Monday, June 2, 2008
Memorial Day Weekend Update Part 3: Shopping It
After a night of drinking and sandwich tossing, we're up bright and early at 9:00.
We get in the car and aim it for Full Moon, where we are seated immediately. Two waitresses run around, splitting the tables in the small cafe between them. There are several stained glass pieces hanging in the windows, and when I get up to admire them, I see that all are from a local stained glass gallery. And all of them are for sale.
"$395?" I mutter to myself. "That's way overpriced."
Since we've arrived early, there is a considerable lack of tourists to contend with. Except for Grandpa Questions.
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Grandpa Questions, and his wife, Silent Jane sit at a table across the room. Grandpa is very old and very stupid, in that he has a lot of questions for the waitress. Silent Jane, as you might imagine, says nothing. Each menu item must be explained in depth to Grandpa and I wonder how long before the waitress snatches the menu out of his hand and says, "No food for you!" Because that's what I would do. (Okay, maybe not) It takes an eternity for the waitress to not only take the order, but check, double check, verify and confirm it.
We order breakfast and drool when the plates arrive, devouring our Eggs Benedicts.
Midway through our meal, Grandpa Questions and Silent Jane are served their orders. Almost immediately, GQ (ironic, I know) signals the waitress.
"What am I going to do with all this toast?" he wants to know. In the chaos that ensued while taking their order, the waitress mistakenly ordered double the amount of rye toast for GQ and SJ. I try not to laugh out loud as GQ lifts the massive stack of rye toast off his plate and puts it on the table. His body language says, "Stupid kid," while the waitress' body language says, "Fussy old prick."
A few minutes later, the abused waitress is summoned back. There is another issue to contend with, but this time, her response is a rightfully snippy, "Ooh, you're testing me today."
I want to get up and applaud. Actually, I want to tip that waitress, instead of the asshole we ended up with, who served a couple of angry-looking lesbians before us, even though we arrived first.
Fully sated, we head out for the flea market, hoping to score an outdoor table and chair set for our deck. After about an hour, we give up, the only entertainment being a dorky kid who tries unsuccessfully to haggle over an antique coin and becomes indignant over it. "That's not even worth three dollars!" I would have hated him less had he not sneezed right in the middle of the room without covering his fucking mouth. I guess that's what table after table of dusty garbage will do.
As we walk to the car in the dirt n' gravel parking lot, I am scared shitless by a large front-wheel-drive Buick sedan which unintentionally peels out while trying to merge into traffic, sending gravel and dirt flying everywhere.
"What an ass," I say to Larry. "Hey, you should do that!" I recommend, closing the car door. He laughs and we head for the exit.
I am reminded that Larry's Sable is also front-wheel-drive as he mashes the accelerator to the floor, creating a massive cloud of smoke and flying gravel, then speeding though a muddy puddle. We laugh hysterically for over a mile.
We head for the outlet malls, parking under the only shady tree in the parking lot. Larry is taking a cigarette break before we go into the stores and after a while, we wonder if we're taking too long.
"I feel like we're on a stakeout," I say to him.
"This does look suspicious," he says, tossing his cigarette out the window.
In the mall, we find that they've learned from last year's "no bargains for anyone" event and put pretty much everything on sale. We make out like bandits, scooping up massive discounts. A $40 shirt becomes $11, a $20 tie is now $5.
At Van Heusen, I am grab several pairs of pants and head for the fitting room. I step into the only empty room and close the door behind me. Since the door doesn't lock (or even close properly), I have to be quick. I ignore the small pile of women's clothes on the seat, crumpled up in a messy heap. I'm in the middle of putting the pants back on the hangar when someone pushes on the door. I push back, slamming it shut. A soft voice whispers from the other side.
"Oh, I left my clothes in there." Fuck. Whatever idiot left those clothes on the bench has come back for them.
If this were a regular fitting booth, I might just throw the clothes over the top of the door, but this door is floor to ceiling, so I make the little troll wait while I get dressed. I take my time. Then I open the door, clothes in hand, and shove them at her.
One store is having a Going Out of Business Sale, so we head over to see if it's just a front. We pick up two oak bar stools for $50 each. As we load them into the back of the wagon, Larry sees that the original price was $500 - each.
"Maybe this recession is good for something after all," I say to Larry. We might not have steak, but we have stools.
It's time for a late lunch. We head for Havana, which was impossibly crowded last year, but is easily accessible this time. The server tells us that it's a ten minute wait for outside, but if we want to sit inside, she can seat us immediately.
Inside, we have the entire room to ourselves, plus we have a view to the outside, where intimidating biker dudes in leather jackets and boots mingle with trashy families here for the day, dressed in flip flops and tank tops.
It's the best of both worlds: we can literally talk shit about people three feet away from us without them knowing, and eat without the worry of random birds shitting in our food.
From my seat, I can see a massive Lincoln Navigator pull up behind our car in the lot. "Larry, we might have trouble getting out."
"No we won't. We'll just ram them."
We head back to the hotel, where Larry decides he'll take a nap. I pick up the remote and press "Games" only to find that they are pay-per-play. Bastards. I kick myself for not bringing a book with me.
After Larry wakes up, he decides he'd like something "light" to eat before we go out for drinks. We go to Eagle Diner and, while he orders grilled cheese with tomato, decide I'll have a big fat turkey club. Since he hates his fries, I eat all of his, in addition to mine.
Our friends from Colorado are considering a move to this area, so we pick up some literature on the way out: a real estate guide, a community newspaper, and, for fun, a summer camp guide and pottery class flyer.
To be continued...