Not All Bad

In conversations with property moguls (i.e. Mr. Free Market) the general consensus seems to be that shopping malls are facing a time of commercial decline, caused firstly by online shopping and lately, by the ChiCommiepox.

Yesterday I visited such an emporium universalis, expecting to find an indoor ghost town. And indeed, there were many boarded-up stores, but at a rough guess, only a third of the total.

I should point out that this particular mall — which I actually frequent quite often — is in an area of Plano known as Willow Bend, where houses start at $750k and spiral rapidly into the stratosphere.  One would expect, therefore, that a mall supported by Nouveau Riche Pharttes (there is no Old Money in Plano) or, more specifically, by the wives and teenage kids of the aforesaid would be largely immune to the ups and downs of the economic cycle, and mostly, one would be correct.  To whit, all the department stores (Dillards, Macy’s and Neiman-Marcus) were open for business and doing brisk trade — one saleslady confided to me that the Memorial Day weekend was the busiest she’d ever seen — and considering it was a Tuesday afternoon, still busy.  As were all the jewellers, of which there are close to a dozen (!) in Willow Bend Mall.  All the high-end stores — Talbots, J. Crew, Swarovski etc. — were not only still open but seemingly prosperous, with several Women Of That Ilk peering at the clothes and geegaws.  Ditto the (overpriced) art galleries and toy stores (Crayola? FFS) which, if not filled with kiddies (school day), were at least open and selling merchandise to, one assumes, said kiddies’ mums and nanas.  Ditto the housewares stores like Z Gallerie, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn.

The main casualties seemed to be what I call the Fripperies:  candle stores, soap stores and those stores which sell house clutter.  Sadly, the superb cutlery store (razors, knives and swords) was one tragic casualty, unless I missed seeing it (I hope I did:  I buy stuff there at least twice a year).

No doubt, over time this mall will be restored to if not its former occupancy then at least something close to it, because its customer base is, as I said, more likely to be less affected by a downturn than most.

Somehow, though, I doubt it.  On of the things Mr. FM and I often talk about is how the lockdowns have affected what were once considered inviolable institutions:  in-office work, dress codes and so on.  (An aside from Mr. FM:  “There’s no way we’re ever going to be able to enforce a jacket and tie rule ever again — the kids will just tell us to get stuffed.”)

Likewise, I think the lockdowns have accelerated an already-growing trend of shopping which does not have to involve on-premises visits.  I’ll talk about that trend and its marketing implications at a later date.

Gadzooks!

Here’s something you don’t see every day (link in headline):

The Plus Four gets a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo good for 255 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 1000 and 5000 revs. You can choose between a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. Get the automatic, since it gets to 62 mph quickest, in 4.8 seconds*.
The Plus Six gets a BMW B58 TwinPower Turbo inline-six making 335 hp at 6500 rpm and 369 pound-feet, with 62 mph coming up in a brisk 4.2 seconds.

Those horsepower numbers are relatively tame by modern standards, until you remember that Morgans are made with a wooden (ash) frame which makes the average Morgan body weigh considerably less than, say, Lizzo after a chicken dinner, so the Beemer engines make the cars go like hell… that is, until you get to the corners, whereupon the Morgans corner about as well as the Morgans of, say, 1930.

But anyway, those aren’t the changes;  these are.

A new hood keeps the water out of the engine compartment and eliminates the need for those hood rail fasteners
“Vastly improved” seals around the windows and doors, again to keep the rain out, along with some noise
A new Morgan “wings” badge, the first new badge in 10 years
Active sport exhaust lets you set the sound level of your four- or six-cylinder
New seats offer more comfort and better bolstering
Lockable storage
More lights inside
USB ports!

In other words, Morgans are being brought into the 20th [sic]  century.  Other than that revolting “active” (i.e. “fake”) sport exhaust system, all the other mods have been in practically every other production car since about 1966.

All that said, however:

 

Yeah, like I wouldn’t take one if offered…


*No, don’t “get the automatic, since it gets to 62 mph quickest, in 4.8 seconds”, because the joy of working the Morgan’s gears is far greater than getting to 62mph in seven-hundredths of a second quicker.  If the goal is to get to 62mph quickly, don’t get a Morgan;  get a Honda Civic Type R (for two-thirds the price).  The only difference is that you won’t swoon with joy every time you walk into your garage.  You moron.

News Roundup

The news is a little old today, but then so am I.


key word: “Italian”.


that’s the Arabs for you:  always late to the party.


hasn’t this turd’s expiration date come and gone yet?


next up:  Benedict Cumberbatch is auditioning for the character of Kunta Kinte in the remake of RootsBecause diversity.


but wait;  that’s not the best part of the story:
Brown said he filed a report with the Atlanta Police Department.
and a memorial service for Irony will be held tomorrow.  And the real news:
Atlanta Cops Are Still Laughing Themselves Silly.


...simple solution:  tell people when they make their reservations that you’ll be holding them for 10 minutes and not a second longer.  Then issue your hostesses with stopwatches.


and another growth industry comes to Texas.  That said, I’ll believe it when I can go into Guns ‘R’ Us and buy one over the counter without filling in any paperwork.

And now for INSIGNIFICA (and pretty horrible they are, too):

   

And speaking of horrible:


no link;  you think I want to lose ALL my Readers?


the only way I would be interested in this would be if the nanny had been caught giving the Royal Ginger a BJ.

Speaking of gingers:


here’s her knee before the boo-boo:

Now go to work.  Only three more days to Friday.

Monday Funnies (Delayed)

The only good thing about this being Tuesday is that it’s the beginning of a short week.  Otherwise, however, it’s the same old job:

So let’s get on with it, “it” being Teh Funneez.

 

 

I think they do cosmetic surgery as well as cosmetics because :  1) thinner face, 2) sharper chin, 3) no bags under eyes and 4) bigger breasts.

And on that topic, heeeeere’s Kelly:

And if this doesn’t put a spring in yer whatsit, you’re beyond help.