Take Exit 143 towards Flavor Town

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is HOPPING MAD about service mark infringements! A pizza chain in Florida co-opted the Garden State Parkway logo, slapped their name on it, and are getting sued to Hell and back for their crimes. Is nothing sacred, Jersey Boardwalk Pizza? Before the days of GPS, there was nothing more reassuring than a green Parkway or Turnpike sign. Even if was just a sign that said PARKWAY, 20 miles in the other direction, at least you knew you were on the right track. And here comes Jersey Boardwalk Pizza, waltzing in here, stealing our signs, making a mockery of our roadways.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Who cares? It’s just a sign.” You’re probably sitting there, arms crossed, like, “I love pizza, I love signs, I hate freedom, what’s the scoop here John?” Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that this is not actually about infringement, it’s about highway safety.



Let’s set the scene. You’re lost. You were just trying to get some sweet corn from a roadside stand in central Jersey, but you accidentally drove 1500 miles south across 5 states. Once you reach the Florida Keys, the realization that you have absolutely no idea where the fuck you are begins to set in. “WE’RE NOT LOST” you scream at your children in the backseat, who have not looked up from their devices since this trip started 24 hours ago. Just as you’re about to drive your family into the Atlantic, submerging them and their memories of your subpar navigation skills, you see the sign. The old familiar green and yellow Garden State Parkway sign. “You see? YOU SEE!? I TOLD YOU WE’RE NOT LOST!” you scream at your blissfully unaware and above-water children. You follow the arrows… but instead of a toll booth, you crash your minivan straight into the dining room of Jersey Boardwalk Pizza, the Florida pizza establishment. “Hey is this a highway or a restaurant?” you ask the owner, who is now pinned to the wall underneath an 8×10 photo of The Sopranos signed by the guy that played AJ. He’s coughing up blood all over your fender, you’re just trying to figure out if they take EZ Pass or not.

This is the scenario that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is trying to avoid. And who can blame them? Do you think GPS satellites can penetrate the thick fog of malaise and Disney mind control chemicals that blanket Florida? Hell no, directions down there are delivered the old fashioned way, straight from chewing tobaccee-filled mouths and punctuated with racial slurs. You need all the help you can get navigating through Florida, and these signs are confusing, dangerous, and they must be stopped.

So just change your name, Jersey Boardwalk Pizza, it’s real simple. Something subtle that would still look good on a sign. Something like Dangerous Roadwork Ahead Pizza. Drive Like Your Kids Live Here Italian Eatery. Vincenzo’s Speed Limit Enforced by Aircraft Pasta Dump. Just whatever you do, please leave the parkway out of it.

You can watch me scream and yell all of my recent posts on AwesomeTalk! It airs every other Tuesday at justin.tv/aweseometalktv or constantly on our YouTube channel.

Xanacan’t, Xanawon’t, Xanadon’t stop.

The Meadowlands is a sports complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It is the home of the New York Giants, the New York Jets, memories of rap-rock shows that I attended in my teens, and Xanadu – the planet’s largest and most questionably colored retail and entertainment thing that has been under construction for eight years. It’s a partially completed, $3.8 billion mall with an indoor ski slope. And what a ski slope! Designed by Deborah Chrysanthemum’s “FunTime Art Jamborwhee! for Children Aged 3 Through WOW” initiative,  Xanadu’s slope promises thrills, chills and the sense that you are skiing inside a gigantic farming implement. Kind of like a wood chipper, or that thing with the conveyor belt that dissects cows with 100,000 tiny robot arms. A Cow Juicer? A Beef Maker? Something like that, except you’re skiing and it’s August and it’s fun.

It's the world's largest one of these things.

73% of New Jersey’s economy is mall-based. The other whatever percent is split between diners, beach parking lots, t-shirts adorned with The Situation’s abs and crime. It’s no surprise that we’re all really excited for this new mega mall to open and start selling us stuff. Everyone’s like, “When’s that blue and orange thing going to open?” and the state is like, “The what?” and then we’re like, “That big thing over where the teams play the games,” and the state is all, “We Xanadu not know what you’re talking about lololololol.”

Now Canada is swooping in to finish the job that lower America couldn’t –

The stalled $3.8-billion project—formerly known as Xanadu and since renamed American Dream at Meadowlands—has bedeviled two previous teams of developers over eight years. The partially-constructed project now stands stalled.

Now, its new developers, Canada-based Triple Five, are looking to restart it with the help of three forms of tax-free financing that could raise as much as $800 million, the developers say.
Wall Street Journal

Some interesting facts from this blurb: a) Xanadu is now known as American Dream at Meadowlands. b) It’s going to cost at least another $800 million to finish this thing. c) I’m going to refrain from making any references to maple syrup or back bacon mall kiosks. It will literally be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Speaking of kiosks (and not those associated with the rich, musky scent of Canadian pig farmers or syrup tappers), here are some stores that would hawk their wares at the Xanadian Dream @Mdwlnds if they hadn’t gone under since the construction of this monstrosity began –

Circuit City’s Digital Playground: According to the internet, Circuit City was an actual electronics “store” from the turn of the century, wherein customers could purchase VCR head cleaners, digital pet keychains and something called “wires,” which presumably carried information to and from electronics via an antiquated rail system. I couldn’t find any information on their “Digital Playground” branding however, so I’m going to assume it was kind of like World of Warcraft but real life Orcs were teeter-totter salesmen.

Muvico 26: Again, according to the internet, “Muvico Theaters planned to open a 26-screen, 6,500-seat, Egyptian-themed 160,000 sq ft movie theater. The theater was to include its own restaurant and bar, nine balcony auditoriums, a rooftop terrace featuring a 60-foot outdoor screen, and an on-site helipad. The theater was later reduced to 17 screens, and then later canceled.” Come on down to Muvico 26. We’ve got, like, more than half that many screens.

Virgin Megastore: I don’t know what this is.

I want to play Brick Breaker, but I don't want to get off Route 3.

This is ridiculous, we’ve got to get the American Dream at Meadowlands ready for its 20xx grand opening! Fuck Canadian developers Triple Five, I’m taking over. Step one: flood the entire building. We need to future proof this thing, and no one’s going to be shopping at stores in about five years. Let’s focus on something you can’t buy over the internet, and that’s a huge swimming pool at the bottom of an indoor ski slope. Get the Circuit City Orcs lifeguard certifications, turn some of those Muvico screens into rafts, I’m just spitballing here. Find out what a Virgin Megastore is, get some of that involved somehow. Step two: and really, I’m just taking some saliva, attaching it to paper and shooting it across the room here, but can we stick with one color for the outside of this thing? Beige is nice. Or a light green… something that doesn’t look like a two color ClarisWorks gradient. This isn’t a thresher-shaped circus tent, it’s American Dreams @ Xanalands. And step three, change the name to American Dreams @ Xanalands.

And what did all that cost? What’s the cost of water? Or rafts made from movie screens? What does an American Dream go for these days? I hate when people list three things, the cost associated with the first two things, and then say the third thing is priceless. Oh, I get it, like the credit card commercial. I’m not going to do that. Nor am I going to list three steps, leave the second step blank and then label the third step “profit.” That episode of South Park aired in 1998. People are still referencing it! Where’s the beef? The end.

Rutgers University Presents: The State of the Snooki Address

Jersey Shore starlet and World Wrestling Entertainment representative Nicole “Superfly Snooki” Polizzi was paid $32,000 to speak at my alma mater (teh school I gradeuated in). The world is not happy about this because she has a hard time forming sentences without falling down, and a mandatory student fee paid for her appearance. So, maybe you wanted your student fee to pay for a more thoughtful speaking engagement from the guy that stars in the Old Spice commercials or Jesse Camp or Puck – tough shit, listen to Snooki instead.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I went to the Newark flavor of Rutgers, not New Brunswick where this all took place. During my four years at the Newark campus, I think we had one celebrity guest – Jurassic 5? Maybe? I don’t know, I didn’t go. Also, slightly off topic – around the corner from my campus was a store that sold nothing but Naughty by Nature shirts. 10 years ago.

So, we all paid $32,000 for this shit and we’re very upset about it. What advice did Snooki have for her audience of backwards hatted bros and girls that still dot their i’s with arrow punctured hearts? Please be forewarned, whatever happens in this next indented paragraph will be met with ALL CAPS COMMENTS ABOUT THE WORLD ENDING.

Snooki and her sidekick, comedian Adam Ace, brought eight students on stage to teach them the “Jersey Shore” fist pump and her signature “tree branch” dance. Snooki also judged a “Situation” contest to see which of five male students had the best abs.

When asked her inspiration in life, Snooki said: “Being tan. When you’re tan, you feel better about yourself.”

Snooki said she had partied at Rutgers before, but the details were hazy. “I’m pretty sure I came here. I don’t remember what happened,” she said.

Her parting advice to Rutgers students: “Study hard, but party harder.”

This is all your fault. You are the reason we are where we are today. You shot 10,000 reality star memes out of your nose and into our homes. And get your FILTHY HANDS OUT OF THE PEANUT BUTTER.

NO! NO! I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS! DID YOU READ WHAT SHE SAID!? I have half a mind to complain about this on the internet! NJ.com commenting all-star “njjammer,” summed it up with a level-head when he or she said, “Quiet! If you listen closely you can hear the galloping of the horses carrying the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Money well spent Rutgers!” njjammer is right. Horsemen are carried by horses. And also, Rutgers should be spending money on moats, catapults and archers to fend off said horse-riding horsemen on horseback. If I got a phone call from an undergrad soliciting money for the “Rutgers Apocalypse Defense Fund,” I’d be all over that shit. “We need swords that shoot flames when you thrust them into the air, sorcery lessons and enchanted talismans, and if you could just donate $100 we’d greatl-” SOLD.

I don’t think Snooki’s appearance is a sign of the apocalypse. Reality show stars are in-demand right now, and people like to give them money to say dumb things. Donald Trump is talking about running for president of the United Fucking States, solely on a platform of “The current president is a black, so…” and people are thoughtfully stroking their neck folds with the words, “I agree with the man on the teevee,” drooling out of their mouths. And you’re going to blame Snooki for capitalizing on the unquenchable thirst for dumb people saying things? If Charlie Sheen was a meme when they were booking this event, they would have gotten him instead because #winning #crazy_words #oh_man_remember_when_he_said_winning_before_lololololololol.

So, really, all I’m saying is, don’t blame Snooki. Blame yourselves! Blame Puck! Blame everyone but me because I’m exempt from scrutiny! You made these people popular, and now they want more of your money. Speaking of which, I’ll come to your school with an overhead projector and we can watch my favorite Youtube clips and hold hands and I’ll teach you how to fist pump for only $20,000 if you mention coupon code “HAHAFARTS11.”

Youtube Friday Timesink – 3.18.11 and shit like that.

Adidas All In featuring Civilization by Justice. New Justice track! I really want to be part of one of the Adidas subcultures seen in this ad. Maybe I could be friends with the skater that falls into the pool. I’d be like, nice ollie Travis! That’s Travis, always taking it to the limit. You guys see those new shelltoes? TIIIIIIIIGHT.

Kevin Smith and Shit. I’m from New Jersey and shit and came of age during Kevin Smith movies and shit like that. I was dorky enough to go to the Quick Stop in Leonardo and shit and stand out in front of it smoking cigarettes and shit like that. So his last movie and shit had the cats Tracy Morgan and shit and Bruce Willis and shit like that and I thought huh and shit, this shit might be kinda funny because I love that cat Tracy Morgan and shit. But it really just made me want to shit and shit like that because that cat Stifler was in it and shit and, c’mon, really? Shit?

Acting Masterclass: Kevin Spacey (from The Peter Serafinowicz Show). I will never get tired of the slow clap that turns into a humiliating lecture.

Santa Claus Conquers the Elians (like Gonzalez)

Can you believe that it’s 2010 and little kids still believe in Santa Claus? This came to me as I was running through the mall the other day, trying desperately to return a shirt without looking at anyone or saying more words than, “Don’t want, you give money.” There, in front of Victoria’s Secret and a kiosk that sells nothing but remote controlled helicopters, was Santa. And in front of Santa was a long line of rosy-cheeked cherubs and their nervous parents, hoping that if they focus their brain power hard enough their child won’t have a reality-bending panic attack before their picture is taken. Meanwhile, I’m having my own reality-bending panic attack in line at Old Navy because everyone in front of me is attempting to buy something without a price tag on it. It’s Old Navy. Whatever it is, just assume it’s $6.99 and LET’S GO GO GO.

Yes predictive Google image search, I was searching for images of Santander.

In a world where kids have access to the internet, how can Santa still exist? And I’m not talking about that “ooh the glorious spirit of St. Nickleclaus that lives inside each and every one of us” bullshit. I mean, the concept of a man entering your house in the middle of the night, depositing toys and videogames on your living room floor (for free), and then leaving before your parents have the opportunity to either call the police or beat him to death with a yule log. It doesn’t add up! And I guess that’s where the magic and wonder of Christmas comes in, but I was a pretty jaded kid. If the internet existed when I was 6 (shut up, I know it existed you nerds), chances are pretty good that my parents would find a history trail of hastily spelled Google searches and cross-referenced Wikipedia articles proving that what Keith Malcolm said at recess was true – Guns N’ Roses are the best band ever, and Santa Claus isn’t real.

So kids still believe in him; does that mean mall Santas with real beards are still a thing? When a mall Santa has a real beard it’s a sign of authenticity – this man is serious about spreading holiday cheer. The same cannot be said for mall Santas that are 350 pounds and constantly talking to children during the off season. “Ho-ho-ho, it’s August and now my sleigh is this van, boys and girls! It’s like a workshop on wheels, filled with hobby horses and jack-in-the-boxes and eight tiny reindeer or whatever… don’t tell your parents that we’re friends, ok boys and girls? HO-HO-OH GOD MY HEART!” It’s funny because he’s fat and there’s implied child rape.

So, ‘tis the season, I guess. My favorite Christmas tradition is when my father pulls me aside and apologizes for lying to me about the existence of Santa Claus. Every year, without fail. And this is going back, like, more than 20 years now. I’m leaving out cookies for Santa and carrots for Rudolph and my father’s stomach is just knotted with guilt… I’m lying to my son in the name of commercialism! ARGH FUCKING CHRISTMAS I HATE IT! My poor father. I was pretty ok with the whole Santa isn’t real thing once I realized that I could still ask for Star Wars figures and Nintendo games and get them. But not the Lego Monorail, because it was like $150,000.