Monthly Archives: April 2010

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”: Congress is in!

Man, this shit’s been gone for a minute, hasn’t it?

And I’m sorry; I’m sure there have been tons of you wandering and waddling the streets of America with so much Chipotle’ and 5-Guys in you that it’s been muy, muy uncomfortable.

Well, take heart: C.R.A.P. is back.

And this time it’s personal.

For those not in the nose, C.R.A.P. is The Kids running breakdown, shakedown, brown-down of places to poop.

Lawd a'mercy!

Destinations to dookie.

Shelters to shit.

Locales to log.

Each place has been butt-tested by yours truly, and then recorded back here for you to use with discretion.

Each place is rated on 4 categories: Cleanliness, Remoteness, Access, and Privacy.  Together they form the Voltron of criteria, C.R.A.P.

One day I’d like to Freaky Friday this jawn and get someone else’s full C.R.A.P. report (any takers?) on a place that I’ve already covered.

But in the meantime, you’re stuck with me. And this time I’m reviewing a restroom I used on my post-marital vacation.

The place: Congress Hall

The location: Cape May, NJ

The ass: mine.

Let’s do this.

The Kids Don’t Get It Presents: Filibustering the Bowl at Congress Hall

Congress Hall is the lush, stately hotel located in the heart of Cape May, NJ–a Jersey shore town home to old people, advanced age people, geriatrics and the dead. It’s a quiet, idyllic place that boldly stands out amongst the other hotels that offer only unclean swimming pools, H1N1 burgers, guests with ill-fitting t-shirts and pubes in the sink. Congress Hall is a sprawling, yellow mansion with about a gazillion rooms in it. Imagine the hotel that ‘The Shining’ took place in, only with sand and adult diapers.

During our stay last September, one of the few times we ventured out of the room I found myself in need to do the deed. And so, while eating at the hotel restaurant, I excused myself to the restroom.

Oh; it should be noted that Congress Hall was originally a plantation home.

Valet drivers waiting to park it for you!

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to shit all over this place.

This is my review.

Cleanliness: If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering, “How clean can a place be when its history is steeped in slavery?”–this is a similar question that I ask myself when I’m watching BET, too. Anyway, the restroom at CH was decidedly of a mixed-bag sort of fair. I mean, first of all, the bathroom is located on the basement floor, something I never care for.

Me at Congress Hall: Pardon me, but could you direct me to the bathro–

Congress Hall Restaurant Hostess: –what are you doing here on the main floor? Didn’t I tell you to finish toothbrush cleaning Room 247? Did you lose your toothbrush again, boy? If so, it’s coming out of your pay, which is in toothbrushes.

Me at Congress Hall: No, I’m a guest here. I need to use the bathroom. Where is it?

Congress Hall Restaurant Hostess: My apologies ‘sir’. Why don’t you merely soil yourself like the rest of our patrons here at Congress Hall? That way, while you’re napping at your dining table, a Congress Hall staffer can come around and cleanse your soiled britches

When they woke up, they invited us to the key party in their room

with a gentle toothbrush-scrub. The circular motions applied to your taint will gradually awaken you from your slumber. Unless you’re dead. Which happens sometimes here. Or, you may use the bathroom downstairs in the basement.

(End scene)

And so, while I considered shitting on myself at my table, I ventured to the basement of Congress Hall to the bathroom. Once there, the stalls were decidedly drenched in that “damp, wet” look….you know, lots of wet sinks and dark-paneled stalls. The stalls were

Poster on Congress Hall bathroom stall

actually pretty clean–I mean, I still used an ass-bib, but I didn’t feel compelled to double ply the seat with it. Though at the same time, the stall that I chose had a floaty adrift in it, still wildly bobbing its head like it was riding the electric bull.

At the sinks, little pools of water were everywhere, and the faucet handles seemed to be constantly wet. But the mirrors were clean, though if you looked up in them while washing, you saw the spectres of slaves past standing behind you. +6 (I mean, of course it’s clean–they have servants!)

Remoteness: As previously mentioned, the bathrooms are located at the bottom level, weirdly located next to the Congress Hall Club called….’The Club’ or ‘The Room’–agh, it was something lame and flaccid like that. Anyway, the basement level is unsurprisingly dark and dank. But what made it stand out were worn-out signs that said things like, “tHiS wAy 2 FrEeDom” and “Undgrd RR sTarTs heRe” . Odd. What I liked about it was that descending the dark stairs made me feel more like Batman instead of say, Harriet Tubman. Plus, with it being the same locale as the club ‘The Club’, no one knows whether you’re going down to boogie or boogie-ing on down to get brown. Congress is in! Cut-off, which is good, but loses points for oppression. +4

Discreetly slipped to me by someone in housekeeping.

Access: Getting into the bathrooms was easy (turn left at the bottom for the shitter; turn right/go straight for shitty music and sand-blasted middle-aged NJers dancing to Buffet and Gaga). The only drawback? Since it’s so dark down there, you’re liable to step on a ‘sleeping’ old person or two here and there. As soon as I showed them my freedom papers, it was smooth sailing! +8

Privacy: Crispus Attucks was it quiet down there! Like a tomb, really. Even with the steady throb of “Poker Face” in the background, the bathrooms were quiet enough to hear a slave pin drop. The stalls had doors that, while not floor-length, were certainly low enough to feel enclosed or to discourage “uppity” house servants from scampering away from work. Says toilet: “….nobody knows the trouble I see…”, so go ahead and porkbarrel that sucker. +6

Final C.R.A.P. score: 24 points

There you have it, folks. The Congress Hall earns a respectable 24 points for its unique blend of deep-set isolation, Gaga music and Harriet Tubman wall carvings. Sadly, we’re making a slight change to the score, so:

Final C.R.A.P. score: 24 points

is now

Final C.R.A.P. score: 4 points

You know, for reparations.

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Friday Night Lights

When I was growing up and trying to meet people that were into the things that I was into (comic books, video games, boobs, comic books, video boobs) I got the bright idea to join clubs while I was in HS.

So during my HS years, my extracurriculars looked something like this:

  • Marching Band (sophomore, junior years)–“played” drums so I could go to Disney World
  • Debate Club (junior year)–verbally combated with students from all around NJ. When that failed, punched them
  • Solo Club (this is what I called Friday, Saturday nights ALL FOUR YEARS OF HS), which consisted of comic books, Domino’s Pizza and watching Lucy Lawless run around in leather pants stabbing Vikings. Also, crying.
  • Environmental Club (2-3 months sophomore year)–consisting of creating strategies for picking up gum, Coke cans and food wrappers that most of the club members were responsible for strewing across campus. Note that I only participated for 2-3

    In town to promote Race to the Top funding, Hill makes a stop at Harambee

    Let Parent-Teacher Night......begin!months; once it became clear that we weren’t being tested to see who was Captain Planet ring-worthy, I dropped out.

…and so on and so forth. School in the suburbs of NJ was decidedly boring, so afterschool clubs in the ‘burbs were as dry as nun.

Asst. Principal Berkley responds to club allegations.

Fast-forward to 2010, where schools have taken on a whole new look to their extracurriculars. Here in Philly (and lots of places around the U.S. nowadays), charter schools are all the rage, praised for their innovation and boldness to break-up the stodgy traditional models of schooling that may have worked for Zach, Kelly, AC , Screech and that slut Jessie, but not so much for today’s Jamal, Loneisha and Maritza.

One school in particular is getting a lot of press for thinking outside the box: Harambee Charter School in West Philadelphia has made afterschool clubs…well, a club!

At night, Harambee CS goes from “middling charter school that you might get shanked at” to, “Club Damani” which sounds like a place sponsored by a water bottle company in the Congo. Club Damani is apparently a night club for adults in W. Philly, meaning that most parents that don’t have time to make it to Back-to-School Night probably can’t because they’re pre-drinking before going out to Club Damani.

I haven’t been to Club Damani (for one, going into West Philly can be like traveling to Mordor; secondly they don’t even offer an educator’s discount at the door!), but can you imagine what it must be like to market this place?

The Kids Don’t Get It Imagines Marketing For Club Damani:

  • “It’s Old School Hip-Hop Night at….your child’s school!”
  • “Got a things for Mr. Williams, the 6th grade math teacher? Come to ‘Parent-Teacher Night’ at Club Damani and ride that Pythagorean Theorem like you stole it!”
  • “Friday Nights, come to Club Damani–we put the ‘ass’ in ‘assessments’! Doors open at 4:15pm, after Odyssey of the Mind”

I mean, how clever is this? What better way to offer/increase parent engagement than $4 cover and 1/2 mixed drinks with every current year report card?

This your child’s principal is drunk with power? Just wait til you see him after a couple shots of Grey Goose.

To be fair, Harambee says that all the proceeds for the club are going back into the community via recreational clubs, church renovations and G-strings.

And in these trying times, who doesn’t think it’s a good idea to invest in your community?

On 'Thirsty Thursdays' moms drink for free!

So come on down to Club Damani, and remember: “Every Friday is ‘FAIL FRIDAYS’ where your kid’s ‘F’s get you free cover and a dollar off drinks for every F on their report card!”.

See ya the club.

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