The Unbearable Banishment: Dispatchs from the field

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dispatchs from the field

The holiday retail sales numbers are up slightly from last year and the stock market has recovered, but it looks like a full-blown economic recovery is still a long way off. Back in Ohio, the Dunkin' Donuts employees and the people cleaning the tables and floors at the mall food court all looked like older guys with families to support. These are traditionally entry level, low paying positions that are manned by kids. These guys looked defeated and sullen. Until unemployment reverses itself, they'll be no recovery.

* * *

I rarely give fashion tips but here's one that's money in the bank. Don't wear a black sweater to indoor glow in the dark miniature golf. The black light will make your dandruff glow and your shoulders will be covered with dozens and dozens of tiny, illuminated blue specs. So embarrassing.

* * *

I taught The Elder Daughter how to pump gas while in Ohio. She did everything from credit card swipe to returning the hose and replacing the cap (righty-tighty). Weird factoid: drivers in New Jersey are NOT PERMITTED to pump their own gas. It's against the law! The entire state is full serve. Consequently, kids in New Jersey grow up not knowing how to pump gas. It's a big shock to their systems when they go on their first road trip.

* * *

Best road kill of the long, four hour car ride through the hills and forests of Pennsylvania: A deer leg. Just the leg. I have no idea where the rest of him went. Best road kill of all time: A black bear.

* * *

This is my next tattoo.


Blogger Sausage said...

I take double deer meat please

November 29, 2010 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

one day i'll have to ask you about left turn lanes in new jersey. i like your anecdotal posts, btw. xoxox

November 29, 2010 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

SF: Venison is double-gamey tasting. Have you had it? I had a buffalo burger while in Cleveland and it was single-gamey.

Savannah: There are NO LEFT TURNS in New Jersey! Did you know? Are you gaming me? Do you know what a traffic circle is? One time, I was caught in one for four days.

November 29, 2010 at 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the fall we'd always play the "Bambi" game on roadtrips - how many dead ones for the entire trip, and then we'd calculate the Dead Deer Density, by dividing by the total mileage.

saw half a deer once - and we counted it as a half...

November 29, 2010 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

noshit? i seriously did not know that - now i know why those drivers were going crazy! but wtf, yanno? i had georgia plates, it was dark and i was tired! damn, i had no idea, but i do know what a traffic circle is from living overseas and driving in hilton head. (no joke) (wait, are you playing me?) xoxox

November 29, 2010 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

So you can't pump your own gas or turn left... That makes no sense whatsoever.

Here on the Prairies, we do both with great abandon! Even in the dead of winter, I pump my own gas, although I can go to the full service pump if I want. Just an independent sort, I guess.

They've started putting a few traffic circles in Winnipeg. It's confusing the hell out of everyone!!!

November 29, 2010 at 8:07 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

*like* savannah's comment... makes me wanna drive to jersey and start making left turns!

November 29, 2010 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

'Roundabouts'! That's what we call them here, there's a new one every day!

NEXT Tattoo? I know about your first one, and I think it will remain your solo piece of ink pal! :¬)

As for 'pumping your own gas', or 'gettin' petrol' as we say, the way things are going here we're having to start drilling in our back yards! :¬/

November 29, 2010 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ponita: If you think THAT doesn't make any sense, you should see how politics is played out in the Garden State. Decades of corruption with no end in sight.

Map: I love the term "petrol." It's more poetic. First stumbled across it here:

Hey mister bartender, won't you gimme some wine
I gotta get outta town, meet my baby on time
He put five gallons in my petrol tank
You know we've just about made it but her breath sure stank, yeah

Ian Hunter

November 30, 2010 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

Observation #1 is spot on, we are a society that for better or worse places much value on "what you do" and not "what you are", sad state we're living in...

Speaking of sad states, now that i'm a resident of Pennsyltucky i can assure you that the rest of that deer was gutted on the spot and whisked off to a butcher, some has already been eaten, some tucked away in a freezer.

November 30, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" in New Jersey grow up not knowing how to pump gas..."
It's an airline conspiracy. They don't make any profits out of road trips.

November 30, 2010 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Eryl said...

indoor glow in the dark miniature golf
I'm just going to have to focus on this for a while.

November 30, 2010 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger CiCi said...

Does gas cost more in New Jersey with the full service stations?

November 30, 2010 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Kono: I don't know about you but I sure as hell hope I don't have to sweep food court floors anytime soon. And I'm no snob.

kykn: It's very entertaining to watch a 19-year old try to find his way around a gas pump.

Eryl: Glow in the dark miniature golf is much improve with a few solid bong hits. I hear.

TB: No! In fact, NJ has some of the cheapest gas in the nation. It all comes into the country via our ports so there's very little transport cost built into a gallon of gas.

November 30, 2010 at 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the good little observations....

December 1, 2010 at 6:46 AM  
Anonymous Sid said...

I'm 27 and have never filled up on gas. We have petrol attendants in SA. I have no idea how I'd manage a roadtrip in the US.

December 2, 2010 at 1:52 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Sid: I'm sure if you bat your pretty eyes and use your charming, exotic SA accent, getting someone to fill the tank would be the LEAST of what you could accomplish in the U.S.

December 2, 2010 at 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there are full-service petrol stations (the natives call them servo's) in Australia. Certainly not up here.
You fill your tank from a pump that may or may not have a computerised key-pad so you can select the dollar value you want. If not, you keep your eyes on the counter and quit squeezing the trigger when you reach target. Then you go into the shop(yes, they are kitted-out like mini-markets!)and pay at the till.
Am I the only fossil who remembers the old turn-the-handle pumps?

December 2, 2010 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MIT: Yes.

December 2, 2010 at 9:19 PM  

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