Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Well, I am thrilled. You see, I am completely addicted to certain kinds of fast/junk food (although not all the time, for heaven's sake) - I like McDonald's, I think Popeye's fried chicken (spicy, please) is wonderful (and the biscuits!), I love Taco Bell (well, what's a rat or two among friends?), but I love, love, LOVE Blimpie. A Blimpie BB is absolutely heaven, as far as I'm concerned, and I've begun to get a persecution complex recently, because it seems that more Blimpies are closing and more Subways are opening. Every time I get to a new temp job I run around trying to locate a convenient Blimpie, and on this particular job, I found one on 46th betwen 5th and 6th which was perfect, as the job is on 44th and 6th.

At which point, after I got exactly one Blimpie out of it, I went by the next week (I only buy food on Friday - payday - the rest of the time I bring my own) and the door was half closed and the steel shutter was down. I was devastated. I mean, my one little tiny indulgence. They have an Italian hero in my current office cafeteria, but it's $5.49, as opposed to my nice $3.99 Blimpie - and anyway it's decent, but kind know...upscale. If I want junk, by God, I want junk.

So I sadly gave up on my convenient Blimpie.

And today (three whole weeks later) I walked by, and lo and behold, evidently they only closed to do something or other - the once a year cleaning of the slicing machine, perhaps? - AND THEY'RE OPEN AGAIN! There really is a God.

What I was actually doing over there on 46th was going to the 99 cent store. Is there anything more absolutely wonderful in the whole world than a 99 cent store? Aisle after aisle after aisle of truly bizarre things. What do people do with all those artificial flowers, for heaven's sake? And do I really want to know? And the little ceramic gnomes. And wine glasses with fake gold rims that wash off after one use. And the china in patterns that don't match anything, ever.

And shelves and shelves of things like Fabuloso. Now, for those of you who decorously do your shopping in supermarkets, I have to tell you that Fabuloso is just great. It is the low budget Mr. Clean, with lots and lots more scent to it. Use the Fabuloso Lavender scent and everything you own will smell like synthetic lavender for the rest of your natural born life. And then there are the body creams and body washes and all of that stuff, and they all have brand names that are sort of closish to what Duane Reade stocks but not quite, or they are what Duane Reade stocks, but all the labels are in Arabic or Portuguese. Or they have plain old American labels (there's a LOT of Suave in every 99 cent store) but they've been out of circulation for quite some time.

And these places also have clothes, sort of. There's almost invariably a rack of underwear in the most bizarre colors you could possibly imagine - day-glo peach size 12 underpants, anyone? And sweaters of a fascinating ugliness - who designs these things? And who ever thought they might have been a good idea to begin with? Orange and green with purple? (Honest. I saw it today.)

And shelves and shelves of every possible size and shape of plastic container. Do people really buy THAT many plastic containers? I mean, obviously we all have some (if for no other reason than that it's really hard to wrap leftover soup in tin foil), but THAT many sizes?

And pots and pans, and scales and discontinued toaster ovens (discontinued why, one wonders - do they blow up?) and really unattractive wrapping paper, and paper plates in purple and orange - I cannot imagine any kind of food that would look good on a purple or orange plate, myself. And really cheap luggage, and deeply strange sheets ("150 thread count") in more odd color combinations, and kitchen bits and pieces and paintbrushes and roller sets and...

Well. If you want to spend a completely fascinating hour, go to a 99 cent store. Bet you can't get out without buying something.

Love, Wendy

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