Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Garage - Track

Jun. 30, 2004 - 8:18 a.m.

She's Gettin' What She Got....


Man oh man, I must've gotten 50 or so notes regarding the "Great Leather Dilemma of Aught-Four", and almost as many private e-mails!

I have just one thing to say:


Jesus H. Bankrupting Christ!

Go check my notes; every other entry mentioned "COACH", almost casually, as it were a mere pretty trinket that NewWifey(tm) might appreciate.

Well after reading all of them myself I thought 'Gee, this must really be a hot ticket in the World o' Women. I guess I'll check 'em out at the mall.'

So after work yesterday I shot down Rt.46 to the Willowbrook Mall, where through ferocious dint of self-denial I bypassed the Toys-R-Us outlet and proceeded directly to Macy's. They have a fine selection of Coach stuff.


Four HUNDRED dollars?

For a wallet and compact??!

After consulting with my Visa card, which immediately began to melt when pointed at the display, I decided to move on. Nothing to see here, folks. If she wants a handbag that costs more than her wedding ring (granted, a Twix Bar costs more than her wedding ring, but you get the idea) then she can save up for it with her Supervisory paycheck herself.

I noticed that the women (ok, there were one or two men, but predictably enough it was broads who were most excited to give solicited advice) who offered suggestions were basically divided up into three camps:

1. The handbag contingent.

2. The jewelry goldiggers.

3. The clothes horses.

Speaking of horses, hissandtell seemed to think I wanted to forsake the Mighty WRX and start riding NewWifey(tm) to work, as her imagination was only good for saddles and other tack gear. Those outback babes must have broad backs, I'm guessing.

A certain number proffered very entertaining novelty ideas, from actual calves to a leather-wrapped flask (because obviously NewWifey(tm) has taken up drinking since being married to me). Those gave me much mirth, but no actual help.

However I am very, very disappointed that none of you suggested a Hannibal Lechter mask.

Or did I slip and mention in a previous entry that we already have tw...one. Oh well.

Anyway, I finally DID make a decision after wandering around the mall for an hour. It was tough though. I looked at the window displays of every store that seemed to promise dead cow couture inside - and there were dozens of them. Talk about treading unfamiliar waters! I mean, up until now when I've wanted to buy a classy gift for NewWifey(tm), I just needed to go to Goodwill. Hey, if it was good enough for someone else to buy once, who am I to question their judgement? They probably know better than me. Anyway, seeing sparkling, blemish-free goods arranged in something other than a cardboard box with "2 For A Dollar" scrawled on the front kinda made my eyes glaze over after a while. So bright!!

I had all these great ideas - mostly purloined from you guys - swirling around in my head when I first walked into that mall. But the glittering prizes, the lights, the Kenny G renditions of 70's rock standards thundering from the loudspeakers, the heady scent of Victoria's Secret posters everywhere...well, they all combined to almost immediately put me in a state of stupefaction. I just herky-jerked stiff leggged to the first store, stared uncomprehendingly with open, leaking jaw at their arrangement of wares, then stumbled on down the line to the next one. What was I looking at? What was I supposed to be doing?

I had no idea.

Thankfully a gay guy, whose window I was smearing with fingers as I balanced myself from vertigo, came out and gently led me inside by the elbow.

Gay guys are terrific for this. They're used to shopping for fashionable shit from birth, so now all that glitz doesn't instantly shut their central nervous systems down as if they'd been pithed. They also instinctively know the look that real men get when they're in over their heads while shopping for women. And unless they're the real catty fags, they're usually willing to help us Lost Souls out.

As it happened, this particular gay guy was the daytime manager of what turned out to be a very nice, only mildly intimidating Store That Sells Leather Stuff (can't mention the name yet, will get to that later). I grunted out a series of monosyllables indicating my need, and he took over from there. Personally I think the guy has secret dreams of joining Queer Eye when the next member drops from AIDS, because he went to great lengths to explain everything he showed me. It was waaaay above and beyond the call of normal surly New Jersey salesmanship. Of course, it might just be because of my cute ass. But I'm hoping not...I guess.....

I ended up purchasing the very first thing he showed me, because frankly my brain shut down immediately after that. I don't know if it finally went into overload or was just protecting me from his lisp, but I was in near complete sensory deprivation. I could see lips moving, but no sound. I didn't feel him steering me to yet another tanned hide goodie, and after a few minutes even my vision started to cloud over with a red miasma. I needed to get out, back to the world of motorcycles and baseball caps, before my wrists lost all their muscle tone in that place!

I thanked the gay guy profusely though, because frankly if it weren't for him, I'd still be there. Wandering the asisles like the Buying Dutchman, cursed never to decide on a gift until Judgement Day, and then...too late!

And what did I end up buying?

I can't tell you.

I know, I know. You guys have all been absolutely terrific. Really, I mean that. Just unbelievable. I was completely blown away by the number, and sincerity, of responses I got to my pathetic plea for guidance. People I'd never heard from before chimed up, many of whom aren't even Diaryland members yet somehow found my stupid diary and went to the trouble of sending a private e-mail. I really, truly was staggered - and touched - by the generosity of strangers. I used to be amazed when I'd hear people tell me that there were people they considered "friends" based soley on anonymous internet interactions, but now I count myself in their camp. I've grown very attached to many folks I've never met - and probably WILL never meet - and genuinely consider them friends. And this little outpouring does nothing but strengthen my appreciation of you all.


I still can't tell you what I got.

See, NewWifey(tm) left me a tear-stained note this morning that she has to work late every day for the rest of the week. She goes in at 7am, and won't leave earlier than 8pm.

I go to bed by 6, latest.

Turns out it is something called "Month End", which I used to think was some kind of feminine ailment, but turns out to be instead some accounting thing. At the end of every month all the financial stuff has to be resolved, and accountants the world over call their spouses and tell them to eat the hotdog defrosting in the sink for dinner.

NewWifey(tm) is no exception. And since this is the first Month End she is lording over as New Supervisor, the heat is really on.

She asked if we could postpone the celebration until Sunday (I work all day Saturday).

Dammit - this is what happens when we break that glass ceiling. Women get promoted to positions that keep them at work when they should be home servicing their menfolk! It's the MAN'S job to call the wife and tell her HE won't be home for dinner. Did we learn nothing from syrupy 50's re-runs?


Anyway, what this means is I can't spoil the suprise by writing down either what I got, or from where. Believe it or not, one of the bright spots of NewWifey(tm)'s day is coming home and checking to see if I've written a new entry. Yes that's how pathetic and stressful her life has become, that she has to stoop to her husband's nonsensical blatherings for amusement.

If she reads what I've gotten her here, I know she's gonna rush right out and exchange whatever she got ME for something cheaper.

And I don't want that to happen. You'll just have to wait.

But I'll give you a hint:

It holds booze!




In other news:

A couple of weeks ago I bought a new (and my first) digital camera - an Olympus D540 Zoom. I'm loving it. For a while I was really into SLR photography, and still have a pretty nice Olympus OM-3 setup; with various lenses, filters, that sort of crap. But I've gotta tell you, this little silver box with its tiny lens and even more miniscule microchip brain takes amazing pictures.

For 200 dollars!

200 dollars was what I used to spend on a fairly small lens for my SLR. And I'm not sure it did a better job. Granted, the OM-3 is more versatile. But jeez, there's a lot to be said for instant viewing, printing and erasing (no need for bracketting anymore, if you know about these things). And it shoots movies!! It sucks not having a variety of lenses, truthfully, but for just totin' around and taking crystal clear shots, the 10X zoom does an admirable job. I'm almost embarrassed to say I actually prefer it for many applications.

Of course, after the batteries went belly-up only 4 hours after unwrapping it, I wasn't quite as thrilled. I'm not used to that kind of power drain! So I hopped online and ordered a set of Ni-MH babies and a charger (also Olympus - I'm brand loyal) from Amazon.

Now normally when I order from Amazon the Fed-Ex guy is banging on my screen door before I can even shut down Netscape. But this time, an entire week went by and no delivery. Then two weeks. Then three weeks.

Two days ago I got a postcard from the Fed-Ex home office.

"Dear customer. We are unable to locate the street you live on. Please call this number and speak to a customer service prepresentative who will assist you in helping us locate you."



How could he not remember where I live?!

I suspect the guy was just trying to avoid the fate I promised him if he ever brought his Corgi Killer van within 3 blocks of my house, and told his superiors that the map they gave him showed no such street.

But actually, jokes aside, the Fed-Ex truck has been seen a NUMBER of times on my street in the last month. Once the guy even stopped when he saw Casey limping along in his cast and inquired how he was healing.

So this one stumped me. I called the number on the card to speak with a Customer Service Representative.

...who was sitting behind a console somewhere in Uzbekistan.

Guys, I have had less frustrating conversations with Down's Syndrome children.

As much as I may disagree with the practice, I understand the rationale behind shipping jobs overseas in order to maximize profits. However, I think it would behoove any company to train their 7-cent per hour former rice farmers to be at least nominally acquainted with the language they'll be using on the job. If they want to to maintain a client base, anyway.

Listen, I'm a professional radio announcer. Not to blow my own horn, but I speak clearly even when off the air. I don't slur words, stammer, use poor diction, elocution or enunciation, or generally sound unintelligable. It's just one of my quirks, and even a source of annoyance to people sitting within five rows of me in theatres. I am rarely misunderstood. And this time I made EXTRA sure to speak clearly, usuing the smallest words possible that yet would convey my desired meaning to this girl.

And she still had no clue what I was saying!

After taking my order number, the conversation went something like this:

"...the card says that you can't fi-"

"I'm sorry, could you please...'says'?...did you say 'says'?"

"Yes. On the card is written that the driv-"


This went on for a good 15 minutes until it finally dawned on her that the driver couldn't find my house. The card said so. After that came the grueling wrestling match where I tried to give her DIRECTIONS to my house. It did not go well.

After a fruitless 20 minutes more, trying to spell out street names and give approximate mileage, ("...'Five'?"), I just asked her for the address of their warehouse and told her I'd pick it up myself. Turns out it's 10 minutes from my work. Nobody at the pickup desk was interested in my story - they probably hear it 15 times a day - but at least I got my package.

And it's broken.

I'm guessing the guy who hit my dog decided he hadn't made my life *quite* miserable enough by pouring 600 dollars (so far) worth of vet bills on my head, so he busted my battery charger for good measure. Now I can't take pictures of myself beating his ass next time I see him, either.

I think I'll specify UPS for my next order......




Finally, a bit of radio humor:

Know what a "spoonerism" is? It's when you accidentally transpose the beginning letter (or sound) of two adjacent words. (Named after a certain Reverend Spooner, who's sermons were famous for this.) Most of us have done it - like if you meant to say (to use the dictionary.com example) "Let me show you to your seat", but you accidentally say "Let me sew you to your sheet". That's a spoonerism.

Well this morning while waiting for the news guy on WRNJ to finish his newscast and throw it to me, he stumbled on the last line of his story and came out with the spoonerism,

"And finally, the Warren County Board of Frozen Cheeseholders....uh...."

We BOTH starting laughing right there. Fortunately this is a low-key community station where we do funny schtick anyway, so I busted his balls about it on-air. It would have been better if it had been on my monster station, 1010WINS, although there I would have had to pointedly ignore the mistake. Or end up a frozen cheeseholder myself.


Have a great day kids. And thanks again for all the terrific notes, e-mails, and well wishes. You guys really are super. And my friends.

Tom :)

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