I just came back from a one week vacation (which was fucking awesome by the way and which I'll share in more detail another time) and found google reader had more than 700 entries for me to catch up on....more than 300 of which were from nj.com. So, being the good google reader cleaner-upper that I am (for some reason, I just can't bring myself to simply erase the whole bunch and start fresh -- its a sickness really), I started there. And I was very quickly reminded once again that I live in one crazy ass mutha-fuckin state. And then I thought, hell, how can I not share the lunacy that is the great Garden State? So, for your reading pleasure, here's just some of the crazy shit that went on in Jersey over the past 7 days or so, all brought to you thanks to nj.com (oh, and to really appreciate the nutiness of this place, you just gotta read some of the comments -- there are a couple of wingnuts that try to make everything Obama's fault while at the same time completely misspelling every other word...simply priceless):
* Man sentenced to 8 years in prison for trying to steal about $120 worth of batteries. That's right, I said 8 fucking years. Now granted, the dude also kneed the store clerk in the groin a few times, and was a repeat offender, but COME. ON. 8 years? For $120? That's just nuts.
* Pedestrian was hit by a car while trying to cross the...nope, not the street...the fucking GARDEN STATE PARKWAY. As in highway, as in high speeds, as in, yo dumb ass, don't cross there, Garden State Parkway (known affectionately, or hatefully as the case may be, round these parts as simply, the Parkway). Now, this particular part of the Parkway, where this fella tried to cross, is located behind my house. And I mean directly behind my house. I can see the spot from my kitchen window (at least in the winter when the trees are bare). And let me tell you, unless a serial killer is chasing you, there is no reason to be crossing the Parkway there -- NONE. Directly south of the guy would have been the toll booths (with real live toll collectors, not to mention the side parking area where they park). Behind him, the exit ramp from which he could have crossed OVER the Parkway. Not to mention that because of the tolls, the Parkway at this spot is about 20 lanes wide but just a few hundred feet north, it's only six. So crossing in this particular spot? You just gotta ask, crazy much?
* What do you get when you mix a ton of bars, a bad economy and St. Patty's Day? Massive arrests and fines being issued in Hoboken. Some craziness is expected on this highest holiday of Irishness (allegedly), but people puking off balconies onto the street below? Now that's just sick. And wrong.
* Shithole amusement park facing bankruptcy. This amusement park has been around forever. I remember going when I was a kid. Unfortunately, it looks pretty much like I remember, except dirtier because it has never really been upgraded in all that time; other than new rides being added of course - usually another roller coaster that you can't ride unless you wait in a 3 hour line or BUY the special ticket to cut in line. And yet every year this fucking place raises its prices on everything from entry to parking (yeah, that's right - you have to pay to park in addition to the ridiculous entry fee) to the cost of a soda (hovering now, I believe at the $5 mark for a fucking soda). You'd have to be crazy to not understand why people aren't going there anymore.
* NJ property taxes increased by only 3.7% this year, which is the lowest increase in about a decade. Yippee. Let's throw a fucking party. Oh wait, 3.7% is still a shit load of money when you start with some of the highest fucking taxes in the country. And yet these crazy ass politicians want a fucking pat on the back. First I'd like them to tell me, what exactly am I getting for my extra 3.7%. Oh yeah, right, fucking nothing.
* Jersey girl "misses her chance at stardom" when melee breaks out ANTM auditions (OK, technically this happened in NYC, but it involved at least one Jersey girl, so it made the cut). Seriously -- ANTM makes a call for women under 5'7" and total chaos ensues. WTF is that about? Seriously, ANTM's been around a while and this would appear to be the first time some crazy shit like this happened at an audition. Could it be that short wanna-be-model-girls are just feistier than their tall counterparts? Or is it simply that crazy-ass Tyra has placed such unrealistic hopes in these girls' heads that they didn't believe they'd actually have to WAIT IN LINE? Either way, that's still some crazy shit.