Last weekend I decided to check out my new surroundings and since it was -5F what better time to amble over to the mall. It is a mere 1/4 mile and I of course have plenty of insulation. Opening hour is 10:00 AM but I arrive at 9:40 so it is time for a Starbucks. Not triple Chai non fat latte or whatever for me. Just a Venti black. Actually it is the only thing I know how to order. Window shopping is next.
Whoa. The Apple store is open or so it would seem. There is a large dude that doesn’t really look Silicon Valley who is the official greeter. He is engaged with a potential patron so I slide by into the cyber wonder world. As I start to play with this or that the Big Boy gets me in his sights. Interloper. You don’t have an appointment! We don’t open til 10! But the door was open. Makes no difference we need an official Apple person to escort you around. I would like to tell you he was friendly and courteous. Not the case. Better move on TTG.
As I wandered down the walkway there were a few stores open including Brookstone. For the uninitiated this emporium is chock full of totally weird and useless things to either occupy your time or give to some unsuspecting relative. My type of place. The staff could not have been friendlier. Now chock a block with Hi Test caffeine my mind searched for answers. Apple didn’t want me in. These people couldn’t wait to relieve me of my cash. What’s wrong with this picture? I dropped a little over $150 in a matter of moments. What was I thinking? Maybe they got the message I was the customer and not some shoplifter. Oh well.
It’s 10:00 now and I am out of here. Was this Black Friday? The loonies came out of the woodwork. Geez Louise. That lady got home and realized she had 15 “things” for Sally and only 13 for Mary. These people are on a mission and I am right smack dab in their way. Wait a minute this is December 7th. I feel like the USS Arizona and the Jap Zeroes are coming out of the sun. When in doubt, head for the Food Court.
This is really emblematic of our sophisticated palates. Where else in the civilized world could you have your choice of Cinnabuns, pizza or the Wok and Roll at this hour of the day? As it turns out there is a reason they are open this early. The place is packed….and not every one looks like they have just run five miles.
As I made my way home I couldn’t help but dwell on the scene of conspicuous consumption. Goods and food. There had been an ad on TV for a place called the Golden Corral. They now have a triple waterfall. You go up to this thing and stick ice cream, a cookie or your head underneath and presto chango you now have covered it in several layers of chocolate. And you can go back as many times as you want. That’s after bottomless ribs or southern fried chicken. And bring the kids. They are half price. If they served booze you would probably never leave.
When I got back to our high rise roost I opened my Denver Post. Sports page first of course. Lo and behold there is an article about Robinson Cano. It seems the Seattle Mariners are going to pay this dude $240 million over 10 years…..to play baseball. Now as always quick to decipher, I figure out that this guy is getting $65,000 a day for the next 3,650. Even more astute as I take management to task there is the fact that somehow you and I and every other loyal patron of Comcast or some other cable provider are PAYING FOR THIS. What the heck ? It is only a game.
Later on I chat with my nephew who pushes(I mean sells ) real estate on Long Island. Specializing in the Hamptons he tells of every manner of wildlife that has come to call the area home. They migrate every summer but not wanting to pack bags they are purchasing and not renting domiciles. There are plenty of wonderful scapes but none that quite meet the standards of our weary travelers. So they buy a place for $5-6 million and do what they have to. Tear it down. Then they rebuild twice the size on the same size lot and Voila you have Queens coming to the beach. I can’t make this stuff up.
Having had too much of a good thing I take my lovely bride to the movies….Last Vegas. This is a cute but reasonably funny fun flick. It tells of the Flatbush Four which is made up of old friends from the neighborhood in the 50’s. Morgan Freeman,Kevin Cline, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas are the culprits who have gone their way in life but are getting together for one last stand in Vegas. There is no more over the top place in these United States.
As I watched the gambling and boobs parade by I couldn’t help but think of my last (truly last ) trip there. Everything is engineered to remove money form your wallet and still have you smile. I had a hooker greet me as I went down for coffee at 6:00 AM and ask me if I wanted to start my day off with a smile? I just guessed at the time because there are no clocks anywhere. As the credits rose at the end of the flick I thought about my passage in the everyday life of TTG.
There is nothing accusatory about my reflection. I am strictly observational. Do what you want to do. Let he who is without sin. Not this guy. But I do wonder if we have lost it and I mean perspective. Just go to the tape of the day and tell me if yours is much different. It seems we are driven and that is good. But do we have any brakes on these cars? Do we at least slow down for turns? I am all for pushing envelopes but did it ever occur to you we just might be pushing our luck? At the next exit I think I am just going to pull over and look at the scenery. Then I will be back on the road but hopefully a little wiser. I haven’t lost it yet.
Ted The Great.
Approximately 40 million people visit Las Vegas annually. The average age is 45. There are over 21,000 conventions per year. Watch out for those Shriners with the Fezes. They are a dead giveaway. People gamble $9.4 billion a year in Clark County.
As a country we spend $6 billion a year on Christmas lights. None of them work the next year. You can now have your lights put up by somebody for around $1000-1200
The US spends $700 per person on gifts with a GDP of $50,000. The Dutch spend $200 with a GDP of $40,000. I guess that’s why they call it going dutch.
The average batting average for the major leagues is around 250. The average ERA is 3.85 Cable costs increase 5-10% per annum. It is estimated 50% of that cost is due to sports.
Food Consumption per person in United States
Poultry /Meat Cheese High Fructose Corn Syrup
1950 138lbs 7.7lbs 0
2012 200lbs 30lbs 42lbs
Obesity Rate 1950 9% 2012 35%
It is estimated 80% of today’s diseases(heart,cancer,diabetes etc) are caused by diet and environment and ergo preventable.
Loved it, Ted! Best wishes in your new home—what possessed you both with another move??? Can’t wait to hear all about it! When are you coming to FL? Hope the family ‘s thriving and you all will celebrate the special Christmas season together. Blessings and happy memories to you and Kathy. Jeannine and Peter
Ted- And watch how many people are driving with their phones or go to a restaurant with your children and realize they can’t take a breath without texting or playing some online game! Or checking football scores! Be careful it can be addicting those I phones. Merry Christmas! I still need to call Bob Klutterbuck – I am so busy I can’t breath either….