So I started watching Impractical Jokers over the summer. You know, the show on TruTV where 4 best friends compete to embarrass each other through the use of unsuspecting strangers? The one that's on no matter what time of day you happen to turn on the TV, whether it’s 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning? The one my brother begged me to watch for years and I was always, "Shut the hell up. You're an idiot."? 

You know that show, right?

It was on in the background at my aforementioned brother's house when I first came across it. The guys were posing as music instructors at a music store. I was the annoyed sister not able to watch The Bachelorette. And Joe through an earpiece was being told by his friends to tell this student there was a demo of his music – and then play a heavy metal song about IBS. “Death, destruction, diarrhea. North and South Korea” blasted through the speakers as Joe and his student sat in silence and bewilderment, while out of my throat, well before I could stop it, escaped the cackling sounds of what I could only describe as a young dolphin in heat that would continue well throughout the night and much further beyond. 

Because after that moment, I have NEVER STOPPED WATCHING.

You know how people throw around the expression "I watch [insert show here] all the time" but then don't really mean it because in reality they spend the majority of their waking hours doing something productive? Well, I've got nothing else going on. This is it. I come home, I turn on the TV, it's there. I watch it. There's another episode on right after the one I'm watching, I watch that too. Then of course the next one, and the one after that. Then at some point, I need to use the facilities or do some light vacuuming, so I set my DVR to record it and I carry on. Because I’m no quitter. 

Even episodes I’ve already seen I will gladly watch a 5th and 6th time. Because you know what this show is? It’s joyous. Another word my grandma might use to describe it if I dug her up from the grave? Delightful. Seeing 4 likable, life-long, down-to-earth friends have fun with each other is at the end of the day just fun for everyone -- as is just knowing a friendship like theirs exists. Unless of course you’re dead inside, and in which case, God bless.  

I know Impractical Jokers has been on the air for 6 seasons and the guys are selling out stadiums all across the country, so my arrival at this party is beyond late and possibly unwelcome. But guess what? I ain’t leaving. Everyone’s blacked out from their 8th shot of vodka and I’m strolling around with my cheese platter ready to make everyone pancakes in the morning. 

Every afternoon I make a sandwich watching Q&A videos on my Impractical Jokers app. I listen to the sweet sweet sounds of their hilarious and very old podcasts every time I get into my car. I use the useless trivia I learn from them to inflict unwanted knowledge on my brother who I'm sure regrets getting me into this mess. I bought an IJ t-shirt and then a $50 Big Bird stuffed animal so he could wear that shirt next to my Impractical Jokers action figures (because I’m an adult and I can do what I want). And yes, because at this point I just can’t help myself, I TV-Traveled at the mall. 

That’s right, the mall.

Usually when I go on these nonsensical adventures, it's to a foreign city, a far away state, or a place I'd never be if not for the allure of a former film shoot location. But the Palisades Mall in Nyack, NY has been my jam since I was a senior at St. Catharine Academy walking down the aisles of Best Buy looking for discount VHS tapes. So when I saw multiple episodes featuring the same place I’ve spent all my Black Fridays, at first I was like whaaaaaat????

And then I was like, TAKE MY PICTURE IN FRONT OF KFC!!!

My friend Melissa needed to go to the mall to buy some clothes for work, so naturally that meant I’d have to hold her hostage in the food court until I got what I needed first. Why I don’t have more friends is a complete mystery to me. 

Look, this is where the guys posed as janitors and had to repeat embarrassing lines in front of patrons!


That's the same Ferris wheel!!


And the same Taco Bell!

The Jokers also ventured out in front of stores. So camera in hand, we ventured there too. 


This is the Old Navy where Murr got pantsed by professional wrestler, Velvet Sky!


And this is the Victoria's Secret on the opposite side!


That Joe also walked in front of!


And this is the Art of Shaving right night to the Victoria's Secret!

Whilst inflicting this photo shoot upon my good friend, I tried to impress upon her the importance of this show and these jolly pranksters. They went to an all-boys Catholic high school! We went to an all-girls one! Friends since youngsters! Just like us! Staten Island! Bronx! Borough solidarity! It was like we were living parallel lives only they went to the mall to film a successful TV series and I was there solely to stalk their whereabouts over a year after the fact.


Shame in my game? Not even a sliver.

Sal Vulcano was here.


In July, so was I.

Fandom complete. 
 

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