I’d Rather Not Remember The Plot To Joe’s Apartment [Friday Thoughts W/ TeeCoZee]

Good Moleman. Please hurry. It’s Friday, January 18, Two Thousand and Nineteen. The weather in Brooklyn is 37˚ & Pantone SW 7647 and somewhere, somebody is trying to figure out how to get paprika out of egg salad. Old Fart Larry did the ol’ screwjob on the bottle and now there’s just a pile of it. He doesn’t have enough time to hard boil a brand new batch, but he also doesn’t want the poor bowling team to choke on the excess spice. Why did this happen? Why wasn’t he nicer to Old Fart Larry? Or is this God trying to teach him a greater lesson? He guesses it’s time to reconcile with the mistakes that he’s made. He grabs the loaf of bread and starts sandwiching. And me? I don’t mess around with paprika in egg salad. Just a little bit of dill will do. I also have some things on my mind…

– I have a benign infestation of cockroaches in my apartment. Or maybe they’re water bugs or earwigs or mutant ants or a figment of my imagination. All that I know about them is that they don’t do much. When I was a kid, I thought every New York City apartment was like the one in Jerry O’Connell’s 1996 swan song, Joe’s Apartment. I expected big giant beasts that would get drunk and sing songs. Or at least that’s what I think happened in the movie. Didn’t they help him get a job or something? Win over the girl? Eat urinal cakes? What in the hell was that movie even about? Regardless, none of the bugs in my domicile are making it in any MTV movie. They’re lazy as hell. They seemingly sleep for 16 hours a day. I know this because they’re only visible between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, never a minute before or after. They also don’t seem to need sustenance. When I hear “roach infestation”, I’m expecting them to get all up in my cereal boxes, gorging on all of my open Cheeto bags and defiling all of my dusty pasta. These idiots really don’t care about that. In fact, they can’t even figure out how to get into the cupboards. All they do is eat the scraps off the silverware that we leave in the sink, thus doing our dishes for us. That’s free labor, nimrods! Our cat already crippled what was presumably their queen. She was the size of a golf ball [or 6x bigger than all the others] and ugly as all sin. I threw her out the window and several minions would gather in the middle of the bathroom floor all night to mourn her passing. The fools don’t know how to survive and I’m not at all willing to teach them. They haven’t even had the guts to cross the threshold diving the kitchen and living room. I swear, man. New York has gotten so soft over the years, they can’t even do infestations right anymore.

Just as I typed that, I spotted one trekking across the living room floor. Gulp. We are no longer safe. I guess it’s time to do something about it…

Top 5 Things That I Should Do To Solve “The Roach Or Water Bug Or Whatever Problem:

5) Stop leaving open bags of Cheetos everywhere
4) Find the queen in the couryard and torture her into brainwashing her troops into leaving
3) Call an exterminator
2) Change the roach motels
1) Watch Joe’s Apartment to get clues about their culture and habits. Or I could use the movie as bait, to trick them into gathering around the TV. I’ll tell them that they’re in it and they’ll get so excited about being movie stars. They’ll call their family and friends into the living room to see and when they least expect it, BAM, they’re shoe food!

– If I owned a bicycle, I would paint it all white and attach flowers. That way, when I lock it up on the street, people will think it’s a memorial. The thieves will come up with their lock clippers and say, “Damn. Some dude died on this bike, right here. Man. It really makes you think. We should all be more careful and grateful for every day that we wake up”. When they cut the lock and ride my bike into the sunset, they’ll be doing so with an enlightened mind. You can’t change the world. But you can make a dent. One stolen bike at a time.

– Cancer does a funny thing to the human body. Not haha funny, but peculiar funny. You’re not going to laugh but you’ll acknowledge its cleverness. After almost 3 rounds of chemo, Rachel’s appetite has taken a huge blow. In effect, she has lost somewhere between 60-80 pounds. Some shirts have become dresses and some dresses have become gowns. She was digging through her closet last night to much success. It was such a warm feeling seeing the gleeful expression on her face. Everything just fits so much better. Who would’ve thought that such an awful thing that she’s going through would actually have a benefit?!? On the other hand, this episode has had the opposite effect on me. After months of stress eating, my stomach dropped when she was digging through her closet. Because I knew how terribly the clothes in mine would fit me. Who would’ve thought that being busy all the time would have a negative effect on me? Cancer does a funny thing to the human body.

– As you may have known, [I spent the last half hour trying to find an old edition of The Thoughts that had me complaining about the cops on the Brooklyn Bridge. So just imagine that a link is right here, you clicked on it, read it, took some time to digest and then went back to this.] I have a history with being mad about authority figures being in the way, thus putting my life at risk. I encountered this again yesterday at a subway station on 42nd street. I only mention that it was 42nd Street, because it was so badly crowded that I had to crowd surf in order to get from one end of the platform to another [which references an old article that I DID find about Crocodile Dundee, so that half hour wasn’t totally wasted. Swish]. That’s actually not true at all, we were able to walk on the ground easily. That is, until we ran into the Platform Safety Inspectors. These are the MTA pencil pushers that stand on platforms with a clipboard and make notes on how it fills up and how long a delay can be before things get dicey. They then report their findings via fax and then it’s promptly fed into a shredder because nobody is actually reading them. This is yet another Get Rich Slow And Die Trying Scheme that the transit worker’s union cooked up. Usually, their presence is as benign as a Flatbush Cockroach, but this time it was different. Instead of standing in the middle of a wide-open portion of the station, they decided to stand in the small gap between a stairwell and the track itself. You know, the gap that you have to walk through single-file or else someone is getting clipped. As they were blissfully unaware of their surroundings, I had to walk around them while a train whizzed past. My future flashed before my eyes as I saw the train take my arm clean off. They would have to stop the train and assess the damage while the safety inspectors would do nothing to help. The train would ultimately be delayed as would all of the ones behind it. The platform would become overcrowded and Paul Hogan himself will knock over a bunch of innocent bystanders trying to get through via crowdsurf, resulting in their death. And they will all blame me, because none of it would’ve happened if I had two arms. In their report, the safety inspectors will conclude that the crowding is not an issue, but people need to stay off the yellow part of the platform. So they’ll dunk billions of dollars into developing a tar-like substance that’ll prevent people from walking fast when near the tracks and after years of use, it’ll be deduced that it decreased train productivity by 40% as people are taking to long to get out of the tar and onto the train. It’ll ultimately doom the MTA [along with the York Street fire, but we won’t talk about that] and the people of New York will have nobody to blame but me: the one-armed asshole that just wanted to exit at 3rd avenue instead of Lexington. I saw all of this in an instant, so I stopped, gave the inspector the stink eye and waited for the train to fully leave the station or the inspectors to move, whichever came first. I don’t even remember what the result was, but I do know that I magically have two arms. Suck it, fate!

– Recently, I found that a basket of unwanted Vaporwave albums left on my doorstep. I had no choice but to raise them as if they were my own and write about them on a regular basis. The Vaporwave Album Of The Week is “Palm Mall” by 猫 シ Corp. Yes, I realize that I’ve already done one of his albums and yes, I plan on doing more. What can I say? The man has talent.

I wish Linda wouldn’t walk so fast. She’s going to end up rolling her ankle again and I won’t happen to be standing there to catch her fall. She should really be more careful. I know that she’s trying to impress her “sisters” in The Red Hat Society, but she shouldn’t be fooling herself. I know her well enough to know that she’s leagues above those ladies. Also, she looks way better with a purple hat. I saw her wear one at Bingo and it was stunning. Just stunning. I should say hi to her on the next lap. Maybe give her a free sample.

Ronny seems to be fitting in with his new friends. That’s a huge relief. His old friends were a bunch of punks. They would always roughhouse and dare each other to eat food out of the trash. I knew that Ronny wasn’t happy when he was around them. I’d see him come by with his Mother and he’d be a whole different kid. Talkative, curious and smiling, everything a boy should be. But with those punks, he’d be subdued with a lost look in his eyes. It’s good to know that he’s found a clique that likes him for him. Things were a lot simpler when I was growing up, but I understand how hard it is to grow up in this modern age. With all the distractions and gadgets out there, kids have become so disconnected from one another. It’s such a rare sight to see children having pure fun for the sake of fun. Keep it up, Ronny. You’ll find your way.

I feel bad for Sarah. I don’t know if that’s actually her name but I’ve always thought that she looked like a Sarah. She doesn’t care too much for Chinese Food but she would eat at Great Steak & Potato every Sunday afternoon with Arnold. But then a few months ago, she started coming alone. I know that Arnold’s name is Arnold because he was the one that was in the paper last week. Really bad car accident and he had a lot of booze in his gut. I think she blames herself. Probably assumes that it wouldn’t have happened if they were still going to Great Steak & Potato together. It’s taking a lot of will not to walk up and comfort her. I would tell her that life is long and yet it’s too short to live with regret. But I suppose that would probably make her uneasy.

Hank is on lunch break rather early this afternoon. I used to see him every day. When he wasn’t working at Radio Shack, he was repairing appliances at Sears. When not at Sears, he could give you great movie advice at Suncoast. Hank used to be the hardest working man in this whole mall, but time and progress hasn’t been very kind to him. Nowadays, I only see him two or three times a week. And sometimes, his shifts are so short that he doesn’t even require a lunch break. Really doesn’t cut into my business that much, but I can still get a good movie rec from him every now and then.

I can barely recognize Paul. Has it been five years? Ten? I bet this is his first time back since he went away to College in Arizona. I’ve heard the malls out there are real nice. Haven’t seen em myself, but I hear nothing but good things. Paul was really surprised to see me still here and the feeling was mutual. I gave him an extra fortune cookie for old times sake. If he’s trying to make it in this crazy world, he’s going to need more luck. I wonder what it said…

It looks like Peggy has a new suitor. It was the menswear salesman yesterday and now it looks like another menswear salesman. I wonder if the two guys work together. Maybe the first one to have lunch with her decided that she was much more suitable for his co-worker so he played cupid. She DOES seem to be getting along much better with this one.

The place seems more crowded than usual. Or maybe I’m so used to this space that it feels small to me. So many years have passed. I’ve seen children grow up and have children of their own. Life has unfolded in this mall and I’ve had a front row seat this whole time. Everybody has a story, a reason to be and hey, so do I. But nobody’s interested in that story. In the meantime, I’ll be here every day to serve you. To be that satisfying sense of comfort that some things, some places, will never change. The fountain will always have fresh coin, JC Penny will always have a sale and when you get hungry, I’ll always be here to dish you out some fresh Panda Express. Because in this crazy world, the things that remain constant are the ones we hold nearest to our hearts.

– Try this trick over the weekend: visit your old mall. I’m sure the guy at Panda Express misses you.

Have an orange chicken weekend, everyone!

– TeeCoZee