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May 30, 2017 | Ruminations & Observations From A Long Holiday Weekend

James Quinn has held financial positions with a retailer, homebuilder and university in his 30 year career. Those positions included treasurer, controller, and head of strategic planning. He earned a BS in accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Villanova University. He is a certified public accountant and a certified cash manager.

I really don’t mingle among the masses much anymore. I prefer the peace and quiet of my home, sitting on the patio in the backyard enjoying the tranquility, working in my vegetable gardens, filling the birdfeeders, or sipping a cold beer, until the loud family across the back fence arrives to invade my fortress of solitude with their thunderous chorus of tedious chatter.

I do not enjoy crowds. I never go to sporting events any longer. I’ve never been to an Eagles game at their new taxpayer funded stadium. I’ve been to a few Phillies games at their taxpayer funded stadium. I shared Flyers season tickets for twenty years with some friends, but gave them up ten years ago.

When I was a kid we lived twenty minutes from Veterans Stadium, which could hold 70,000 people. My dad would take me to a game on a Sunday afternoon and we would get general admission seats for $2.50 ($2.00 for adult, $0.50 for kid). He would park on the street a half mile away for free. He would buy a bag of soft pretzels outside the stadium for $0.50 and bring them in. We’d get a hot dog and Coke for a couple bucks and then settle into the yellow seats (700 level) for an enjoyable couple hours.

The new stadiums were purposely built with 45,000 seats to limit supply and drive up ticket prices. A father and son would need to spend a minimum of $100 to attend a game today. Parking costs $20. The games are an interminable three hours or more to watch below average talent prima donnas making $10 million per year not run out ground balls.

I’ve only attended about ten concerts in my entire life, mostly with my sons. This past Thursday my wife and I had tickets to the Mumford and Sons concert at the BB&T Center on the waterfront in Camden NJ, a city with one of the highest murder rates in the country. I was not relishing a trip into Camden, but I was anticipating seeing Mumford and Sons live for the first time. After our adventure through hell, I think I would pass if given the chance to go again.

Our master plan was to go to the concert early and tailgate. After the concert we were headed for Wildwood for a relaxing weekend at the shore. We were going to get some Wawa hoagies and bring a few beers so we could mellow out before going into the venue. BB&T is an open air pavilion with seats under the pavilion and a huge lawn where people can sit on blankets or beach chairs. We had seats. Thank God.

It rained heavily all morning. The weather forecast called for a break in the afternoon, with a 50% chance of showers around show time. We figured the tailgating was out, so we were going to leave at 4:45 for the 7:30 concert and eat and drink inside the venue. It was just cloudy as we left home and headed for the Schuylkill Expressway. All was well until we entered the city limits of Philly.

First a few drops on the windshield, then within minutes monsoon level rains were swamping my tiny Honda Insight. I thought we might be washed away, as the drainage on the Schuylkill is pitiful, just like most things in Philly. Just when you thought it couldn’t rain any harder, it rained harder. Then the lightning and hail arrived. Traffic crawled at 5 mph for miles. I’m familiar with getting into New Jersey over the Ben Franklin bridge, but completely clueless when it comes to navigating into Camden. I left that to my wife and her trusty Google maps App.

Driving across the Ben Franklin Bridge in a torrential downpour that my wipers at maximum speed couldn’t handle already had me on edge. Now the weather must have made the Google map chick lose her mind, as she began spouting gibberish just when I needed guidance. She kept yammering about exits that didn’t exist, giving opposing directions and making me want to grab the phone out of my wife’s hand and tossing it into the Delaware River as we came across the bridge. I ended up taking an exit into Camden, leaving me off on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Camden NJ. Being lost on any Martin Luther King Boulevard in the country is dangerous enough, but in one of the murder capitals of the country is frightening. I certainly wasn’t going to pull over and ask for help.

I ended up on Admiral Wilson Boulevard (where prostitutes are the main business) headed away from Camden when I pulled into a gas station and let my wife reconfigure her phone to use a functioning GPS Ap. The calm lady on this App successfully guided us to our destination where I was going to be told to bend over and get it good and hard for the next few hours.

Your parking options are two ridiculously congested, poorly laid out crappy lots adjacent to the BB&T Center where the raping begins. I kid you not; the price to park was $40. You had no choice. The entrance and exit were microscopic. So, at the end of the concert it would take an hour to get out. After finding a spot in the back of the lot, we noticed many people were still tailgating in the pouring rain. We realized why a few minutes later.

Now I got to experience the security at BB&T Center. We approached the entrance and a slew of black security personnel blocked the way. Some dude used a wand to make sure my non-Muslim wife wasn’t strapped with a bomb. The short fat black chick assigned to me put her chubby body against mine and began feeling me up, practically cupping my balls in the process. Her aggressiveness was unnecessary and ridiculous.

These diversity hire minimum wage pretend security drones are a joke. But, the joke was on me once we entered the facility and attempted to get a snack and a couple beers. They should rename this place the Bendover Center. Two beers, a “small” crabfries, and a soft pretzel cost $43. I got felt up and screwed twice in the space of fifteen minutes, but I didn’t get a happy ending. This hellish experience confirmed why I prefer to stay home. My revulsion to being ass raped for $43 is how I pack a brown bag lunch for myself every day while brewing a pot of coffee every morning. I don’t spend $43 in a month on breakfast/lunch.

We settled into our seats at about 7:00 for the 7:30 show. Silly us. We had to sit through an hour from an untalented opening act. Then it took another 30 minutes to set up the stage for Mumford & Sons. By the time they went on at 9:00, I was irritated to the extreme. Then the 60ish year old lady next to us kept blowing her marijuana vape smoke into our faces, while fatties kept going in and out of our aisle. Once the music started everyone had to stand. What’s the point of having a seat, if you can’t use it?

Marcus Mumford has a fantastic voice and the band is tremendously versatile musicians. They were four songs into the set when some dude rushes up to the microphone to announce a dangerous thunderstorm is about to hit and everyone on the lawn should come under cover while the concert is delayed. A massive downpour, with hundreds of lightning strikes proceeded for the next 45 minutes, as we sat trapped in our seats by the hordes of lawn people.

It was almost worth it, as the actual one hour and forty five minutes of music was sensational. I particularly enjoyed The Cave and I Will Wait.

The one thing I noticed was how most people are incapable of just enjoying the moment, without attempting to become the main focus of the moment. They are taking selfies, checking in, videotaping the performance, or texting friends to tell them how much fun they are having. The level of shallowness is breathtaking to behold. As the time approached 11:30, and still having a 90 minute drive to Wildwood, we left during the encore to beat the traffic out of the congested parking lot.

I found it somewhat amusing to exit back onto Martin Luther King Boulevard to escape the hell hole known as Camden. I was never so happy to get on an on-ramp to 676 in my life. We were now on our way to Wildwood to be among the obese tattooed masses, throngs of illegal immigrant day trippers, and gangs of diverse jeans halfway down their ass punks. Life was good.

I awoke to a sunny cool Friday morning, pumped up the tires on my old bike, and proceeded to ride down to the jetty at 2nd and JFK. The sea was angry that day, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli. The tide was high and there was a full moon, so the ocean was actually crashing over the jetty. The waves were so high, there were ten surfers hanging ten out in the 60 degree water.

I just sat on the bench for fifteen minutes watching dolphins playing in the surf, the waves crashing on the jetty and the sun rising over the limitless expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the people around me were enthralled by their iGadgets to such an extent; they could have been sitting on the couch in their living rooms. The beauty of nature wasn’t nearly as interesting as their latest text or tweet.

As I rode back to the condo, the multitudes had awoken and shuffled toward Dunkin Donuts to imbibe in their required carb loading for a long day of more carb loading. Navigating the fairly wide boardwalk on a bike when a family of chubsters is waddling arm to arm across the boardwalk can be challenging, but I made it back to the condo in one piece.

I had to drive to Lowes to buy some new deck chairs for the upcoming rental season. It seems renters these days being on the hefty side, have busted half our chairs. I bought the extra-large 350 pound capacity chairs to make sure our Murican renters would be comfy on the deck as they wolfed down pizza with all the toppings, funnel cake, chocolate covered bacon, and diet coke.

We spent most of the day reading on the deck or walking on the boards, observing what constitutes the youth of our country. God help us. My observations do not apply to everyone who sauntered past our deck or passed by on the boardwalk. There were a considerable number of hot young babes in bikinis. We did find it interesting they feel perfectly fine walking the streets and the boardwalk in bikinis, without cover-ups.

My wife said her and her friends would never have walked around like that in their youth. They had self-respect and a sense of decency. Not that I’m complaining about hotties in bikinis. What I am complaining about are the majority of obese troglodytes with no self-awareness or shame. There are a variety of creatures, unaware or uncaring about their appearance, roaming the streets of Wildwood.

Memorial Day weekend draws an eclectically ignorant swath of Murica to the Wildwood beaches. In season, between July and September, the diversity quotient drops dramatically as only employed people (mostly white families) can afford a week at the shore. But on Memorial Day weekend, it appears a half dozen or more blacks and Hispanics all pile into a hotel room or condo and split the cost.

They head to the beach rain or shine and then party in and around their hotel/condo all night. They do this because they have no money, other than government handouts or low level service jobs. They have no money because they are virtually unemployable. They are unemployable because of their ignorance and appearance. They are ignorant and clownish in appearance because they weren’t raised by two parents who taught them how to behave, think and look.

If you don’t think we have an obesity epidemic in this country, spend a weekend in Wildwood. The epidemic seems to have struck blacks and whites, with it less apparent among the Hispanics. It is clear the proliferation of carbohydrate rich processed food peddled by mega food corporations has created a nation of blobs. They are addicted to carbs, just as smokers are addicted to nicotine.

The real problem is their lack of shame and glorifying of their obesity through their clothing choices. Fat black girls wearing pants that look painted on their bodies, with asses big enough to display a billboard ad, proudly strut down the street. Entire white families of obese parents and their offspring shuffle on the boards looking for food to satisfy their unquenchable appetites.

I guess the societal indoctrination convincing grossly overweight people they aren’t abnormal (they are) has convinced them they can wear bikinis when anyone with two brain cells should know they look hideous and disgusting. Overweight people should dress in a way that flatters them, not accentuating their worst features. In Wildwood they let it all hang out – literally. I kid you not – as my wife and I were walking to Nino’s Restaurant on the boardwalk at 4:00 pm (early bird special – I’m becoming my parents) we witnessed an almost indescribable image.

It was an obese white couple pushing a baby stroller occupied by what I presume was an obese baby. The woman appeared to have a bare ass protruding into our faces as we walked behind them. I think her humongous ass had swallowed whatever undergarment she was wearing into the deep crack between her butt cheeks. But we didn’t linger to find out. We averted our eyes and sped past them.

The most interesting group to observe was the gangs of black male teenagers roaming the streets like menacing packs of dogs. From my deck I observed their appearance, vocabulary, and actions. Based on their hairstyle choices and wardrobe selection alone, I would classify 75% of them unemployable. They don’t even attempt to conform to societal norms. If they were speaking English, it was foreign to me.

Their ebonics chatter is incomprehensible to normal people who are the hiring managers at companies. Wearing your pants around your knees might be cool in the hood, but it automatically makes you unemployable. Of course, since most of these gang bangers can’t read, write, add, or spell dumbass, they will never amount to anything other than a pro-creator of more ignorant unemployable black bastard children. So it goes.

As my wife and I were walking to the used book store we were behind two young white women, one pushing a baby in a stroller. On the sidewalk up ahead were about twelve young black punks on bikes, probably discussing Einstein’s theory of relativity, who could see us all walking on the sidewalk coming towards them.

The ignorant pieces of shit just pretended we didn’t exist and forced the girl with the stroller to go into the street to go around them. We followed, as those future prison inmates probably laughed about teaching those privileged white people a lesson from the hood. Another observation was how many white girls (usually ugly) were with black dudes, but there were no white guys with black girls. Maybe size does matter?

The proliferation of tattoos and face piercings among low class whites is astonishing to behold. I just don’t get it. Deforming your body must be some sort of cry for help. Again, these in your face abnormalities limit the type of job these people can get to low level service jobs – at best. Having a crazy hair style in your youth doesn’t deter you from growing up, becoming mature, and acting like an adult – with a real job.

These tattooed, pierced freaks can’t grow out of these deformities. Getting a decent paying office job is virtually out of the question. Bad life choices condemn these young people to a lifetime of negative consequences. But, at least their fellow millennial freaks support their bad choices. So they got that going for them.

After a relaxing day of judging people from the confines of my deck it was time to hit the Shamrock and tie a load on. At least the beers wouldn’t cost $13 a piece like at the BB&T Center. And I’d get to request the songs I wanted from Billy Jack. We arrived at about 9:45 and were greeted by Billy Jack while he was singing.

The Shamrock was bought by a local guy last year. He upgraded the place with new floors and bar stools with backs. No more drunk girls falling backwards off their barstool anymore to write about. My wife said they even upgraded the women’s bathroom with new flooring and actual locks on the stall doors. She used to have to hold the door closed or someone might walk in on you. They took the door off the men’s room, added flooring, but kept the urine trough. You can’t improve on some things. They might have added a new deodorizing urine cake.

Billy Jack played my wife’s two requests: The Lumineers’ Hey Ho and Dave Mason’s We Just Disagree. We were moderately intoxicated when we left at 1:30 am – an early night at the shore. We spent another relaxing day on the deck on Saturday and headed to Westy’s Irish Pub at 7:00 to see a fun local band called 39 Mariner playing on their open air deck. It was a $5 cover, but well worth it. They were an energetic band playing songs from the 60’s through to today’s hits. The crowd was into it with a mixture of our age and down to 20 somethings.

The crowd at Westy’s was a perfect example of self-segregation. There were probably 500 people in that bar enjoying the festivities and I didn’t see one black person in the bunch. Is that racist? I saw hundreds of blacks on the streets of Wildwood, but none in the clubs in North Wildwood. I don’t think it was the music. I think it is a lack of money. EBT cards don’t work at bars.

Mixed drinks were $6 and a bottle of beer was $4. That’s too steep for hood rats. I’d have to say it was a good looking crowd at Westy’s. Only a few of the obese tattooed masses showed up. Most looked like solid working class citizens. They still do exist. After a late night on Friday, we were ready to call it quits at 10:30 and get a cab home.

But first we had to hit Joe Joe’s Pizza for a night ending slice. We walked down the street to Joe Joe’s and we saw the walk-up counter where they took orders. I saw an opening and walked up to the counter and ordered. My wife stayed on the sidewalk and noticed the people next to me pointing and acting annoyed. I didn’t notice. Evidently there was a long line of 15 people waiting to order and I walked in front of them all. After getting our slices my wife told me what I had done. I said fuck it. Shit happens. And I devoured my slice.

We walked another block to the cab stand on 3rd and Walnut. As we were waiting two really drunk old guys asked us if this was the cab stand. They explained they had been drinking at Keenan’s since 2:00. I believed them. They were jovial drunks who could barely stand. Then another couple around our age arrived. The cab pulled up and we all agreed to share the ride.

We almost laughed out loud when the old dudes said they were going to 4th and JFK. That was less than a five block walk. Since they were incapable of walking five feet much less five blocks, the cab was probably best. They literally fell out of the cab at their stop. They gave the cab driver a $20 for the $7 fare. As we pulled away they were walking in opposite directions. I hope they made it.

The couple explained how they had left their twin 17 year old daughters at their motel while going out to drink all afternoon. Their daughters were outside waiting for them as we pulled up. Just some down to earth people blowing off some steam in Wildwood NJ. We were home and in bed by 11:00 on a Saturday night and it felt good not to get up with a hangover the next morning.

We decided to come home Sunday night and beat the traffic. As usual I was foiled by an accident on the Schuylkill Expressway and the trip took 2 hours and 40 minutes. I certainly wouldn’t classify the four days as relaxing, but they were certainly eventful. Trying to stay entertained during this long decline sure seems like a lot of work. I think I need a vacation.

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May 30th, 2017

Posted In: The Burning Platform

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