmas entry, I recounted a dreadful experience with a second, more powerful version of Gay Nail Guy - a pushy, meterosexual, heterosexually challenged foreigner who tried to sell me polish that would make nails shiny. I dubiously predicted, "These guys are out of control, and each new edition of Gay Nail Guy gets worse. Gay Nail Guy 3.0 may just take over the world and turn every male into a metrosexual."
It turns out I'm more reliable than the Mayans.
I was heading toward Barnes & Noble when Gay Nail Guy 3.0 blocked my path. This meterosexual, heterosexually challenged foreigner, who was wearing a Jeff cap and a fancy plaid shirt, was selling different wares this time; apparently, he had abandoned the nail polish and instead was peddling flowery pillows and cushions.
Gay Nail Guy 3.0: Oh my god, you like have to try thith, it thented and it'll help your musthleth relaxth.
I didn't even have a chance to decline Gay Nail Guy 3.0's offer before he tied this purple, flowery pillow thing around my neck. It had this weird scent that was supposed to make me relax. Instead, it made me look like an idiot. All of the people walking by laughed at me. Gay Nail Guy 3.0 then popped a small, blue flowery pillow into a microwave and took it out after heating it for 10 seconds.
Gay Nail Guy 3.0: Put thith under your noth and thmell. Dothen't it thmell wonderful? It'll clear all your thinuthes.
It actually did. My sense of smell sucks, but once I took a whiff of this, my nostrils were instantly unclogged. I never thought I'd ask this next question...
Me: Wow, yeah, it's great. How much is it?
Gay Nail Guy 3.0: Oh Jeezzth Chrritthh ithh hold on let me theee! Look at thith chart! The whole package ith $114, and that includth thtuff for the neck, the back, the handth, the noth, there'th a whole list!
Sure enough, there were heated, scented pads for everything. My back hurt at the moment, so I agreed to purchase the back and nose pillows. Gay Nail Guy 3.0 got so excited that he accidentally knocked over a big stack of his pillows.
Gay Nail Guy 3.0: Oh Jeezzth Chrritthh ithh like an avalanche here oh my goodneth!!!
Suddenly, my phone rang. Because I have an archaic phone, I apparently have an old ring tone. This amused Gay Nail Guy 3.0.
Gay Nail Guy 3.0: Oh Jeezzth Chrritthh I uthh to have that thame ring tone that ith like tho ancient Jeezzttthh Criiitthhh!!
Me: Yeah, I have an old phone. I'm not good with technology.
Gay Nail Guy 3.0: Oh Jeezzth Chrritthh I'm like tho bad with technology too Jeeezztthh Chriitthh ohhh Jeezzthhh! Oh look what I jutthh did, I knocked over the pile again, oh Jeeezzth, I'm tho clumthy!
I observed as more and more people walked by and laughed at me for having a purple flowery pillow around my neck, which I forgot that I was still wearing. I quickly took it off and paid Gay Nail Guy 3.0 for the two pads I purchased.
I walked away in disgust. Neshaminy Mall finally engineered a Gay Nail Guy powerful and influential enough to take my money. If this was Gay Nail Guy 3.0, what would Gay Nail Guy 4.0 be like? Would he convince me to participate in an all-male orgy with him? God, I hope not. Why couldn't the Mayans just be right?
4. Barnes & Noble Fisticuffs
Believe it or not, I was not the biggest a**hole at the mall that day. There was a fight at Barnes & Noble, so I'd say the people involved deserve that distinction.
I was walking around Barnes & Noble aimlessly, searching for something to buy my mom when I suddenly heard a child wailing and people shouting. It was coming from the front of the store, so everyone in there ventured toward the area to see what was going on. There was a large crowd there, and I heard whispers of a fight or a punch being thrown.
A fight at Barnes & Noble? What were these people fighting about, who would get the last hardback copy of a Storm of Swords? Why would anyone fight in a Barnes & Noble? It's such a calm place to be.
I had to find out what went down for Jerks of the Week purposes. This unkempt woman in her 40s seemed to have a good view of it, so I asked her what happened.
Me: Did you see what happened? Some people were saying there was a fight.
Woman: Yeah, it was terrible. Absolutely terrible. They can't let him get away with this.
Me: What? What happened?
Woman: A man - a grown man - just punched a small child.
Sure enough, there was little boy of about eight sitting on the ground in tears. I looked around for the culprit, but couldn't locate him.
Me: Where'd the grown man go?
Woman: I saw him run to the back of the store. What a coward.
Me: Do you have any idea why he punched a little kid?
Woman: No idea, but I saw it as it was happening. He punched the kid right in the face and ran away. It was unbelievable. I hope they catch that son of a b***h.
Seriously, who punches a little kid? And why? Was he nabbing some coloring book that the grown man wanted to buy for his child (or himself)? There's no excuse for punching a little kid. That's like way worse than not helping an old woman who just fell down even though there were other people already helping her!
Other people seemed to realize what just transpired because this man with graying spiky hair and a goatee suddenly shouted, "I'm gonna f***ing get this creep and make him apologize!" He stormed toward the back of Barnes & Noble, and sure enough, he was dragging this bespectacled Asian guy in his 20s a few minutes later. Behind them was a short Asian mother who was crying and pleading.
Asian Mother: Let me boy go! Let him go!
Angry Man: HE'S GOING TO THE F***ING POLICE. HE'S A F***ING CREEP!
Asian Mother: Please! Please don't do this! It's not his fault!
Angry Man: HE'S A F***ING GROWN MAN AND HE PUNCHED A LITTLE KID! HE'S GOING TO F***ING APOLOGIZE AND THEN PAY THE PRICE!
Asian Mother: He's autistic! It's not his fault!
Angry Man: SHUT UP, I DON'T GIVE A F*** WHAT HE IS. HE'S GOING TO F***ING JAIL FOR PUNCHING A LITTLE KID!
Asian Mother: Do you know what autism means? Do you know what autism means!?!?!?
Angry Man: I DON'T GIVE A S*** IF HE DOES ARTS AND F***ING CRAFTS, THIS F***ING CREEP IS GOING TO APOLOGIZE AND THEN HE'S GOING TO F***ING JAIL.
Good God. I didn't know who was worse at the moment. Was it:
A. The autistic guy for punching an 8-year-old?
B. The mother for letting her autistic son wander around the store on his own?
C. The hothead for going ballistic and not knowing what autism meant?
I actually vote C. How does someone confuse the word "autistic" with the word "artistic?" What an idiot. Did he really think that his mother was using his proficiency in arts and crafts as an excuse for him hitting a little kid? If so, he must think Leonardo da Vinci and other famous artists were serial child abusers.
Everyone calmed down after that. I'm not sure if the autistic guy apologized to the little kid, but the mall cops arrived on the scene and took statements. The onlookers went back to searching for books. However, I was not finished finding jerks at Barnes & Noble.
5. Wrapping People
I don't know how to wrap gifts. Larry David did an episode about this on Curb Your Enthusiasm, but he actually tried to figure it out in that scenario. I usually don't. I generally give gifts to people in plastic bags.
What? That's bad? Why? I never understood the fascination with wrapping paper. It seems cumbersome and inefficient. A plastic bag is much simpler. All you have to do is put the gift in the plastic bag. With wrapping paper, you actually have to find it, somehow encase the gift within the wrapping paper and then glue or Scotch Tape it all together. As someone who doesn't know how to boil water, I find that to be an extremely difficult process.
Of course, if I can have my gifts wrapped for me, I don't have an issue with it. Fortunately, there was a gift-wrapping station at the front of Barnes & Noble. I approached the two elderly ladies sitting at the table cautiously because they refused to wrap anything that wasn't purchased at Barnes & Noble in my previous encounter with them. I bought some stuff at FYE, so I needed to know if they were going to screw me again.
Me: Hey, do you guys wrap everything?
Me: Like, even if I didn't buy it at this store?
Me: Oh, awesome! How much is it?
Lady: Free, but we'd love it if you donated to our charity.
According to all of the fliers hanging around, these women were from some organization that helped find homes for animals. They even had this cute kitten in a cage that was available for $120.
I normally would have tipped gift-wrappers $5 or $10, but I liked the cause, so I put $20 in the jar. I wanted them to see me doing this because I had hoped for some elderly people to like me after I refused to help that old woman. Unfortunately, they were too busy wrapping my stuff to notice. Whatever, right? It's all about doing something selfless during the holiday season so that you get positive karma and then good things happen to you. That's the true spirit of Christmas.
As the ladies were finishing up, I noticed that they had t-shirts on display.
Me: Hey, how much are the t-shirts?
Lady: Those would be $10, and all of the money goes toward saving pets.
Me: Oh great, can I have one then?
Lady: Yes, that'll be $10.
Me: Oh, OK, but I already put $20 in the jar.
Lady: I didn't see you put $20 in there.
Me: No, that $20 bill right there at the top. That's mine.
Lady: Oh, well thank you, but that will still be $10.
Lady: That $20 was a charitable donation, so that can't possibly count toward the t-shirt.
Me: Why not? It's all going toward the same thing, right?
Lady: Yes, but you made that donation before you wanted to purchase a t-shirt, so it'll be $10 for the shirt.
I couldn't believe this. The old ladies at a save-the-pet non-profit were swindling me. Why not just let me have a t-shirt? I gave them more money than what their t-shirt was worth.
I told them to forget it. Fortunately, they had already finished wrapping my gifts, so they couldn't stop doing that on the count of my apparent rudeness. I took my presents and stormed out of Barnes & Noble.
I considered getting revenge on the ladies by going back and stealing the kitten, but there were mall cops everywhere because the autistic dude punched the little kid. Ugh, if he had just stuck to his arts and crafts, I could have obtained my sweet revenge.