music in the park san jose

Over the weekend a tragedy befell our family, one which we
unfortunately didn’t see coming and had no ability to prepare for,
although in retrospect I cannot believe I was so blindly naive.
We went to The Mall.
Over the weekend a tragedy befell our family, one which we unfortunately didn’t see coming and had no ability to prepare for, although in retrospect I cannot believe I was so blindly naive.

We went to The Mall.

Yes, I know now it was stupid; we just thought, hey, it’s the day after Halloween, the really big shopping push won’t have started yet, let’s go look around, maybe get some early ideas for presents. Apparently that particular notion was more contagious than a computer virus because every breathing soul north of Bernal Road had the same one and got there first; hence The Nightmare on Stevens Creek. But if you don’t learn from tragedy you are indeed, uh, you are indeed, umm, you are … well, you’re not very bright, and what I learned is crystal clear.

I gotta get in shape.

The trouble is, there are to my knowledge no workout videos that can help with this particular problem, even though it afflicts so many Americans I’m surprised the right-wing radio talk show hosts haven’t yet blamed it on Clinton. This is what I need:

1. A good cruise-the-parking-lot exercise – something specific to the right leg for the gas-and-brake dance, the shoulders for endlessly turning the steering wheel up one full aisle and down the next, and the left middle finger for the 19th other driver who flings his car into a newly-empty space two seconds before you get there.

2. Finger-toughening exercises – you know that experience, “Here’s your 37-pound glass punch bowl, I’m sure your Aunt Sadie will love it. Let me just put it in this bag for you with string handles the diameter of guitar strings that can amputate digits more efficiently than a wire cheese cutter can slice cheddar. You’ll be losing all circulation and feeling in your fingers before you can get out of the store. Thanks for shopping with us and come back as soon as you heal.”

3. Feet-of-steel exercises – you’re shuffling through the mall vainly attempting to peruse the merchandise in the distant store windows as the crowd carries you helplessly along like a canoe down the Mississippi. You’re used to the constant stream of people stepping on your toes and you think you’ve grown safely numb, but then the lady pushing twins in the mall-issue stroller the approximate size and weight of a Honda Civic 4-door somehow manages to run over both feet with every wheel, and you realize there are still a few functioning pain nerves down there. On the bright side, it takes your mind off your gangrenous fingers.

4. Deafness-to-bad-Christmas-music exercises – last Saturday, Nov. 1, only 5 weeks into autumn here in Mediterranean-climate California, in a hermetically-sealed mall, I was subjected to the criminally-inappropriate Johnny Mathis version of “Jingle Bells.” It made my skin crawl. Ain’t no snow, nobody was dashing, no fields to go o’er for miles in any direction; however, the sound of “slay” did have a certain appeal. Can Gene Autry’s unfortunately immortal “I Saw mommy Kissing Santa Claus” be far behind?

It’s no longer reasonable to think we can just launch ourselves into the ever-lengthening holiday season without some preliminary conditioning. Don’t you think a good “Buff Up For Shopping In Only Eight Minutes A Day” video could snag some serious money?

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