Posts tagged ‘Burlington Coat Factory’

December 24, 2011

Department Store Santa Confidential

by ERTEL GRAY
edited by ANDREW HICKS

Kris Kringle needs some straight Kahlua.

I was a Department Store Santa during the hectic Christmas season of 1995. Value City was the store. For years, it’d held prime position as the face of the Lycoming Mall in Pennsylvania. Catering to the “low-income/useless crap on the cheap” demographic, Value City operated under the name “Gee Bee’s” before someone (presumably in a cheap suit), stood up in a board meeting, and said, “Look, we want to offer our customers value. Yet we want to imply that this is no mere store. So… Value Hut? Value Sovereign Nation? ValueTownXpress? Mmm…. how about Value City? Besides, what the fuck is a Gee Bee anyways? Do we really want our customers to associate our name with the song ‘Nights on Broadway’?”

The work wasn’t bad, really. I got stuck in the household accessories department, which — oddly — was filled with massive, massive amounts of African-themed knickknacks, vases, tribal masks, and so on. I was verbally reprimanded for being culturally insensitive for cracking a remark (to a black coworker, no less) along the lines of, “You got it lucky, dude. You work in the shoe department. Apparently, I wandered on to the set of Roots.” The black guy thought it was funny. My boss, Mr. Wunderlin (irony?), didn’t.

Wunderlin, around the time the entire store became a Winter Wunderlin (ha ha!), approached me to ask if I’d take on the assignment of Value City Santa Claus. My qualifications? I was slightly chubby at the time, white, and maybe just had a little “too much” dignity at the time. For six hours a night, I was forced to sit in a chair in a sweaty costume, getting groped by children with sweaty, sticky candy-cane hands. These little angels would yank at my fake beard, while I braved the time bomb that some kid would either, a) piss or shit him/herself on my lap, b) vomit profusely, or, c) all of the above simultaneously. It was as close to hell as I could be without actually going to hell.

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August 25, 2011

Catching Up With the Caught

NBC has made a newsmagazine staple out of its show To Catch a Predator. If you’ve never seen it, the TCAP camera crew catches creepy gentlemen of all shapes and sizes who enter police sting setups thinking they’re inches away from a sex meeting with a piece of chat room jailbait. Then Chris Hansen — now a C-list household name — shows up to conduct a smarmy, awkward interview before the alleged perv is carted off to jail.

You might be curious about what has happened to some of the most memorable bad guys from TCAP in the years since their pedo-busts aired on TV in between commercials for Tide and Burger King. Here are 7 follow-up stories, as We’re Not Funny presents…

CATCHING UP WITH THE CAUGHT

1. In 2006, David Kaye was enjoying a prosperous run as the only practicing rabbi in California to perform female circumcisions at bat mitzvahs. Then it all came crashing down as Kaye showed up to a TCAP sting house bare-chested and bearing iced oatmeal cookies and Four Loko. He’s since served three years in prison and, upon being paroled, entered into an intense right-wing Christian counseling program that not only “cured” him of his self-proclaimed “shorty fetish” but also his “case of the gayzies.”

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2. John Rumsfeld of Ocean City was busted by Hansen just four days before he was scheduled to serve a sentence for another sex-solicitation charge. “I’d just seen that movie Double Jeopardy, and I figured I couldn’t be charged twice for committing the same crime. I didn’t realize they meant the exact same crime on the same victim. Oh well, what’s another few years in jail? Anyway, have you seen Ashley Judd’s kid in Double Jeopardy? Hotttttt!” In 2011, Rumsfeld is a sweater-wearing trolley operator, and he volunteers at the Olsen Twin Wax Museum on Senior Day.

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