So a few days ago I went to the driving range (another perk of unemployment), and after I finished hooking 96 of my 100 drives into the adjacent parking lot, I noticed they had batting cages there. JACKPOT. SLOW-PITCH SOFTBALL HERE I COME! And I spent the next half hour pretending I was Kevin James Rosie O’Donnell in A League of their Own. AWESOME. The driving range/batting cages/arcade/ice cream stand is one of the greatest achievements in human history. I’ll fight anyone who disagrees with that statement.
Any place that serves dual roles becomes 500% better. Now I’m not the first person to realize this. That’s why McDonald’s combined fast food with playgrounds. The forging of such beautiful unions goes all the way back to the Romans, who used the Colosseum to combine the zoo, sports, drinking and Christians, and ended up with religious persecution that was fun for the whole family. I’m pretty sure Dave and Buster’s started because Dave wanted to open a sports bar and Buster was adamant about opening an overpriced arcade. Thanks to their glorious compromise, we now have a place that gives us the FREEDOM to eat $12 mozzarella sticks while playing pop shot basketball. THAT is what America is all about.
Now, today I went out in search of two things- a case of beer (that I will not be drinking, more on that later) for tonight’s kickball game and popsicles (which I will be housing like I’m Joslyn James). Now, unfortunately, thanks to Maryland’s esteemed governor Oliver Cromwell, it is impossible to purchase these two items in the same establishment. Now I could simply tack on an extra 10 minutes and make an extra stop to buy said items separately, but that wastes precious time that I could spend unlocking new achievements in Zelda: Ocarina of Time. THE PRINCESS IS NOT GOING TO RESCUE HERSELF. Anyway, I got to thinking- there need to be more hybrid stores- places where you can take care of multiple completely-disparate activities in one sitting. So I’m shifting my productive unemployment focus from reading quantum physics to opening a series of fun, convenient, half-baked establishments that allow you to multitask. Ideally they will also all sell booze and have batting cages.
1) Gym/Laundromat/ManLounge/Tanning Salon- going to the laundr0mat BLOWS. It’s like paying to be in purgatory. It’s fucking boring, there’s NOTHING to do except look at the other weirdos who don’t have washing machines or count your change over and over again until you realize you won’t have enough quarters to dry your clothes (happens to me 100% of the time). You can’t really leave because you have to keep checking to see if your clothes are done and that a homeless guy isn’t stealing your favorite pair of Zubaz. But if you had a creative way to spend that time, you’d look forward to doing laundry instead of waiting until you’ve worn everything six times to wash it.
This started as a gym/laundromat- if you’re gonna be wasting all this time, you might as well spend it working out right? It’s rare that I’m going to do TWO productive, time-consuming tasks in one day unless I can do them at the same time. This is why I read the Wall Street Journal every morning in the shower and clip my toe nails at the barber. The only fatal flaw with the gym/laundry combo is that I’m not Kimbo Slice and I don’t work out for two hours at a time. So when you’re done at the gym, take a stroll down to the Man-Lounge- TVs, pool tables, massages from 14 year old Asian girls…you know it. PROBLEM SOLVED. And there can also be a tanning salon for the ladies as well as a TV showing a round-the-clock loop of Rob Pattinson with his shirt off. He’s so dreamy. This also means the realization of a dream for guidos and guidettes everywhere- a one stop-shop for all your GTL-ing needs. Consequently, the flagship store will be located in Paramus, New Jersey, and will also sell HGH and JagerBombs.
2) “Movie” theaters that only show sporting events or notable television programs. Now this idea isn’t completely original, when I was in Boston a few years ago, there was a movie theater near my hotel that showed a Yankees-Sox game live one night- BRILLIANT. But I want to take this idea up another level. These theaters would show every game of the hometown team as well as other notable events like playoff games, Monday Night Football, pay-per-view boxing etc. Tickets would cost like, $6 bucks AND I’d have vendors walking up and down the isles like at the actual game. Peanuts, ice cream, hot dogs- you name it. AND it’ll be BYOB, with a liquor store next to the theater (it’s all about enabling convenience.). This concept extends past sports as well- the theaters would also show major TV events- The Oscars, season finales, every episode of LOST and really anything that I personally find compelling (that means you Jerseylicious). And after game’s over, feel free to hit up the BATTING CAGES.
3) Drive thru coffee shops/tobaccorias : For some reason, America is only now starting to catch on to the concept of drive-through coffee. As a voraciously lazy human being, I used to pass 3 different Starbucks, including one a quarter-mile from my house, to go to the drive-thru store 15 minutes away. I’ll go somewhere that’s 30% as good as what I actually want, simply for the convenience of not having to get out of my car. In the future, I don’t care about flying cars or clean energy, I just want EVERYTHING to be drive-thru. And if we do have flying cars, I better be able to fly that shit right next to the window and get my venti coffee promptly. Make THAT happen, Obama.
Now I don’t smoke, not because of any health concerns or moral obligation, I just have an intense irrational fear of starting a forest fire. But thanks in part to Jim Jarmusch, I am keenly aware of the delightful combination of a cup of joe and a Turkish Silver. Coffee chains need to get over themselves and just sell tobacco- they’re gonna buy it anyway so at least save people a trip and sell it all in one place. They do it in Europe, and the Europeans gave us this!
Some other concepts in the works:
Barbers who cut your hair while you drive (Carbers)
Store that sells food, firearms, medicine and board games called Just In Case There’s A Zombie Apocalypse
Pizza chain that also delivers alcohol
Waiting rooms with volleyball nets
This is obviously an incomplete list that I will continue to add to, probably whenever I’m in the market for two completely unrelated items that I can’t buy together. Until then, I’m off to the batting cage…