On my perfectly beautiful, obligation-free day today I drove to Hershey to the outlet stores there. The stores are right in sight of the theme park, called amazingly enough, Hershey Park. It's a regular amusement park with all kinds of roller coasters and water rides and like that. It's in the middle of a gorgeous countryside. And the town of Hershey is itself a lovely place. I drive a Honda Civic Hybrid so I have no guilt about using the gas.
Well, of course, I'd have no guilt anyway. After all I don't leave the water running while I brush my teeth, so I've earned ecology-brownie points that way. I turn out lights too. So I'm going to heaven-for-ecology-people in case there is one. There's probably not one, but I'm just sayin'. If there is one. In case. Just to be double sure, I recycle regularly too. To be sure of going to heaven-for-ecology-people that is. Our daughter AP3 is a recycling Nazi, so I'm puttin' that in so she will be nice to me when I'm old and stuff.
On the drive out, which takes about 20 or 25 minutes I guess, I had an earworm going on in my head: Alice's Restaurant. You know, "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. Just walk right in, it's around the back, just a half-mile from the railroad track. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."
It's sung by Arlo Guthrie on the recordings and by coincidence, he sings it in my head too. Convenient. He composed it too. So as any fool can see, it all just works out perfectly. I sees.
Because of this song-going-on-in-my-head thing, the first thing I did when I got to the outlet stores was to go to a music store called, “Music 4 Less.” See how clever they are? They save two spaces by using the number 4 instead of writing out the word "for." That's so smart, don'tcha think? Those guys. So smart.
I bought Arlo's CD of Alice's Restaurant of course, and then picked up The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, The Best of the Moody Blues, and Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits. Don't worry, I didn't just pick'em up. I actually paid for them. Please notice that I got the very best, the best, and the greatest, so you know I have taste. Then I bought Casey Kasem's America's Hits: The Folk Years, just so's you don't think I'm too hi-fi-lootin'. What with buyin' all the best and all.
It's got stuff like "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers and "I Dig Rock and Roll Music" by Peter, Paul and Mary. Like that.
I originally decided to go to Hershey to see a store called Christmas Tree Hill. Some people (okay, women-people) were talking about that store at a Labor Day party we went to and I had never heard of it. Sounded interesting. I'm a shopping junky. Sometimes.
I was apparently in a spending mood. How unusual. I mean without a daughter or granddaughter along to buy for. I like to buy for other folks. Then you don't have to find room for it in your own closet or on your own shelves. Now there is absolutely nothing in Christmas Tree Hill that a person needs. So I spent only about a hundred dollars there. They have no idea what they missed.
But I want credit for all the stores I passed up too. I didn't go into "Big Dog Sportswear", skipped "Vitamin World", and snubbed "Black and Decker Tools." There are supposedly 55 stores there, so I must have gone into 52 of them. Didn't seem like that many to me. Musta missed some others.
I walked right by the "Bible Factory Outlet." Then turned around and walked back and went in. Good thing I did. Did you know that October 9 is "Clergy Appreciation Day?" Well, it is. See? If I hadn't gone into that store, you'd be in the dark about that.
They carry a hardback journal called, "Presidential Prayer Team." It's not a big seller I guess, 'cause it was marked down to just one dollar and they had lots of them left. Imagine. Just a dollar. Can't get much for one dollar these days. This journal has a place for you to write in the names of the Cabinet members and other Important Folks. Every day you think about these big important people, and you pray for them. Especially the Great Leader and President.
They have tee shirts and signs that look like the old Coca-Cola signs in red and white, but they have Jesus Christ written on them instead of Coca-Cola, and then "Eternally Refreshing. John 4:14." Cute.
Lots of other books in there too. Then when I saw one titled, "The Gay Agenda," I figured I'd had enough of this particular store and I started out the door. But the guy at the counter just had to ask me if I'd found what I was looking for. Mr. Too-Dumb-to-Breathe is what I'd call a guy who messes with me when I'm pissed off. Guess the look on my face wasn't as mean as I was feelin'. I will spare you the details, but I told him off about carrying that book. They probably don't get a whole lot of excitement in that store. I might have to go back. Help'em out in that regard. I'm all heart sometimes. They're probably still praying for me in there.
That put a little cloud over my shopping fun, but I went bravely on and into a men's store and found some shirts for my husband that he doesn't need, and then on to other stores and found some clothes I don't need for myself. I heard that the economy might be in trouble what with Katrina and all, and I want to help.
On the way home I popped "Alice's Restaurant" into the CD player and got all in a good mood again.
You sing along this time. With feeling."You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want (exceptin' Alice) at Alice's Restaurant. Just walk right in, it's around the back, just a half-mile from the railroad track. You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."
That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff, you have to sing LOUD…
Okay, when it comes around again on the git-tar, try again. Only this time Loud, and in Four-Part Harmony and with Feelin'. That's what we're waiting on now, for it to come around again. Okay, here it comes....