JERK OF THE WEEK: Jerks of the Jersey Shore, 2015: Part 1
My girlfriend and I haven't had much luck in terms of going on vacation this summer. With various obligations, issues with her coworkers hogging up numerous weeks, and some terrible predictions by weather forecasters, it's been extremely difficult to get away.
Even going down to the Jersey Shore has proven to be a challenge. We thought we could go three weekends ago, but it rained the entire time. It was also supposed to rain the Saturday after that, so we cautiously stayed home. Sure enough, it was a beautiful day.
This past weekend also had rain in the forecast. Saturday would've been a perfect day to go, but there was an 80-percent chance of showers. All we saw were beautiful blue skies.
"That's it," my girlfriend said. "It's supposed to be perfect on Monday, so I'm taking off work so we can go down."
Surely enough, Monday was awesome. My girlfriend woke me up at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m., since our day was limited because doggy day care runs until 7 p.m. This was unfortunate for me because I'm incapable of waking up before 10 a.m. I work on the site late - I typically go to bed between 3 and 5 a.m. - and the earliest I could go to sleep Sunday night was 2:30. Thus, I was a virtual zombie on the drive down to the shore. In fact, here's an actual conversation my girlfriend and I had during our 90-minute trip:
Girlfriend: It's such a beautiful day!
Girlfriend: I can't believe it's so gorgeous out! So glad we decided to go to the beach today!
Girlfriend: What'd you just say?
Girlfriend: I'm sorry, I'll stop being annoying. I know you're not a morning person!
I was in a daze until we crossed the bridge going into New Jersey. We approached the city of Camden, and our windows were rolled down, which was a huge mistake. As soon as we saw the sign that said, "Entering Camden: The S***tiest City in the World!" (OK, I made that last part up), this horrific stench flooded our nostrils. It immediately woke me up.
Me: Good God, what the f*** is that? Why does it smell so bad?
Girlfriend: Welcome to Camden!
Once we rolled up the windows, I concentrated on my surroundings. I've made fun of Camden a lot over the years on this Web site, referring to it as a third-world country, but I hadn't been there in a long time, so I forgot how worn down it is. All of the houses looked like they were about to fall apart. I'm convinced a light gust of wind could've toppled them over.
Some of the businesses there were interesting. For instance, we passed three stores in a span of two miles, all of which were named Family Dollar. My guess is that the people of Camden can't buy anything more expensive than a dollar, so they all happen to shop there. I suppose it's a good way to save money, but it must make Christmas extremely boring. Every gift the kids get is from some aisle in Family Dollar, so unless they don't go there with their parents, there won't be any sort of element of surprise. It's like, "Thanks, mom and dad, for getting me the toothbrush from Aisle 5 that I've walked by a thousand times this past year! Merry Christmas!"
Hopefully the light gust of wind didn't ruin that family's magical moment.
Another commercial establishment I found interesting was this white building. It didn't have any design on it; it was just a cube-shaped building that was just plain white, save for a five-letter word printed on the side of it:
That's it. Just "crabs." No "Bob's Crabs," or "Yummy Crabs," or anything like that. It was just "crabs."
I guess I shouldn't be too judgmental because this was Camden, after all. The people are too poor to afford Bob's crabs or crabs that are yummy, so they have to settle for just "crabs." And the establishment can't splurge to put more letters on the side of the building, so they also have to settle for just "crabs."
A bit later in the day, I began wondering about this. What if that establishment didn't sell the sort of crabs people can eat? What if it's the other sort of crabs - you know, the sort that causes irritation near your no-no-special place? Hey, it might seem weird that there would be a vendor for those sort of crabs, but A) we're talking about a shady building in a run-down area, and B) the store is in Camden, after all. Who knows what sort of weird things the third-world population of America is into?
We eventually made it to Ocean City. We were able to open up the windows again because we escaped Camden. The putrid stench of rancid feces was no longer in the air, and we instead enjoyed the pleasant scent of salt water.
I was starving, so I directed us to the Bloomin' Tulip, which for my money, is the best breakfast spot in that town. They have such awesome omelets and pancakes that waiting through all of those cold months just to devour them is unbearable. I am a fat man, after all.
We parked just one block away from the Bloomin' Tulip, yet our walk over was very interesting for two reasons.
First, we walked past a small amusement park that happens to be attached to the boardwalk. It appeared to be empty at first glance, which wasn't surprising because it wasn't even 10 a.m. yet. However, we spotted a middle-aged bald man riding a go-kart. He was spinning the go-kart in circles. He beamed, looking like he was having the time of his life, and he laughed giddily, almost like a deranged lunatic.
"He's living the dream!" I shouted, which made my girlfriend crack up.
Second, the boardwalk itself proved to be extremely treacherous. I'm not exaggerating when I say this, but I almost died five seconds after stepping onto the boardwalk. That's because some a**hole riding a bike nearly ran me over.
Some background before I go on: Ocean City opens its boardwalk to bikers until noon. If you go there in the morning, you'll see numerous douches riding bikes. I call them douches because they ride with reckless abandon. They show no consideration for any pedestrians. I've always thought this was a major problem because Ocean City is a family town, so there are usually lots of kids walking around. It's a miracle that thousands of kids don't die each year from getting trampled.
Despite this, however, there are enormous signs everywhere: "NO DOGS ALLOWED ON BOARDWALK OR BEACH!!!" Not allowing dogs down the shore is one thing, but how are they any more dangerous than piece-of-s*** bikers? You're allowed to bring dogs to beaches in Tampa, and there are no bikers to be seen. So, is it a coincidence that those beaches are much better than the ones in New Jersey? I think not.
After dodging waves of maniacal bikers, we eventually reached the Bloomin' Tulip. The hostess could barely speak English - she had some sort of Eastern European accent - but I didn't care. My mouth was watering in anticipation of devouring omelets and/or pancakes.
The waiter, some dude in his early 20s, took our order. I requested a bacon-and-cheese omelet (American cheese, of course), which came with home fries and toast. I gave him very specific instructions: "I don't want butter whatsoever. No butter. I hate butter, so I don't want it."
He replied, "So, you want your toast dry?"
Uhh... yeah? I wanted to respond, "Didn't you just hear me ask for no butter like five billion times?" but I didn't want him to spit in my food. I didn't wait 10 months to chow down a cheese-and-loogie omelet.
I have to explain something: I ALWAYS ask for no butter on my toast, and yet, they give me butter every single time, without fail. It's gotten so ridiculous that my girlfriend and I have made a running joke about it. She teases me that all waiters/waitresses hate me for some reason, and I think she's right. I'm convinced that these food servers log into some forum and have a thread entitled, "A**hole Who Never Wants Butter" and talk crap about me, and they all agree to give me butter every single time. What dicks.
Anyway, there was one other family near us. A man, his chubby wife and two daughters - probably ages 8 and 5 - sat behind me. The wife spent the entire time on the phone, but the man was more noteworthy. He was a creepy-looking dude; he happened to be balding big time, with various strands of hair sticking up in the middle of his head. He also had this crazy look about him, almost as if he was worried that the police would come and arrest him for luring kids into his van.
Creepy Dad - I'm assuming he was the father; he easily could have been a lunatic who kidnapped a woman and her two children and was holding them hostage - asked the two girls what their agenda should be for the day...
Creepy Dad: So, what do you want to do first today?
Eldest Daughter: Beach!
Creepy Dad: Mini-golf?
Eldest Daughter: Beach!
Creepy Dad: Mini-golf?
Eldest Daughter: I don't want to mini-golfing!
Creepy Dad: But we have to go mini-golfing.
Eldest Daughter: But I don't wanna!
Creepy Dad: But we have to. We must go mini-golfing.
"We must go mini-golfing?" OK, weirdo.
Since this day was all about him, apparently, he tried a different tactic to convince his daughters to do what he wanted.
Creepy Dad: Look at that mini-golf course! It has a gorilla and waterfalls!
Youngest Daughter: I WANNA SWIM IN WATERFALLS!!!
Creepy Dad: Maybe we will, heh heh heh...
I don't know why he added that creepy laughter at the end of his final sentence, but his next course of action was even stranger. His eldest daughter was wearing a pink hat with a flower on it, and he asked to see it. She gave it to him, and he put it on instantly.
"Looks good on me, heh heh heh..." he said.
I planned on eavesdropping even more, but our food had arrived, so I stopped concentrating. I instantly glanced at my toast, expecting to have to bug the waiter to bring me butter-less toast, but there it was: Two slices of toast and no butter. I was shocked.
I scarfed down the food quickly, enjoying the entire process, and by the time I was done, I was in such a great mood. I was no longer tired, and I just finished a great meal without the hassle of having any of my items adjusted. I was in such high spirits that I gave the waiter a huge tip. My girlfriend saw me place $35 in the checkbook and appeared to be confused.
Girlfriend: You just gave him an $11 tip on a $24 bill!
Me: I know. He brought me toast without butter though. That's worth $5 extra, alone.
My girlfriend shook her head and laughed. But I knew how serious this was. I even had the urge to just slap a $100 bill in there for his outstanding work.
I had to go to the bathroom before we left. My girlfriend went outside to wait, and while I was on the way to take a piss, I bumped into the waiter.
Waiter: Thanks for the big tip!
Me: No problem! You did a good job. No butter on my toast!
Waiter: Thanks! I just started, so I'm glad to hear that.
Ah, now it all makes sense. This guy was brand new to being a waiter, so he hadn't seen the "A**hole Who Never Wants Butter" thread. I suspect that if I go back in a few weeks, he'll give me toast with butter on it.
Part 2 of Jerks of the Jersey Shore, 2015 will be posted next week. It'll cover my time on the beach and boardwalk, so stay tuned!