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This was--God help us--a real toy. You can see Melanie, her mall, her friends, and even her escalator here, which even includes the tag line, "It's cool at the mall."
Also, here's a guide to all the Melanie's Mall products.
Pynchon commands at least the very basics of Dragonball Z's plot, as evidence by the grouping of Goku with his son Gohan within a comma, plus the title of "Prince" Vegeta. Someone who knew absolutely jack about the show would have written, "including Vegeta, Goku, Gohan, Zarbon, and others."
"Multi-User Dungeon" games, an old-school, text-based video game. Wikipedia
Virtual Reality Modeling Language, pronounced vermal or by its initials, originally—before 1995—known as the Virtual Reality Markup Language.
Jolt Cola is a carbonated soft drink produced by Wet Planet Beverages. It was created in 1985 by C. J. Rapp as a highly caffeinated cola and was targeted towards students and young professionals, stressing its use as a stimulant in a similar manner as energy drinks. From WIKI.
Fernet-Brancas with ginger-ale chasers
Fernet-Branca is a spirit from Italy that's extremely popular in the Bay Area, in fact, the area accounts for 25% of its consumption. Likewise, it's most commonly served in the area with a "ginger back."
celestial pastry exercise
pie in the sky.
A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering higher returns than other investments, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. Perpetuation of the high returns requires an ever-increasing flow of money from new investors to keep the scheme going. The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who became notorious for using the technique in 1920. While Ponzi didn't invent the scheme (for example, Charles Dickens' 1844 novel Martin Chuzzlewit and 1857 novel Little Dorrit each described such a scheme), his operation took in so much money that it was the first to become known throughout the United States. Ponzi's original scheme was based on the arbitrage of international reply coupons for postage stamps; however, he soon diverted investors' money to make payments to earlier investors and himself. From WIKI.
names of horror film villains: Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th and Freddy Krueger of Nightmare on Elm Street.
I BELIEVE YOU HAVE MY STAPLER
"I Believe You Have My Stapler" is a catchphrase originally uttered by the character Milton in the 1999 movie Office Space. The movie is about a group of employees who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss.