|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Nov. 24, 2003 - 5:35 a.m.
Sorry I didn't update this weekend, but I was busy in jail.
This wasn't the first time I'd been a guest of the State. I was actually imprisoned once in England after getting drunk and stealing a horse. Overall it was a pleasant enough experience then - they even served a Continental breakfast with the best tea I'd ever had in my life. But I'll save that for another day. This time was a little different.
You see, I love Christmas. Yep me, the Athiest. After all, you won't find a more secular holiday than Christmas. It's all about the Joy of Getting. Blingle bells, baby. I wallow in it. I can't get enough of the lights, the carols, the insincere wishes for Peace on Earth, even fruitcake for god sake. 102.7 WNEW, aka "Blink-FM", decided to go all Christmas 'round the clock starting November 18th. All 6 of my car's pre-sets punch it up, and I sing along with the Chipmunks, Mel, Nat and Elvis til I'm red-and-green striped in the face. I was overjoyed when the Macy's by me put up tinsel and jerking Elf dolls a week before Halloween.
I also collect store circulars and pour over them every day. In years past it was to determine which items I wanted to recieve, so I could drop hints among family and friends. I never actually gave anything in return, mostly because I work in radio and places like Sears don't take food stamps. But now that I'm married I've discovered an interesting correlation between gifts and sex. Namely, if I want the latter, I have to give the former. Since I still DO want sex, I'd better come across with the goods at least once a year. (I figure this will start to abate somewhere around our 5th anniversary, if various friends' tales are to be believed.)
That's why Friday after work found me dodging the cologne sprayers at JC Penny. I wanted to beat the crowds and find something appropriate ("cheap but impressive looking") for NewWifey(tm).
I have a buddy - Frank - who was smart enough to jump the Good Ship Radio a year ago in search of more monied pastures. He now sells luggage at Penny's, spouting off words like "denier" and "collapsable". I generally try to avoid him, because he's short, and sells luggage, but last week it hit me that he probably also gets an employee discount on all purchases he makes at that fine establishment. So I decided to pay a visit and see if I could strong arm him.
Frank was genuinely happy to see me. He was always somewhat of a social outcast even before he decided to sell luggage, so any human contact that doesn't involve a discussion of hard vs. soft sided carry-on bags is greeted by him like a puppy quivering under its master's hand. This was gonna be too easy. A casual inquiry after his health, a blatant lie about how much he's missed back at Faceless Radio Corp., and next thing I know he's turned over all the discount slips he was gonna use on what few friends he has. Bingo, I'm in!
Unfortunately, I had to endure a certain ammount of mindless prattle in return. I was hoping Frank would just say "Gosh, thanks for coming in and expressing genuine concern for my well being, Tom! Here, take these employee discount slips good for 40 % off anything in the store and have a Merry Christmas. Have a nice day!" But alas, by saying "How the hell are ya?" as my opening salutation, it opened some sort of emotional floodgate in him instead. He had a break coming and insisted I join him at the wobbly formica table in the employee "lounge" for watery coffee and gummy fish. Since he still clutched the discount slips I had no other option.
The conversation was stultifying, revolving mainly around Samsonite's decision to switch from needle bearings to ring bearings in their luggage handles, and his cats. Marriage has trained me well however: I nodded when my sub-conscious registered a change in his tone indicating it was appropriate, meanwhile re-playing last week's Victoria's Secret show in my mind. I had just gotten to the part where they were interviewing for the new angel when one of his sentences wormed its way along the unlit corridors of my cerebrum into my forebrain. I heard:
"...so I had to place all the overstock on the catwalk that used to be the old surveilance system...."
Wait, wait. Back up, Frankie. Catwalk? Surveilance?
Frank explained that when the mall was built they didn't have fancy overhead camera technology, so they built a lattice catwalk around the perimeter of the store, behind the walls. At strategic points the wall was replaced with two-way mirrors. Security drones would circle the store overhead, peering though binoculars for suspicious activity below. And although the guards had long since been replaced by joystick controlled lenses, the original superstructure was still in place.
I cajoled Frank into giving me a tour.
Sure enough, in a stairwell next to the janitor's closet, a tiny spiral led to a clanking metal walkway about 40 feet up. The only light was provided by whatever filtered through the grimey two way mirrors, spaced about 20 feet apart. Each one had a small stepstool...
...and a pair of binoculars tethered to the wall!
Well, how could I resist? I crab-walked over to the first station and plopped down on the stool, raising a cloud of dust that obliterated Frank's bronze nametag. The binoculars, while dirty, worked well enough. I could see depressed looking fat women going through the Clearance Rack, searching for something in a size 22 that didn't look like the flag of some emerging third world nation. Over in Housewares a motherless tot was studiously opening every box in the display of Chicago Cutlery he was able to reach. And waaay off in the distance I spotted the Junior Miss department, with a stream of size 4's prancing to and from the dressing room weighted down by armloads of dainty unmentionables. I grabbed Frank's arm and we scurried halfway around the store to a better vantage point.
There was a security station almost directly overhead that gave an unobstructed view of every low-rise pair of jeans in the place. We saw dozens of young ladies leafing through rack after rack of Christmas novelty panties so their lucky guy would have a fun toy to unwrap after the family left. I had such a great view down onto cleavage I could tell when the bra was a front snap. I vowed to come visit Frank more often.
Unfortunately you could not see into the open top of the dressing room. What was that all about? I asked Frank if another station would allow access.
No, he said. Because of legal concerns, the view to the Inner Sanctum was intentionally blocked. The field of vision stopped just short of Paradise.
Damn those miserable shysters! Just because they're sexless, feckless automatons, do they assume the rest of us are? I wanna see boobies, dammit - and not the droopy fibrous ones over in "Plus" (yes, you could see into their dressing rooms. Those lawyers may be cruel, but they ain't stupid. They knew where the real danger lurked).
After a few minutes of contorting myself every which way, holding the binoculars sideways, one foot braced up against the back wall to steady myself, I could *just* make out one corner of the closest booth. And lo and behold, a particularly nubile, generously endowed teen had chosen that very moment to try on a slew of bra and panty sets. Nonetheless, strain and twist as I might, all I could see was the tan line of one wrinkle-free shoulder. AAARRGHH!
My eyeballs began to sweat from frustration and the force I was using to jam those binoculars in. I leaned forward as far as I could, butted up against the corner that allowed the clearest picture. Suddenly, a twist of my shoulders not previously tried seemed to do the trick. I saw one perfectly erect, slightly off-center nipple come into view, then another. Then...BUSH!
Somewhere off in the distance I heard a muted crash, followed by a tinkling sound that almost seemed in time with the instrumental "Jingle Bells" pealing forth from the Chrismas displays. But if I noticed it at all, I paid no heed. A chick with a rack the size of Blitzen's was getting nekkid right before my eyes! Through a 3x zoom! I would not be turned aside.
Suddenly though, things took a turn for the disasterous. The crash startled Miss Boobie, and she looked about wildly. I figured the sound was probably her coat falling off the hook, breaking the bottle of Southern Comfort she'd smuggled in. But no. Only a moment later she fixed her gaze on me and her jaw dropped open. I wasn't worried - no matter how hard you try, you can't see through the mirror side of two-way glass. I've had enough parole hearings to know.
I swung my lenses around to see if anyone was rushing to her booth to see what had happened. But...every face I saw was turned upwards towards me! Some people were pointing, some cringing, but all with the same jaw-open expression that the 36C in the dressing room had. I lowered the binoculars and turned to ask Frank what he thought had happened.
That's funny- Frank took off. I could just see his back as he reached the stairwell on the other side of the store and disappeared down. His break must be over. I turned back to the glass.
Even without the binoculars I could tell that people were staring up at me, and there were lots more now than mere seconds ago. Some were running. The running group had blue suits and badges. The reason I could see them so clearly was that the glass I had been leaning against apparently could only hold 220 pounds of Italian for so long before breaking free of its caulk. That 'crash' was the pane hitting the carpetted floor some 40 feet below, exposing the squatting voyeur behind it. Intent on my quarry, I hadn't noticed the sudden lessening of pressure against my eyes, only the improved view.
Frank, of course, noticed immediately. Sensing (rightly) impending doom, he did one of the few ballsy things and his life and made a break for it. I decided to follow his example.
But it was too late. Remember what the Blues Brothers looked like surrounded by the entire Chicago Police Department near the end of the movie? That was me. In the Wayne, New Jersey JC Penny employee break room. Guns drawn, down on the ground, foot on the neck; they spared no excessive force in their zeal to Serve and Protect. Frank was back in the Luggage Department, asking co-workers if they knew what all the hubbub was about.
Well, they booked me at the Wayne PD, then transferred me to a cell at the County Jail in Paterson after NewWifey(tm) refused to drive down and throw my bail. When they told her what the charges were, she informed them that she'd just donated a kidney that morning and would not be available to pick me up for a month, at least. She told them to tell me "good luck".
Fortunately, I have a sister who lives not too far from there and she agreed to perform the distasteful task the next morning. She didn't show up til Sunday night, two days later. And then she made me ride in the back of her SUV for the ride home. If I spoke even one word, she promised, I'd have to get out and walk the remaining miles. I curled up next to the spare tire and replayed Tyra and Heidi in my mind again.
You could probably guess that the reception I got at home was less than enthusiastic. Well you'd be guessing wrong, Bucko. I got kissed all over, hugged mightily, and had my praises sung at ear shattering levels. Yup, that dog was sure glad to see me. Unfortunately, NewWifey(tm) was nowhere to be found. There was a pack of frozen hotdogs thawing in the sink, next to a note that said "Went to Chippendale's. In Montreal. Don't write any checks - they'll bounce. There's more hotdogs in the freezer." The note was dated Saturday.
And here I thought she was mad at me! I really have to learn to read her better. I popped open a beer, watched the Victoria's Secret special again, then cranked up the Playstation. Hey, lookit that - you can pick up hookers in "Grand Theft Auto"! I was all set for the night. The corgi fell asleep on the couch, his head in my lap. Moments later I drifed off too, controller in hand.
I know NewWifey(tm) will be back today. She's gotta get to work so she can pay her half of the bills. And won't she be suprised at the "Girls Gone Wild" tape I bought her for being so sweet! I know ladies, but I'm sorry, I'm already taken...
...possibly by a guy named "LeRoy". My case comes to trial January 7th.
Oh well, at least I get to see Miss Boobie again. I hope she wears that pink number I saw her trying on!
See you soon.....