Sunday, October 28, 2018

"Out to Lunch at Victoria's Secret"

By Jerry Zezima
Hearst Connecticut Media
As a thoroughly modern man with a partially feminine side, which I always sit on when I eat lunch, I am not embarrassed to say that if it weren’t for Victoria’s Secret, I would go hungry every day.

That’s because my wife, Sue, a thoroughly modern woman with no masculine side, and a longtime customer of the clothing and beauty chain, packs my lunch in a Victoria’s Secret bag.

My second meal of the day is the hit of the office, where colleagues routinely ask what I have for lunch, to which I reply, “I can’t tell you. It’s a Secret.”

When my pink striped bag recently started to sag under the weight of the incredible edibles packed within, it was time to go to Victoria’s Secret to buy Sue a little something. Then I could get a new bag and avoid not only starving each weekday but depriving my office mates the pleasure of asking if my ham sandwich was wrapped in something frilly.

“May I help you?” sales associate Elana Litsakis asked as Sue and I perused the merchandise.

“I’m looking for a lunch bag,” I replied.

Elana, 29, who said she has “heard it all” from shoppers of the male persuasion, added that this was the first time a guy was more interested in lunch than lingerie.

“I appreciate intimate apparel,” I explained. “After all, sometimes a boy just likes to feel pretty. But the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And I need something to carry my lunch in.”

“Does that mean you’re looking for something to wear?” Elana asked Sue, who nodded and replied, “I’d like to see some leggings.”

“How about armings?” I wondered.

“They haven’t come in yet,” said Elana, who showed Sue the selection and directed her to the fitting room while I stood next to the thongs, which Elana was marking, pricing and, somehow, folding.

“I don’t suppose you have anything in my size,” I said.

“Of course we do,” Elana responded with a smile. “What color would you like?”

“Pink,” I said. “It’ll match my new bag.”

“My grandpa likes our bags,” Elana told me. “For his 80th birthday, we got him a camera that we put in one of them. He said, ‘Is there a girl in there, too?’ ”

“You don’t seem to have anything for guys,” I said.

“We have cologne,” Elana countered. “There’s Very Sexy for Him and Very Sexy for Him Platinum.”

“What’s the difference?” I asked.

“One is Platinum,” Elana said. “The other isn’t.”

“I think I’ll stick with Eau de Budweiser,” I told her.

When Sue emerged from the fitting room, she said she didn’t want the leggings but would buy two sweatshirts instead.

“You get a free panty,” Elana said.

“Wow,” said Sue.

I agreed.

We thanked Elana for her help and, in my case, her unlimited patience and headed to the checkout, where I told Alexis, the cashier, about my lunchtime cravings.

“You must be very popular in the office,” she said as she rang up Sue’s purchase. “It comes to $70,” Alexis added. “If you want a bag, it will be an extra 5 cents.”

“I’ll buy you two bags,” Sue said sweetly, signing a bill for $70.10.

“You spare no expense for me,” I said gratefully. “By the way, what’s for lunch tomorrow?”

“After this,” Sue said, “you can make it yourself.”

Copyright 2018 by Jerry Zezima

Sunday, October 14, 2018

"Dot's the Car for Poppie"

By Jerry Zezima
Hearst Connecticut Media

If a car dealership is looking for someone to star in its TV commercials, a funny, smart, trusted spokesperson who is an expert in style and the best color for your new vehicle, I have the perfect candidate.

I refer, of course, to my 5-year-old granddaughter, Chloe.

Chloe, who has a lifetime of experience with crayons, has two favorite colors: blue and pink. Those are my favorite colors, too, because Chloe has told me they are.

So when I called her recently to say I was going to look for a new car, I asked what color I should get.

“Get blue, Poppie,” Chloe advised.

“How about pink?” I wondered.

“No,” Chloe said. “Get blue. With pink polka dots.”

That afternoon, my wife, Sue, and I went to Hyundai 112 and saw James Boyd, a super salesman who is starring in a TV commercial for the Long Island dealership.

“You’re a celebrity,” I told him.

“I haven’t seen the commercial yet,” said James, who asked what I was looking for in a new car.

“Brakes,” I replied. “They’re pretty important. And wheels. An engine would help, too.”

“I can do that,” he said. “I can also get you all the bells and whistles.”

“If I wanted bells and whistles,” I said, “I’d buy a train.”

James said I could trade in my 2014 Santa Fe for a 2019 Santa Fe, but that it wouldn’t be keyless.

“Even keyless cars need keys,” I pointed out.

“That’s a key point,” James responded with a straight face. “But the car doesn’t come with seat warmers.”

“I already have them,” I said. “They’re called pants.”

When Sue and I returned from a test drive, James asked how we liked the car.

I shrugged and replied, “The cop said the accident wasn’t my fault.”

He blanched. Sue shook her head and said, “Ignore him.”

But James, 39, a charming guy who has been in the business for 18 years, couldn’t ignore the fact that we wanted to buy the car. He got us an excellent deal.

After checking out my old white car, James said, “You have the best vanity plates I have ever seen.”

The plates — JZEE — were Sue’s idea.

“It took me months to get them,” she told James.

“What do you think the real Jay-Z would say?” James wondered.

“I’m the real one,” I said. “I’m older than he is and I had the name first. And my wife is even more beautiful than his.”

Sue blushed. Then she said, “We have to pick a color.”

“Our granddaughter wants me to get blue,” I told James.

“I can do that,” he said.

“With pink polka dots,” I added.

“Anything for you, JZEE,” he promised. “But you may have to buy a paintball gun.”

James said that the available shade of blue was called Stormy Sea.

“Better than Stormy Daniels,” I noted.

Sue agreed.

When the transaction was done, I asked the celebrity salesman for his autograph. James took out a pen and, on a sheet of paper, signed, “To JZEE: Best wishes. Drive safely!! James T. Boyd”

“Now I want yours,” he said.

“I already gave you about 47 autographs on the paperwork,” I said.

After we all shook hands, Sue and I drove home, where I called Chloe.

“I got a new car,” I told her.

“Wow!” she said. “What color?”


“With pink polka dots?”

“No,” I confessed.

“You have to get pink polka dots, Poppie.”

James was right: I may have to buy a paintball gun.

Copyright 2018 by Jerry Zezima