Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fear and Loathing At The Mall

"I'm beginning", said Mr. Scoop. "To get The Fear."

This was followed by promises to stop drinking before having to leave the
country. Normally, I might have punched him in the arm and told him to
stop hacking Dr. Gonzo, but I understood under the circumstances.

We were, in fact, at the mall.

Now you have to realize, that left to our own devices, Mr. Scoop and I
emerge from the house only under certain conditions: to go to the jobs
that pay our booze habit, to buy some small amount of food (because
although delivery rocks, I do like to cook), and to buy booze and
comics. Not necessarily in that order.

Why were we at the mall? Because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Mr. Scoop needed a new cell phone and Levis. I needed a new bra. We thought it would be best to try and purchase these things before the official start of the holiday shopping madness that would descend next weekend.

However, as we arrived at the mall we did everyone else.

The mall had decided to expand. Although it was anchored by perfectly solid institutions like Sears, Lord and Taylor's and Macy's, the suits had decided that it needed a Nordstroms. How many money sucking retail giants can you seat upon one patch of land before it turns into a the commercial equivalent of a black hole? Answer: Who knows? Great minds are still stuck on the "angels on the head of a pin" question. They'll get to the "Great Mall Debate" sometime after the year 3000, when we've all given up on leaving our homes because of UV radiation poisoning and only shop from home via the Internet anyway.

Meanwhile, the construction had caused whole sections of parking to be closed off. We parked Mr. Scoop's MR2 in a section of near no-man's land so far away as to be in the next town. We braved 3 interstates on foot to get to the nearest door of entry. Or at least it felt that way. I'd like to apologize for keying the driver's side of the black Toyota Avalon that was parked about 100 yards from the door to Macy's. I'd like to, but I won't. She nearly ran us and 3 other pedestrians over in her bid to park illegally in the handicap space. I hope she enjoys the smiley face and the C-bomb I carved into her door. It was the least I could give her for her trouble.

It might buff out. Maybe.

Mr. Scoop had spent most of the voyage from the parking lot in Nether-hell to Macy's chain smoking and surveying the terrain nervously. "Can I buy a gun here?", he asked me. "No dear", I replied.

"Damn it."

Inside, the situation was no more reassuring. We fought our way past hoardes of perfume saleswomen only to get to the mall proper. A kiosk saleswoman latched herself onto Mr. Scoop and looked desperately up into his face. She grasped his hand and exclaimed, "Your nails are horrible! Please. Let me buff them! I have a nail care system I can sell you that uses rare Dead Sea minerals!" Mr. Scoop stared her squarely in the face. "Are you God?" he asked. "N-n-no", she stammered. "Then how dare you judge me!", he raged. "Begone, vile retail tempress!"

A lot of our trip was like that.

When we got to the center of the mall, we reached the Heart of Darkness. Photos with Santa. It's not even Thanksgiving yet.

Mr. Scoop vaulted the velvet ropes before I could do anything to stop him.

I couldn't really see what was happening clearly. I smelled cheap bourbon. I would find out later that when Mr. Scoop landed in Santa's lap, Santa vomitted Christmas. By Christmas I mean, Ten High Whiskey. I heard demands involving artillary, a pony, and a Transformer. Then Santa screamed.

I followed helplessly after the brouhaha as mall security brought a flailing, cursing Mr. Scoop out of the darkness and into the blinking daylight of the parking lot. He was trying to finish pulling up his pants.

"I left Santa a little present".

We went home.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Building Equity

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis, along with those of you who got the "newsletter" Mr. Scoop composed on his last whiskey bender (or as we like to call it "Friday"), are now aware that we are deep in the throes of home purchase frenzy. It involves a lot of people in suits. Mostly lawyers. And, frankly, Mr. Scoop and I aren't sure what to do when we're on the business end of a lawyer and haven't heard the magic opening volley of "You have the right to remain silent...". It puts us right out of our depth.

While we get our shit collectively together, I take you down this little gem from memory lane, circa March 22, 2006 - the date of our last attempt to purchase property.


I recently tried to convince Mr. Scoop that leaving a nice, juicy grunt in the sink of a basement half bathroom, during a condo open house, is not actually the same as giving the realtor a down payment on the property.

He tried to argue with me, but then the cops came and we had to leave anyway.

Yeah, so? Eventually me and Mr. Scoop want to be the "in possession of 'Home Equity' types". I'm not entirely sure how we're going to finance the liver transplants otherwise.

Looking at "grown-up property" with Mr. Scoop is much like you might expect.

While I've finally convinced him that, Depends equipped or otherwise, a beer hat will not impress the realtor, this upsets Mr. Scoop. The first thing he likes to do when we visit a property is check the deck or balcony for "pee-worthiness". So, as a compromise, I've bought him a shiny new hip flask for these occasions.

The definition of "pee-worthy" is the ability of Mr. Scoop to hit a frat boy's BMW with a stream of urine from 20 paces. Fortunately, our area is college heavy and Mr. Scoop's prostate is mighty.

The first realtor didn't really care when Mr. Scoop fired off a urine volley on the brand spanky new BMW 325 from Rhode Island. The unit she was showing, although kegerator equipped, barely cleared 1000sq. ft. in space. It was no place for the majesty of Mr. Scoop's mighty DLP tv. Hell, it wouldn't have reasonably fit my 32" normal tv. Let the peeing commence!

The second realtor cared. Mostly because there was a rooftop deck involved. And the BMW was his. Whoops.

After Mr. Scoop was coaxed off the roof, we took a tour of the rest of the property.

I'd like to think he was dazzled by the property's spiral staircases, but I lost Mr. Scoop for a good 10 minutes.

It was long enough for him to do horrible, Geneva Convention defying, things to the basement half bath.

When I found him, he was trying to explain to me that he was being contacted, through the toilet, telepathically. I told him to flush if he needed air conditioning, but to save the "act" for the paying rubes. He said, "But, we're supposed to be here. God told me to leave a down payment." He looked at the toilet and shrugged.

That's when the cops came.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Am A (Virtual) Dog Person

adopt your own virtual pet!

Until I can have a yard, and therefore, a dog - I can content myself with my virtual Mysterypuppy! Isn't he cute? You must tell me he's cute, or I will Find You.

Mysterypuppy is waiting to go on a big soon as he can figure out how to get past the electronic fence...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

We're gonna get a big ol' condo...!

Mr. Scoop is a little punchy today.

I've dragged him, on foot, to condominium open houses all day. He had gotten very angry when his next door neighbor announced that she'd counted no fewer than 14 separate mice in her apartment in the last week. He got all Caddyshack at the idea and started buying traps and bombs to eliminate any unwanted rodents from the premises.

I, personally, wondered what kind of free time she had that she could number all these mice like stars. Her announcement had prompted Mr. Scoop to hit Home Depot and stuff every conceivable open hole and crack in his apartment with expandable, solidifying foam. Gi-normo caulk. I encouraged him to use the caulk on his neighbor's door so she couldn't actively leave her apartment and spread more upsetting statements about rodents and the like. He didn't foam her in like I suggested. I guess there's some kind of law or something about that. Clearly, I'm going to need to buy him more Jack Daniels.

We've spent today on foot looking at the most recent souless embodiments of hardwood floor and granite counter top in it's latest uber-iteration, with accompany-ing cathedral ceilings and recessed lighting in building unit after building unit. Some of the places were more interesting/remarkable than others - there was a place that had a weird oubliette room (very low ceiling) with an attached closet that seemed good for a "time-out" space...there was a bench..., for example - but we weren't interested in having the children necessary to fully take advantage of the oubliette. And the condo was across from an active, noisy, granite quarry.

Ultimately, we've decided on a place. It's a two bedroom condo with a lovely 2 car side by side parking garage that appears to have been abandoned by a couple who have given birth to too many children. It also looks like Pottery Barn has actively vomitted the contents of it wares upon this condo. The last owner was clearly a fan.

I mentioned this to the seller's agent last week. He works in a big office with other people. It appears he thought my comment was funny and mentioned it to his co-workers. They, oblivious to the source, regurgitated the joke to me at another open house. Ironically, they were trying to pump Mr. Scoop (who'd mentioned he'd been a stand-up comedian)for jokes at the time. "Say something funny!", they kept pushing Mr. Scoop. "Here's something funny, " I said, "You hacked my damn sad joke. Now you can pay us closing costs in full at the time we decide to purchase one of your properties. I think a stolen joke is worth closing costs."

I thought I might mention that my credit scores were actually better than my SAT scores, but I was worried that they might steal that small joke too.

It's true, though. My credit scores outstrip my SAT scores by over 200 points.

I just don't test well. Except in bizarre , economically motivated areas of life.

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