Are you from Jurzee? One of the five readers of this weblog was kind enough to forward me a link to a Washington Post feature story on the twice-a-year magazine called Weird NJ. According to WP staff writer Libby Copeland, “… in the publication created by Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran, decaying drive-ins and huge rooster statues and men with pompadours are things of beauty. In their New Jersey, some place called Midgetville is always just around the corner, and so is albino village, where the albinos are murderous. Everybody in the state has a story. Some guy claims he has Hitler’s toilet seat.”
This, obviously, is a labor of love. Twisted, perhaps. But love, no doubt.
Even though the Marks are in their forties, this is a publication in some way created by teenagers, possessed of cars and burdened by boredom. Weird N.J. is a collage of suburban legends. Even those of us who didn’t grow up in New Jersey have spent afternoons looking for monsters in our neighbors’ back yards. We’ve all tried — and failed — to find the albino village. Every issue features letters from readers. They write in with stories, like the tale of “The Sock Man of Middletown,” who supposedly would pay teenagers $5 per pair of dirty socks, and “The Lump Man of Butler,” who had a huge lump between his eyes. They pose questions: “You guys ever check out the crematory in Hightstown?”