Monday, June 22, 2009

Meet My Ties: Volume 65: The Apocalypse Now Carousel

J. Garcia
Collection Fourteen
100% Silk Imported Fabric
Made In Korea
1996 Estate of Jerry Garcia

Aaaah, the "Carousel" tie. It was probably eight or nine years ago now...I do not remember if it was spring or fall, but it was one or the other, as I was updating my work wardrobe, which, I of course do twice a year.

I was wandering amongst the tables full of ties...Scoffing at the Tommy Hilfiger, admiring the Perry Ellis...And then i stopped at the Jerry Garcia table. I liked his ties because they were always kinda crazy looking, and they also made me seem hip to any youngsters I may be working with, and seeming hip is "where it's at, homie", as the kids so often say.

So, the J. Garcia ties were nice, but there were none that were jumping out at me. Then, I saw the word "Carousel" as the name of one of the ties, and I almost fell to my knees. I had to put my hands down on the table to steady myself. the Carousel....I had not thought about that day in years, but now, it all came flooding back.

Jersey Shore...1984(hey a rhyme!)...I was walking down the boulevard, just looking for something to do, when I came upon a carousel. Now, 1984 was the golden age of the carousel down the Jersey shore, there literally was a carousel every two blocks or so. I think it was in The Star Ledger, that they was something like 17,000 working carousels down the Jersey Shore that summer. I think Jon Bon Jovi worked at one of them. You can look it up.

With so many carousels, they were all jockeying for revenues, trying to be the hippest carousel on the Jersey Shore. I remember one was based on cartoon characters, one on Biblical characters, there were a few dedicated to the rock band KISS, one based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe, you name it, there was a probably a Carousel based on it.There were, unfortunately, some unsavory business practices as well, more than a couple of the carousels met with "accidents" during their off hours. Listen to me prattle on about the carousels...But, we all know it was not the carousels that almost dropped me at that tie table...No, it was...say it with me...ABOUT A GIRL! Of course it was. Isn't it always about a girl, or a guy ?

So, I saw this carousel based on Apocalypse Now, and I decided to take a closer look. I had taken a bout four steps towards the thing when I saw her...She looked like Chrissie Hynde, and I think she was trying to look like Chrissie Hynde, bangs hanging in her eyes, jean jacket...Nothing wrong with any of that, I'll tell you what.

My curiosity about the Apocalypse Now Carousel now turned to an absolute need to ride the carousel, and meet this girl. And the fact that she had just started sucking a lollipop had NOTHING to do with it.

I gave my fifty cents to the guy dressed like LTC Bill Kilgore(Duvall), who said," I love the smell of cotton candy in the morning...That smell...That sugary smell.... Over the whole Carousel...Smells like...victory. Some day this ride's gonna end." I nodded and climbed onto the carousel.

I nonchalantly wandered over to where she was sitting, and climbed onto a seat that was decorated like a snail crawling along the edge of a straight razor. I saw that she was sitting on a seat that was decorated like a...TIGER, MAN!!! A FUCKING TIGER!!!!

I leaned forward to say something to her, but just then the ride started, and I was bounced back into my seat as "Ride of the Valkyries" started to play. Luckily, she didn't notice...And it worked out in my favor, because I thought of the perfect thing to say...I leaned forward, and I whispered in her ear"Never get out of the boat." She turned to me,smiled and told me her name was Annabelle.

We were inseparable from that moment on. In today's tabloid parlance, we would have been PatAnnabellicus. It was a whirlwind romance... the malt shop, skee ball, the water slide,walking on the boardwalk...Sure there were rough patches...Her Dad, for one, he thought I was a loser, and he tried to come between us, but we wouldn't let him. We had our differences, she thought The Last Starfighter was the best movie of the summer, while I was on the side of the Karate Kid. I liked Coke, she liked Pepsi. But we made it work, and I think, in a weird way, that our differences actually made us stronger.

But then there was the moment that we dreaded...I had to return to the suburbs. It hung over us like a dark cloud. We both knew it was coming, but neither one us wanted to face it. We had a romantic meal of hot dogs and fries, and we sat in the sand, looking out at the water. We stared out for what seemed like forever...I could tell she was crying,...And I finally said it..."Marry me."

Without a pause, she said yes. We had very little time to waste, she went back to her place to gather some things, and I went to settle up at the motel. We agreed to meet at...where else ?...The Apocalypse Now Carousel.

But she never showed up. Same old story, I guess. I waited there for hours, but she never came back to me. I rode the Carousel one last time...This time sitting in the FUCKING TIGER,MAN!!! I should not have let her get off of the boat.

Finally, my parents came and picked me up, and we went back to our suburban existence. I never saw Annabelle again. Every once in awhile, I would think that I saw her in a crowd, but it was wishful thinking. It still hurts sometimes...But it's four days that i would not trade for anything in the world.

So, of course, I had to buy the "Carousel" tie. Here's a closer look.

Enjoy your Monday, Crimestoppers !!!

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