Monday, December 13, 2004

Of Pecan Balls and Paranoia

In order to keep up with our neighbors--who already have several inflatable, light-up, winter-themed figures sitting like huge menacing Weebles on their lawn--my family shot for the bare minimum of Christmas spiritry and bought a tree this weekend. Like most of our fellow red-blooded Americans, we avoided having anything to do with hiking, sawing, heavy lifting, or any of the other unsavory business that accompanies felling a pine. Instead, we went Stew Leonard's, the amusement park of grocery stores, to buy a tree (and also bread, cucumbers, eggs, and one of those cheese-ball-rolled-in-nuts things, at my personal request).

Pictorial highlights:

I'm Chiquita Banana, I make a great meal, with so many good things under the peel.  There are vitamins and minerals in every bite, and best of all they've got the taste you like (dum dum dum dum). Chiquitas are delicious!  And they're very nutritious.  A Chiquita a day is great for you good and good for you CHIQUIIIIITAAAAA...almost a meal in itself (cha cha cha)
This is Chiquita Banana. She is audioanimatronic, and looks like her boyfriend has been smacking her around a little. Mouse over her for the lyrics to the song she sings and dances to, the song I memorized as a child while my mother fondled nectarines for ripeness and my brothers stuffed their cheeks with free chicken nugget samples.

Little known fact:  they're up for a grammy for Best Song Performed by A Non-Vegan Food Product.
This is the milk band. Inocuous and even somewhat pleasant on first viewing, you eventually find yourself fighting the hypnotic power of their siren song: "We love shopping at Stew Leonard's! We love shopping at Stew Leonard's! We love shopping at Stew Leonard's!"

I thought I'd had great balls, but then I had Stew's.
Just down the aisle from "Stew's Famous Salty Nuts!" and "Stew's Famous Giant Teabags!"

Try this...STEW.  You'll like this STEW.  STEW is delicious.
The packaged meat aisle becomes a hellish horror movie when the sign includes the owner's name, an owner whose bodily integrity I cannot vouch for because I've never seen the dude in person.

I'm so fucking pretentious.

Though none of those show it, we did buy a tree. It's green.

This weekend I entered the ranks of those who receive free beverages at the Yorktown Starbucks, by virtue of my being there so damn often. This is both a great development for my bank account and a sad statement about my life. I had a good reason to be there for three and a half hours on Saturday night, though. That morning I went to the library, shrieked, and did a little booty dance when I found Philip Roth's new novel A Plot Against America was actually on the shelf. There's usually a ten-year waiting list for any book anyone would ever want to read. I can only have it for seven days, though. Since it's pretty meaty hunk of prose, I went to Starbucks to escape my family's decorating spree and knock out as many pages as possible before the week started.

I've managed to read about 220 pages, but this is not the kind of book someone should rush through. It's this intense vision of what would happen had Charles Lindburgh won the presidency instead of F.D.R., made nice with the Nazis, and started rounding up American Jews. Of course, political echoes of the current administration abound. Reading so much of it so fast has made me certifiably paranoid. Like, checking the back seat of my car, didn't want to fall asleep on the train paranoid.

In fact, I don't know who could be reading this. Over and out.


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