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“Fuck It — Everyone’s Getting A Scented Candle.”

Across the country, shoppers braving the Christmas Eve crowds took one look at the number of people in the shopping malls and parking garages around them, and said, seemingly at once, “Fuck it — everyone’s getting scented candles this year.”

For many, the declaration came after weeks of procrastination, as they waited until the last minute to buy gifts for people on their shopping lists.

“I bought some gifts early, on Amazon and whatever,” said John McKenna of Providence, Rhode Island. “But for everyone else, I just kept waiting, and now it’s this,” he said, looking at the sea of people walking through the Providence Place shopping mall.

“I’m not dealing with this nonsense,” McKenna said. “Look, there’s a Bath & Body Works or whatever the hell it’s called right there. Fuck it. Everyone’s getting a scented candle this year.”

McKenna ended the interview and walked quickly to the store, several yards away.

In Burbank, California, Melissa James was coming to the same conclusion.

“Oh, my God,” she said as she entered Macy’s from Burbank Town Center shopping mall’s parking garage and was instantly met with a wall of shoppers. “I was hoping it wouldn’t be this bad. This is awful.”

She walked through the mall, weaving through the people as best she could. “There’s gotta be a Bath & Body Works around here. I think there’s one right outside Macy’s. So, you know what, fuck it, everyone’s getting a scented candle. They want to complain, that’s fine. I don’t care. This is madness.”

Harv Tomlinson of Evanston, Illinois needed gifts for his mother, aunt and grandmother. He was hoping to get personalized, unique gift this year, for a change, but he “kept putting it off” and ran out of time. Now, he has little choice, as he enters the parking lot of the Lincolnwood Town Center in his Honda Civic, and comes to a stop instantly. At least 12 cars wait for a spot ahead of Harv. He’s already had enough.

“What’s that store called where you get the candles?” he asks through his open car window. “Bed, Bath & Beyond? No, the other one.” Bath & Body Works, he is told. “Yeah, that place. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not sitting in this and then dealing with the zoo inside, looking around for hours on end. Fuck it. They’re all getting a scented candle.”

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National

Merry One Day of Year You Can Wish for Peace and Love and Not Be Openly Mocked

Easton, PA – Jamie Bolton is very excited Christmas is finally here. This isn’t because she’s going to receive or give any particular present, or because she’ll see long-lost relatives. Jamie is excited for Christmas because it’s the one day of the year when he can admit she wants peace and joy in the world, and not be laughed at and called a “dirty hippie” by the people in her life.

“It’s just nice to be able to admit, even if it’s for one day, that I wish there was more peace and love in the world,” Jamie said. “Because it’s Christmas, no one says what they usually say — ‘freak,’ ‘hippie,’ ‘move to Canada.’ None of that. They get it. At least for today.”

Jamie said she harbors these feelings all the other days of the year as well, but she doesn’t dare express herself.

“I tried once, on just a regular day,” she said. “And my husband and brother called me ‘Yoko,’ and asked if I was going to grow my hair long and smoke a joint. It went on for hours. They put on the White Album and everything.”

Likewise, Mark Barron of Piscataway, New Jersey seizes on the Christmas holiday to hang a large “Peace and Love” sign on his garage. No one makes a comment, he says, or worse, tries to deface the sign. This isn’t the case when it isn’t Christmas.

“I put a peace sign on my car once, a few years ago,” Mark said, “and while I was in the mall, someone had written on it, ‘this is America, expletive-expletive.’ I took it down.”

But during the Christmas holiday, Mark can proudly display his sign, and Jamie can express her desire for more peace and love in the world. But how long does it last?

“Oh, I make it to about New Year’s with the sign,” Mark said. “One year I left it a couple of days longer and someone spray-painted over it, ‘This isn’t 1969, hippie.’ So, I learned my lesson.”

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National

Americans Usher in Holiday Season by Trampling One Another for a Good Deal on Slippers

Garfield, New Jersey – Shoppers at a local Wal-Mart welcomed in the holiday season early Friday morning by trampling fellow shoppers in order to take advantage of special deals only available Friday morning.

The Garfield, N.J. Wal-Mart, like many other Wal-Mart stores across the country, extended its Black Friday hours to try to compensate for a shorter-than-normal shopping window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Garfield store held a special sale between 12 a.m. and 3 a.m. early Friday morning, and then opened for business again at 8 a.m. Lines were very long for the early-morning sale, and when the doors opened at 12 a.m., eager customers stomped on one another on their way to saving money on linens, household goods, and electronics.