Saturday, September 6, 2008

Do you (You!) feel like I do?

For the first time in a couple years, I loaded up my vehicle today and headed over to our local flea market at the old drive-in theater to peddle my wares and make a few extra bucks.  Apart from the old movie screen having been torn down, not much has changed there—same ol' crowd, same ol' routine.  If they ever decide to field an Olympic Low-Baller team, they can recruit its members right there at the Swap 'n' Shop, as nearly every time I go to sell there, some schmuck tries to get me to sell something for less than half of my asking price.  I even had some mongoloid today who tried to pay for a $6 item with a $100 bill!  Another thing that kills me about this particular flea market is how they don't even enforce their own rules.  For example:

—No pets:  I see people walking their dogs there damn near every time I go.
—No loud noise/music:  There are boom-boxes going off everywhere, not to mention lawn mowers, chainsaws and such being test-driven by potential buyers.
—No food or drink:  People everywhere (including yours truly) not only eat and drink there, but sell food and drink there!
—No pornography:  I didn't seem him today, but there's usually some Cecil B. DePorno scalawag selling XXX-rated DVDs right next to the men's room by the snack bar.
—All vendors must collect sales tax:  Riiiiight...

Another thing I get every time I go to sell is "How much are ya gettin' for yer CDs?" even though the prices are clearly marked on the little white stickers I went out of my way to affix to them.  Makes me want to ask these fools, "How'd you get this far in life?"  Then there's the idiot smokers hovering over my valuable baseball cards on the table with their ashes dangling precariously from the end of their cigs—makes me feel like Billie Bird in Sixteen Candles with the spatula trying to catch the other old gal's ashes while she's cooking...

Amid all the folderol surrounding John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin, the term "vetting" has been used quite a bit.  Until this week, I was totally unaware there was such a word, which basically means to check out or investigate someone’s background thoroughly, and it sounds to me like McCain didn’t exactly do all his homework on this gal, given the various scandals and FUBARs she has been/is involved in, and not just the one regarding her knocked-up offspring.  Speaking of which, while I generally despise the use of the suffix "gate" when applied to political scandals these days, I’ll make an exception for this one, which the media have dubbed "Broken Water-gate".  Friggin’ brilliant!  Don’t forget to boil water and tear sheets…

As for Ms. Palin, I'm still kinda stuck on the Michael Palin/Monty Python thing with her.  Every time I hear that surname, I think of "Albatross! Albatross!"  Can't wait to see her do the "Fish-Slapping Dance", either.  Oh, she's a lumberjack and she's okay...

Speaking of political scandals, Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick stepped down this week after admitting to various and sundry misdeeds while in office, including obstruction of justice and perjury, plus, a felony assault charge against a Wayne County sheriff deputy.  No wonder the Motor City has such a bad rep when even the freakin' mayor is a thug…

There was a whopping throng of less than 600 people in the stands on Wednesday for the Florida Marlins home game vs. the Atlanta Braves—not exactly a ringing endorsement for a team trying to get the Sunshine State to build them a new stadium.  According to some folks on the ‘net, it was so quiet in the stands when Braves manager Bobby Cox came out to argue a call with the ump, that the entire exchange could clearly be heard on the Atlanta radio broadcast.  Part of the blame for the low attendance is the beastly hot weather for a game that easily could’ve been scheduled at night instead of as a "getaway" day game for both teams, especially considering the Marlins had the next day off altogether, and the Braves only had to "get away" back to Atlanta, which is about an hour flight from Miami.

And it’s not like the Marlins are a terrible team, either—they were still in the race until about three weeks ago.  No offense to the good folks down that way, but I’m beginning to think the state of Florida should’ve remained strictly a Spring Training baseball site, given the poor attendance at both Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays games.  Granted it doesn’t help that the Marlins are trying to play baseball in a football stadium and the Rays play in a dismal dome, but that’s no excuse for such low attendance when they at least have competitive teams on the field.

I’m very unimpressed with the uninspired nickname created by the new Oklahoma City NBA franchise—"Thunder".  Boring!  Thunder sounds so minor-league to me, for some reason—how about something a little more unique like the Oklahoma City Microburst?  I was also kinda hoping they might revive the name of an old soccer team OKC used to have that I thought was pretty clever—the Oklahoma City Slickers...

"Guitar Man"—JERRY REED (1968)  "I led a four-piece band of jammers…"  I was reminded of this one the other day while listening to Jerry’s Best-Of CD.  Unaware back when I was a kid of what jamming meant, I thought Jerry sang, "a four-piece band in jammies."

I’m going with my head instead of my heart this year, thus I’m picking the Dallas Cowboys to win the Super Bowl this season.  I have them playing the Colts in a re-match of SB V, and I see the mighty Patriots faltering a bit this season—they can’t keep it up forever.

In a related front, I pulled a Favre and decided to come out of retirement and play fantasy football again this year after all.  My draft went well, as I got Tom Brady as my QB and the entire Patriots defense, and guess who New England plays first—the Kansas City Chefs.  Loooooking goooood!

My good friend Stacy—1,800 miles away in Seattle—sent me a nice little piece of Raytown nostalgia last night of an old department store I practically grew up in, Sam's Bargain Town.  The place was located about four blocks from my mom and dad's house on 350 Hiway (the main drag in Raytown), and I used to hoof it up there all the time when I was a kid.  I bought my first Kiss album there—Kiss Alive! for a whopping $6.38.  In fact, much of my early record collection was purchased there—and sometimes shoplifted before I knew better!  My brother even worked at Sam's part-time when he was in high school and my mom and sister used to work right across the parking lot at an old-school burger joint on the corner called White's Drive-In—I'd give my left nut to time-travel back there for just one more double cheeseburger and a big ice cream cone.  I even used to hit tennis balls off the side of the Sam's building in the empty parking lot all the time—great memories...

It's ironic with a name like Sam's that as soon as the Wal-Mart in Raytown opened in 1987, that was the beginning of the end for our Sam's, as they couldn't compete with the Evil Empire and closed a couple years later.  The building was demolished in the mid-'90s to make way for a new strip mall.  The old Sam's pharmacy still operates about half a mile up the road at an Apple Market grocery store.  The other Sam's store (long since closed) on Truman Road—pictured here circa. the late '70s—still sits in the 'Hood on Truman Road, but has gone through numerous encarnations over the years.

You can read all about Sam's and other old-school retail stores on this dandy website.  Now here's the funny part—I'd visited that same website before last night, and didn't realize it!  I pirated the TG&Y pics for a previous blog entry on this very same subject a few months back and didn't even notice the Sam's photos up top—go figure.  Mucho appreciation, Stacy, for taking my memory for a nice little jog—you made my week!

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