Archive for December, 2008

Some News in Review

December 31, 2008

Today we’re going to cover a story that literally made me laugh out loud, and then uncontrollably respond with this statement: It’s about damn time.

A man in South Philadelphia shot another man for talking during a movie.

See? You couldn’t help but smile a little bit and wish you could covertly high five the shooter. Don’t lie to me. You feel a little vindicated. And let’s be clear – we here at The Talking Mirror don’t condone violence. Except in situations where it’s really funny or is obviously the best form of justice. This situation happens to qualify for both. He didn’t kill the guy, he just shot him in the arm. And he had yelled at him the whole time and had even “fired a warning shot,” which is to say he threw popcorn at the guy.42-16070641

How many times have you secretly wished you could do the same thing to some idiot who wouldn’t shut the hell up? This is a safe place. Let’s be vulnerable. I myself have had a few extended fantasies involving doing violence to people who talk during movies or kick my chair. Would I ever act on those fantasies? Of course not, I’m a civilized person and I’m not sure my snarky humor would get me very far in prison. But honestly, if you’re watching a movie in South Philly and some dude behind you is getting real pissed about you talking…. Maybe you should shut your mouth. It’s South Philly. It’s practically a real life version of Grand Theft Auto. If you decide to pull the “it’s a free country” card, then you need to realize that you might get shot. It is a free country, and that gentleman chose to use his freedom to shoot you and then get arrested. Was the conversation really worth it? I hope so, dumbass.

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75% Off, 100% Insane: A Word on Clearance Shopping

December 30, 2008

holiday shoppingI have learned much in my first six months as a manager at a massive, multi-national retailer and most of it has little to do with running a retail establishment (I still know just more than nothing about that.)  A short list of the courses I have unwittingly audited could include: parent/child power struggles in a postmodern world, behavioral habits of non-high school graduates in the workplace, the creative ethics of America’s petty criminal class, and statistical correlations between discount vocabulary and purchasing trends.

While these are all fascinating studies, I’d like to spend our time today focusing on the fourth topic with special attention to the near-hypnotic effect the word “clearance” has on shoppers, particularly those of the female persuasion. (more…)

How to Cope with Being Alone on New Years Eve: A Guide

December 29, 2008

December 31st is upon us and with it comes an evening of binge drinking, bad decisions, and then the declaration of resolutions to never again make those bad decisions. Some of us will go to a bar or club. Some will attend a party at a friend’s residence. Some will sit alone on their couch while they weep and drink themselves into oblivion. Still, some others will spend the evening with their families, pretending that playing Monopoly: Star Wars Edition with the younger cousins is “seriously super fun” and truthlessly declaring that “really Mom, there’s no where I’d rather be than with my family on New Years.” We know you’re a liar, and so does Jesus. Who wouldn’t want to kiss someone at midnight rather than hug their crazy Aunt Janie and then listen for thirty minutes while she tells you how she’s not going to eat Little Debbies this year because they give her gas? We love you crazy Aunt Janie, but you’re overweight and I don’t like to think about the gaseous products of your digestive processes. I’d rather be kissing a babe. Or a girl that was “kind of cute.” Or – to reference Kent’s sexist article about rating women’s attractiveness – maybe even a “3” if the lights were real dim and I had a few glasses of bubbly in my belly. Sound desperate? Maybe. Let’s just say this recession has effected a lot of economies.happy-new-year-hat-4

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December 26th is a Great Day for a Break-up

December 26, 2008

My plan this afternoon was to write a painfully hilarious, staggeringly brilliant article that laid bare the frivolity of the Midwestern ethos through the symbolic milieu of stop sign right-of-way etiquette.  It would have been sweet, trust me.  Unfortunately for all of us, I was trying to write this post at the same Starbucks that a pair of local high schoolers had selected as the location for their breakup conversation.

I got as far as “If there’s one thing the Third World does right, it’s…” when I realized that any attempts at coherent thinking were futile.  Not wanting to waste my time or my vanilla latte, I will instead be describing for you the details of this star-crossed couple’s conversation and we shall see what universal truths we can extract from this unfolding human drama. (more…)

Mall Santas: An Exposé

December 24, 2008

Christmas comes but once a year, now it’s here, now it’s here. Christmas comes but once a year, tra la la la la. The arrival of the holiday season brings with it that most venerable of American institutions– the mall Santa Claus. After enjoying decades of favorable public opinion, the mall Santa Claus has taken a severe lashing in popularity as the checkered details of this trade emerge. The Santas owe their collective misfortune in large measure to charges of degeneracy, perversion, financial scandals, a string of tragic Tim Allen films about Santa Claus (largely associated with cash-mongering), degeneracy, and, increasingly, perversion.

But who are these oafish imposters? The Talking Mirror spoke with mall Santas across the country in an effort to uncover the lives behind the laps. In the process, we learned more than just the current state of the mall Santa Claus. We learned about the state of the economy, the nature of addiction, and maybe, just maybe, a little something about ourselves. Due to space restrictions, and the proclivity of most Santas for profane and offensive language, we have decided to print only one interview. However, one should be sufficient as each mall Santa is, at his core, identical to all the rest. (more…)