Over the weekend I wandered into a couple of “new” clothing stores in our area. One is Burlington Coat Factory, which moved from a different location. And the other is called Gabe’s. I know they have those down in the motherland, but I’d never visited one. And I don’t think I’ll ever visit one again… By the time I finished walking through those places I was in the throes of a generous melancholy. Good Lord. There’s something about discount stores, like Marshall’s and TJMaxx and that sort of thing, that makes me depressed. They’re dreary and sad and demoralizing.
Also, there were birds flying around inside Gabe’s. And I don’t care for that. When I was young somebody — possibly my grandmother — made an offhand remark that “if a bird gets in your house it means somebody in your family is going to die.” That scared the living crap out of me. I mean… I know it’s just superstition, but it caused my brain to go down a path I didn’t want it to go down.
And, get this… When I was in Atlanta I had a second job at a bookstore for many years. And one night I was there with some cutesy girl who was still in high school, I think. We were the only two people working at the store that night. And as a customer walked through the front door, a freaking bird got in somehow. We all (including the customer) had a big laugh trying to get that thing out of there and finally succeeded.
But the very next day my co-worker’s dad fell off some scaffolding at his house, broke his neck, and died. She’d told me he was painting their house himself, even though he could’ve easily afforded to hire it done. I got the impression they were rich, or at least semi-rich. But she was making fun of him, the night the bird was sent to us as a sign, saying he’s such a “dad” and that sort of thing.
So, that shit didn’t help matters in my mind. Now, every time I see a bird inside a building I tense up a bit. I know it’s stupid, I’m fully aware, but it happens regardless. As I walked through that Gabe’s hopelessness I tried to analyze the situation. Who was that bird sent for? There were dozens of people inside the store, it couldn’t be me, right? Chances are slim, I decided. But still… it delivered a tiny twinge of anxiety.
Do you have anything like this? Some superstition that, against your better judgment, makes you think. I mean, it’s not like it destroyed my day. It just caused me to think dark thoughts. What do you have on superstitions? Anything? Please tell us about it in the comments.
And this is crazy. I hired the dude who edits and produces my world famous podcast through a freelancer website. And since I’m now considered a “heavy user,” I was invited to fill out an application to possibly be included in a future advertising campaign for the site. The name of my podcast would be featured prominently, and they’d cover travel expenses, pay me a per diem, etc.
So… needless to say, I filled out the application. If chosen, it will be one of the most horrifying experiences of my life to date. But can you imagine the material I could get out of such a thing? And the stories I could tell? Jeff Kay as a male model, at age 55 and fully-bloated?! Please God… let it happen.
I’ll tell you this much. If I am chosen — and I had to provide a photo, so chances are almost zero — I will be sporting multiple scarves, be super-demanding, and treat the support staff like crap. I will go full-diva and make everybody’s life a living hell. It’s a life-long dream. Oh, I’ll be worse than Ellen. It’s going to be great!
Should I come up with a stage name, like Sparkles? I probably should, right? Suggestions are welcome.
And speaking of the podcast, the new episode is up. Number 32 already! Is that crazy, or what? There are some laughs in this one. It feels like I’m on a roll of sorts, after that misfire a couple of weeks ago. Here’s the summary:
In this one, I tell you about the horrific period when I was “on the dating scene.” It was in Atlanta, and thankfully only lasted six or eight months. But they were memorable months, my friends. Memorable in a way that still makes my stomach churn when I think about them almost thirty years later. Thank you guys for the support! And thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy it.
And I’m calling it a day here. I’m thinking about ordering some Chinese takeout before work. Sounds good! I go there so often, the guy greets me as Mr. Jeff. I like that. But I return because of the food. Man, the place never lets us down. And it’s a half-mile from our house. Hell yeah.
I’ll see you guys again on Monday.
Have a great weekend!
Now playing in the bunker
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There are always birds in Lowe’s.
And I recall when KMart was here they had sacks of bird seed outside. The birds got into it and then shit all over the bicycles or whatever else was nearby on the sidewalk.
What does it mean if a bird gets in your HOUSE, I wonder?
Re: superstitions, I don’t mind black cats but there’s something just wrong about walking under a ladder. I’m also a salt-tosser after a spill (no idea why), and REFUSE to do that “Bloody Mary’ thing. I’d be a for-sure goner if she showed up.
‘Dating scene’ = most of my 20’s. I had fun, but got my heart broken far too often. And, sadly, broke a couple myself. So many regrets.
I used to like the Burlington Coat Factory – good clothing that’s inexpensive. Won’t do the Ross, rarely visit TJMaxx (though they have great gifty things), and agree on the general sense of melancholy that seems to travel with the general fluorescent-lights and linoleum floor aesthetic.
There was a bird in my house yesterday evening, and I’m still here. I made a chicken Caesar out of it. ‘Twas good.
Is it superstition or OCD if I’m stressed by poor numbers on dials and settings and speedometers and more? 17, 19, 23 are bad numbers, 18, 20, 25 are good numbers. A TV with the volume set to 19 makes me stressed.
17, 19, 23, 25 and most other odd ones are good numbers. You can have the even ones.
I don’t watch television, but 19 seems like it would be rather loud. I’m probably way wrong on that tho.
My lucky numbers are 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 and 144. I mention 1 twice because it is particularly auspicious; I stop at 144 because that’s as far as I can count on my phalanges. I think 144 might have been the powerball number in the lottery this week, but I might have that wrong. 19 is loud if you’re young, and inaudible if you’re my age. I only turn my volume to a bone fide Fibonacci number — toward the outside of the snail shell, the SETI people pick me up on their sky-scanners. And I STILL can’t hear the damn punchline.
about 25 years ago a bird got in my house and I was taking my son for a museum visit so I locked the bird in a bathroom and went out. When I got home the bathroom looked like an abattoir there was blood and feathers everywhere. Apparently I had accidentally locked my son’s hunter killer cat in the bathroom with the bird. So it was definitely bad luck for the bird.
Lew in Bama says
Burlington Coat Factory in our town is the single most depressing store I’ve ever been in.
I went when I first got pregnant because I’d heard they had a decent maternity section.
Somebody LIED! This place made TJMaxx look like Macy’s. Rows and rows of clothes racks, no order to them at all. Looked like one of those community consignment sales you see in warehouses. No signage, random items piled around.
I got out of there as fast as I could.
Alice in WV says
I’m not superstitious.
But I am a little stitious.
I hate shopping in general but I have three Gabe’s within close proximity (Morgantown, Fairmont & Clarksburg), so I hit that place up several times a year.
I remember when Gabe’s was mainly shirts with 3 sleeves or pants with one leg longer than the other. And it use to be down by the river.
I know that place. That’s where Neil shot his baby. Two sleeves and a pistol.
Did you meet Toney in Atlanta? For some reason I thought you guys lived there together….?
Yeah, we met in Atlanta. We did shack up there, in the Little Five Points area of town, for a year or two before we were married. That’s where the guy was passed out drunk on our back porch wearing nothing but tighty-whities, and other assorted adventures. Interesting town, Atlanta…
Cathy W. says
I’ll always knock on wood to ‘ward off the evil spirits’. I mean, I don’t *really* believe that nonsense, but why take chances, ya’know? And I avoid the number 13 when possible. It just makes me uncomfortable.
About the only thing I’m superstitious about is that I won’t bet on my favorite team to win. I feel like I’m just jinxing myself right off the bat….and it usually turns out I’m right.
There’s a Gabes in Wilkes-Barre that I was at last year..
I was told that they have a “good” selection of carhartt coats etc, but I was far from impressed
If I don’t pick up coins on the street I see, I have a sense I’ll regret not having that penny or a nickel some day. Then a friend said you should only pick up an abandoned “heads up” coin or it’s bad luck. I’m sticking with my original insane and unsanitary theory.
with typhus and hepatitis and people using the streets as bathrooms that is an excellent policy
My great grandparents moved into formerly B and J`s, formerly Charlottes stores on the corner of 18th and Myers Avenue in Dunbar. Bird got in the house and great gramma died within a month.
Nobody seems to want to help you with your nom de web, assuming you get the role (and why shouldn’t you? Ernest Borgnine made a slightly chubby, lucrative living for seven decades, although he eschewed scarves). I don’t know much about this stuff, but I understand Stormy is a popular name this year.
Stormy isn’t a much better name than Creepy Porn Lawyer.
Your ear, Bob, your ear. Hear the music. Stormy. Jesus, even Ernest Borgnine is a better name than the one you suggest. Tiny would be a pretty good ironic name, but it’s already taken.
Michael Avenatti is a huckster, scumbag, or more accurate a creepy porn lawyer, scumbag of the highest (or lowest) order.
Well, you’re welcome to your opinion, but I was addressing one of the QODs, trying to help Jeff find a webby-sounding male model name. If you really have the need to Yelp an attorney, it’s possible you’d be more persuasive with fewer underscores in your WVSR name and an occasional -ly on the end of adverbs. If that sounds snippy, I’m sorry, but I still maintain that Stormy is a better name than Sparkles, although G Gordon Liddy would work.
Does the bird have to fly into your house? What about people who have birds as pets? I have a friend who believes that if a crow flies across you, somebody will die.
This isn’t a superstition per se, more like an obscurity. When I go to the beach, I can’t be the furthest one out in the surf. I think Jaws had a profound affect on me. I don’t want to be shark bait.
surreal killer says
I was told by my mother that crows hanging around your house meant that someone was about to die. Could be some old-world superstition from East Prussia, where she grew up.
Maybe that’s why they call a group of them “a murder of crows”.
If I eat a reuben on Friday, something bad will happen on Saturday. I don’t want to talk about it.
Man, we’ve had some bad Saturdays lately. That reuben explains a lot.
I was a service contractor for years and was in and out of peoples houses all day long. While coming up a woman’s basement stairs I was whistling some mindless tune. The woman FREAKED OUT!! Started yelling about whistling the money out of the house (wait till she saw my bill!).
I have always wondered if it was a cultural thing as the family were Russian immigrants.
Root 66 says
Mom always told us not to rock a rocking chair with no one in it because it invited evil spirits into the house–so I still don’t!
Stage name suggestion–how about the “Duke of Dunbar”? That seems to have a really nice, pretentious ring to it. You could sashay along wearing your sunglasses indoors, smoke some Benson & Hedge’s 100s using a really long cigarette holder, wear an open-collared shirt with a dickey, grow some big bushy sideburns and insist on only having green Skittles in the candy dish or whatever! Oh, and you MUST wear a beret and refer to everyone as “Lovey”!
Alice in WV says
stage name = J-eff Kay