Sunday, May 28, 2023

Play the Game

Began a gorgeous morning with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. "It's Dynamite" that the Germans are keeping in the cooler at Stalag 13, and it's making the prisoners very nervous. Hogan thinks they can use it to their advantage and create their own munitions dump, if only the trucks didn't keep disappearing. He and the guys have to figure out where the dynamite is going, and how to sneak it out under the nose of the Gestopo. 

Soon as the show ended, I called Uber to take us to the Gloucester Outlets. He showed up within 8 minutes. Despite it being nearly noon, there was no traffic on the road, even the highways. We arrived there in about 20 minutes. 

The gentleman couldn't pull up to the curb...because it was blocked by two food trucks. We ducked alongside one with flames on the side selling barbecue. Food trucks were everywhere in the main courtyard, and so were people. Children chased each other and played games on the Astroturf "green," while their parents window-shopped nearby. It was a totally different scene from when I visited the Outlets in early February. It was cold and windy that day, with no one around and nothing going on. Now, the fountains gurgled, the intercom played 90's and 2000's hits, and people milled around, checking out Memorial Day weekend sales on the sidewalks in front of the stores.

Lauren and I made our way to the back of the complex for lunch. Friendly's is one of two meal dining options at the Outlets. (The other is Starbucks.) I had the same Pick 3 meal I did in February - an unsweetened iced tea, a chicken quesadilla, and a crock of broccoli cheddar soup. Lauren had the soup, Diet Coke, and a grilled cheese. She had coffee ice cream with peanut butter sauce for dessert (and said it worked surprisingly well). I had Viennese Mocha Chunk with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry. 

We spent the next couple of hours exploring stores and the many sales. I found a cute peach t-shirt with a flower print, a brown and tan checked blouse, and a pretty salmon blouse with narrow crocheted trim on the shoulders; Lauren bought two shirts for work. The line at Old Navy was too long and daunting for me, but Lauren picked up a few tank tops. We did better at the Gap. I found a sweet t-shirt with a cherry print and a peach cardigan. She got two blouses. 

I did the best at Lane Bryant. They had a rack of winter clothing marked down to $6.98. Found a gorgeous crimson velour blouse and an adorable Fair Isle-style red and blue snowflake print cardigan. (Lauren wanted a sweater with a similar print, but the only size they had left was too big for her.) Though I might have bought the blouse anyway at its original $40 price, the sweater had been $76! I saved $93 on that sale. 

Peeked at a few toy stores next. Adventureland was elbow-to-elbow with young comics fans; we found nothing there. Didn't see anything at Go! Toys and Games, either, though we had a few giggles at some of the pranks and Swiss army-type tools. Toys & Socks is what it says in the title, a store filled with Squishables and novelty socks. The stuffed animals were too expensive and I prefer plain socks, but Lauren did find some novelty socks she liked. 

Headed across the street around quarter of 4 to Dave & Buster's, which is in a freestanding building on the other side of the parking lot. They're basically the same thing as Round 1 with a larger sports bar replacing the bowling alley, fewer cranes with smaller prizes, and cards that can be tapped on the machine instead of just swept across. Spent the next hour running from giant Galaga and Space Invaders to ring toss and skee ball. Surprisingly, since I used up most of my points last time, I wound up with 1,772. Guess I am better at ring toss than I thought. I chose a sweet little Jigglypuff who was only 900 points and opted to save the other half for when I visit Lauren in September. Won a strange blue roll-like cat stuffed animal from the crane and a blue rubber duck.

Though it was 5 PM when we got out, we weren't ready to pack it in yet. I thought we could take a second look at the Deptford Mall on our own. Got an Uber driver in five minutes. Once again, there was no traffic and no trouble getting there.

We went straight to the food court for dinner. I had an easier time deciding than I thought. We already did Mexican, Chinese, and pizza this week, and I had tons of cheese and grease at Friendly's. I decided to go with something totally different. Tried a "souvelaki" with pita bread and a Greek salad from the aptly-named Pitas and Salads. It was just grilled chicken on skewers, but it was delicious, a bit salty but grilled perfectly. The pita was nice and soft, and other than having to fish out the olives (I'm not a fan of olives), the salad was tasty, too. Lauren had a chicken cheesesteak, fries, and a lemonade from Charley's. 

There was one part of the mall we didn't really check out with Jessa the other night. The only store we missed there was Box Lunch. They sell t-shirts and other pop culture paraphernalia for popular franchises, mainly anime, Harry Potter, super heroes, and Disney characters that don't often turn up in their official merchandise like Robin Hood and Bambi. We considered buying Winnie the Pooh sweaters before finally moving on.

As it turned out, we didn't have as much time at the Mall as we thought. Box Lunch locked their doors as  we stepped out. Other stores already had the bars pulled down or their own doors locked. I forgot they close at 6 on Sunday. I ended up calling Uber. The driver arrived within 15 minutes. There was some heavy traffic on the highway, but it moved fairly fast. We got home within a half-hour.

I finished out the night online honoring the men and women of the Armed Services for Memorial Day. The Match Game Classics marathon showcased Armed Services contestants from the Match Game series of the 80's and early 90's. Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour had several members of the Armed Forces as contestants. A handsome sailor who turned up late in the run turned quite a few heads; an Army man didn't do as well. 

One of the best weeks of Match Game '90 was its Veteran's Day tribute with Marines as contestants and in the audience. It also debuted amid a run of ABC soap stars appearing on the show. Lovely Karen Whittier and sarcastic Brit Fiona Hutchinson of One Life to Live were adored by the Marines, who cheered everything they said and did. Karen proved she was more than a pretty face by doing well at the Head-to-Head three times in a row. Meanwhile, Bruce Baum showed off some of his nutty inventions and Scorch and his puppeteer Ron Lucas flirted with Fiona. 

Here's the marathon, so you can enjoy all of the later antics with the Armed Services for yourself!

Family Feud did at least one Armed Services week during Richard Karn's run in the mid-2000's. It wasn't as elaborate as the ones during Ray Combs' series - the Coast Guard didn't play, for one thing, and there was no ultimate championship - but it still had a lot of funny moments. Once again, the Marines seemed to have the most fun, especially against the Air Force on the third day. 

Here's the entire week, so you can play along with Karn and some of the funniest people ever in uniform!

Oh, and we're going to spend Memorial Day and Lauren's last full day here at the Cherry Hill Mall.

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