I’d Rather Hang In A Low-Concept Space [Friday Thoughts W/ TeeCoZee]

Good Moleman. A poem, by Hans Moleman. I think that I shall never see, my cataracts are blinding me. It’s Friday, November 23, Two Thousand and Eighteen. The weather in Chappaqua is 23° & Pantone 2915C and somewhere, somebody is sleeping peacefully for the first time in what seems like ages. Is it because he had a fulfilling Thanksgiving dinner? Make amends with his hateful uncle? Or a childhood tormentor? Did he make amends with his hateful uncle that tormented him as a child? Did he realize that all of the bullshit he’s been going through was worth it because now his family is safe and happy? Did he rescue his daughter from a wolf attack? Save a wolf from his daughter, who was trying to adopt it? Is he even sleeping at all? The answer is yes. He is. And he’s resting peacefully because he finally cleared enough space on his hard drive for Red Dead Redemption 2. And me? I did that weeks ago. I even found the White Arabian Horse at Lake Isabella. I also have some things on my mind.

– If there’s one thing that you know about me, it’s that I don’t work for Family Feud. This is a hard fact of life that I’ve grown to accept and I’m sure you have accepted it as well. However, if I did, I would survey 100 people on what time is the most appropriate to have dinner. Some psychopaths would say 4:00. Some would say 6:00. There’ll probably also be some punk-ass jokesters that say something ridiculous like 11:30 or 4:20 because they think that their answer is going to throw off the Beckett family and cost them $10,000. It’s very likely that the majority will say 5:00, as that’s the time that any normal God-fearing American will sit down for meat loaf. And none of you really disagree with this, 5:00 is just usually dinner time. But why is it that in my 31 years of life, I have never had Thanksgiving Dinner at 5?

I blame a lot of it on my upbringing. As a kid, we always had Thanksgiving dinner at around 1:00 in the afternoon and kept getting earlier every year. I didn’t think it was weird at all, it seemed kind of normal. But then I would be hungry again by 5 and shit out of luck. As I got older, my Dad would take me to the Lions game, so our Thanksgiving Dinner consisted of reheated leftovers at 8:00. I would either spend the first or last half of my day hungry. If only dinner was at 5:00, I wouldn’t have so many skewed memories of Thanksgiving. I would hear stories and see people on TV stuffing their faces, being totally satisfied with their meal and I feel like I never got that.

Fast forward to 2016. My family’s Thanksgiving Dinner time creeped into the breakfast hours. If I recall correctly, I called them at 11:00 and they were already sitting down to eat. But not me, I was going to have a normal Thanksgiving, once and for all. That year, I was spending it with Rachel’s family and they’re totally good people that surely must follow social norms. At 11:00, nobody was eating, but rather there was food in the process of being made. Everything seemed to be a go for a 5:00 launch. This was the moment I waited my whole life for. I, Coze, would not feel hunger pangs on Thanksgiving!

We had dinner at 8:00. The whole holiday is a sham.

– This edition of Ad Nauseous is brought to you by none other than the Metropolitan Transit Authority: If You See Something, You See Something™!

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There’s a lot to digest here, but let’s start with the copy. The line wants us to “Get Bubbly”. Okay, cool, that seems like a fair demand. However, the subjects of this ad are clearly drinking a Touriga Nacional, which is from Portugal, not Long Island. Also, IT DOESN’T HAVE ANY BUBBLES! How are you expecting me to get bubbly with flat beverages? That’s like presenting salt water and telling me to hydrate. That’s like giving me a 7Up and telling me to obey my thirst. It’s not possible! How could the main objective of this ad miss so badly?!? To be fair, maybe they just meant bubbly in attitude. Only problem is, those people don’t look bubbly at all. The guy is clearly going on some carefully worded rant on his political beliefs and the woman is wondering why she agreed to go on a Tinder date with the manager of a JC Penny. Even if it’s not that, they’re clearly having the most un-bubbly conversation in the history of conversations. And then we have the well written postscript on the bottom, “Save big on rail fare and winery tours with sweet deals from Long Island Railroad”. If you don’t see a problem with that, maybe you should go to doctor.

– I do really bad in high-concept spaces. If you don’t know what a high-concept space is, you’re either not a New Yorker or extremely lucky [both]. The basic idea of a high-concept space is a complicated one. They usually come in the form of Pop-Up Shops where people pull out all stops to try to sell one measly product. For example, if they were trying to sell a wrench, the Pop-Up Shop would be a carnival. There’d be numerous booths where you are challenged to tighten a bolt or attach a bike wheel. There’ll be people dressed as plush wrenches distributing sample cups of nuts. It’s always a whole lot of effort to push something that would probably sell itself. I keep finding myself going into these places and then scrambling to leave immediately. I just want to look at the damn wrench, I don’t want to go into a funhouse. I would fare much better in low-concept spaces. If there’s a new product, I want to walk into a dimly lit room with nothing but a person sitting at a folding card table. They ask me, “Do you want to buy this thing” and I’ll say “yes” or “no” accordingly. I don’t need bells and whistles to buy bells or whistles.

Last week, I came across a Pop-Up Shop for what is essentially a smoothie delivery service. It’s like Blue Apron meets Soylent. Because I have an undying fetish for beverages need to drink my breakfast instead of eat it, I peeked my head in. I wanted to go in and buy a smoothie so that maybe I would continue buying smoothies from them. What I found instead was a utopian nightmare. It was a small, rectangular storefront space, covered floor to ceiling in astroturf and shiny crappy white plastic material. It was completely littered with workers wearing creepy white jumpsuits who seemingly had no purpose whatsoever. Despite the small size of the space, the man in front insisted that I take a map of the place and listen to his instructions. I did not listen to his instructions. I didn’t feel like I needed a map to navigate what used to be a Ladies Foot Locker. I was given a sample of some almond-based shit that I didn’t really enjoy and was whisked into a different dimension.

I should’ve listened to the instructions. The place was filled with white machines that made motion, but seemingly did nothing. There were cacao plants behind glass with a device that dispensed stickers. None of it had any utilitarian purpose. There were lots of people standing around. They all seemed to know what they were doing, yet they were doing nothing at all. Were they actors planted there to look like customers? Or were they just holograms? A guy asked me if I wanted to go into a selfie booth and I manically laughed in his face. As much as I wanted to get out of there, I felt a need to persevere and not let the space win. I must buy a smoothie, damnit! So thirsty. So lost. So thirsty. I stumbled to a booth and casually asked what its purpose was. After an awkward pause, I learned that I went to the right place. This was, indeed, a smoothie vendor. Heart palpitating, I chose one at random, hoping I said the right thing. She dug at what seemed to be a hole in the floor, produced a cup, bagged it [?!?] and charged my American Express Card. But then it wasn’t over because duh. She then handed me a scratch-off card and stared me down. I wanted so badly to just grab the card and run away but I figured that the tour guide would stop me at the door. Instead, I scratched gray dust all over the immaculate white counter to reveal that I won a DELUXE PRIZE. Holy shit! A DELUXE PRIZE?!? Does that mean I get my first week of smoothies for free?!? Nope. I got to choose between an iron-on patch and chapstick. I chose the patch and left.

I walked out feeling used and violated. I opened the bag that I had purchased not to find a smoothie, but rather the frozen ingredients to a smoothie. I would of course need to blend it at home. Only I don’t work out and I’m not in college, so I don’t own a damn blender. They had me trapped. They built this confusing futuristic funhouse to trick people into buying things they didn’t need. If only they kept it simple, I could’ve just walked in, bought a smoothie and left the place drinking a smoothie. In the industry, we call that a business. Instead, I have this cup filled with frozen fruits and veggies and a patch that I’ll never use. 12 hours and 20 dollars later, I was the proud owner of a blender. Now that I have one, I’m going to need things to blend. Lucky for me, I just came across this new and great smoothie delivery service…

I do really bad in high-concept spaces.

– Recently, I came across a discarded bounty of Vaporwave albums. Like way too many Vaporwave albums to wrap my head around. I have so much Vaporwave that I could write a thought piece on one every week for a year and still have some left. And I aim to do just that!

The Vaporwave album of the week is “Prism Genesis” by Fuji Grid TV. Or maybe it’s “Fuji Grid TV” by Prism Genesis. Whatever, it’s Vektroid.

Vancouver had been a drag. To be fair, the whole year had, but 1988 is coming soon and things are looking up. It all came to you like a fever dream. Do a couple of jobs, nothing too greasy and the world is seemingly in your hands. Bobby C. even hooked you up with a luxury apartment, fully furnished with a brand new Fuji Grid TV. 32 inches of crystal clear picture with stereosonic sound. Marta would’ve loved this shit. Your mind reels as you start to question your surroundings. Who’s place was this anyway? Where did they go and why is it yours? Why can’t you open the blue door? Just relax, take it all in. Watch some TV. Goony Frank hooked it up to one of those illegal satellite dealies. 196 channels at your fingertips, most of them from Japan. And they all seem to be on commercial break. But the cool glow of the cathode rays calm you. You can’t understand anything they’re saying, but you can pick up slogans from memory. It hypnotizes you. Toyota Quality: Who Could Ask For Anything More?™ You are alone. For better or worse, you are alone. You don’t ever have to leave here and frankly, they don’t want you to leave, either. You can just sit there and keep clicking the channels. You can keep all of your memories forever with the FUJIX DS-1P. You never even took a picture of Marta, did you? How could you let this happen? She was the best thing that ever happened to you. From Sharp Minds Comes Sharp Products.™ Bobby C. has a plan. What that plan is, you have no idea, but surely there’s a plan. Somebody used to live here. They had a plan. Or rather, Bobby C. had a plan for them. Toshiba: In Touch With Tomorrow.™ What had went wrong? You were just going to do a few jobs until you got yourself back in your feet. You still had your pride. Then why did you turn your back on Marta when she needed you? Why did you let Bobby pump her full of dope? But it wasn’t dope. The label read Talwin-PX Pentazcine hydrochloride and mefenamic acid. You could have saved her, but you didn’t. It doesn’t matter. Bobby is going to take care of you. It’s a Sony.™ A sound emits from the blue door. Somebody is stirring. Or something. But you’re alone. All alone. Whatever is behind a door can’t hurt you. Next on HBO: Jim Belushi is a cowboy on the run from the Thought Police. The noise is getting louder. Don’t go in there. You don’t need to open it. Bobby is going to take care of you. Followed by Randy Quaid in “Oops, We Murdered The Mayor!” You’re just having a bad dream. Things will be better. Things ARE better. A knock on the door. Just relax. Another knock. A night of comedy awaits you tonight on HBO! I think you should probably answer it. And check out the new Mitsubishi Galant!

– Now that I’ve scared away all of my potential new readers, I have to give my deepest thanks to the warm response I got to last weeks Thoughts. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to write and I’m glad the story reached an actual audience. I also want to thank everyone that’s been so helpful during this process, whether it’s been a shoulder to lean on or financial contributions. I don’t know what we would do without your support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.

– Try this trick over the weekend: Go to a store and demand that you pay full price for something that’s on sale, as your religion forbids Black Friday.

Have an expensive weekend, everyone!

-TeeCoZee

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