Thursday, April 30, 2009

Asshats Beget Asshats

I was on the L train the other day, headed into the city. It was mid-afternoon, so it wasn't very crowded. Besides myself, there were probably a dozen people, including a relatively young couple and their child (I'm guessing around 5 years of age). The little boy was obviously bored...wandering a few steps from his parents, then running back, vying for a little attention. The "adults" kept yammering between themselves.

After the next stop, the little boy became a little more restless, singing/screaming to himself and wandering halfway down the car, then back to his starting point. I had settled in and was leafing through the Daily News. A glance towards the parents confirmed that they were, in fact, paying the lad no attention whatsoever. He was getting louder, and more rambunctious as the train progressed. He stopped momentarily at the next stop, as he inspected the passengers boarding, but resumed as soon as we were underway.

Now running the full length of the car and back, the boy began squealing/screaming every step of the way. He repeated this process 3 or 4 times. On the last pass, he slapped the newspaper from my hand, tearing it.

Me: (holding the torn paper up) Hey! You think you can handle your kid, guys?

"Male Parent": Eh, he's a kid, what can I do?

Me: Really? You can't handle a 5 year old for a 15 minute train ride? How are you gonna handle him for the next 15 years?

"Male Parent": Hey, don't you worry about me raising my kid. You mind your own business.

Me: You're kidding, right? (holding up my paper a little higher) When your kid runs wild and tears up my stuff, it becomes my business, don't you think? Look, I'm not trying to break your balls, bro, but if you don't lay down some rules now, he's headed for a rude awakening when he gets older.

"Male Parent": Don't worry about my kid. You just read your paper and mind your business.

Me: (once again, holding my torn paper up for him to see) Dude, if your kid's running wild, banging into people and messing up their stuff, it becomes other peoples business. Take a little responsibility before you turn him loose into the world. If he doesn't learn about rules and consequences early, he's gonna wind up beat down or in jail later. If you're OK with that, shame on you.

After pulling in to the 1st ave stop the couple gathered up the child and exited, Both "parents" flashed dirty looks, the woman scolding me "We never spank our child."

WTF? I never said a word about spanking, only bringing the kid under control...

FLASHBACK - circa 1974

While shopping with my Grandmother back in the "old country "(the old country, of course, being Smyrna). We ventured into Zayre. Being 5 or 6 years of age at the time, I began doing what any red-blooded child would do...I ran amok. After teaming with a random child in the store, we began a spirited game of tag, or some such nonsense.

Granny called to me to behave. Phhhhfffttt. Good luck with that Granny. I continued dodging in and out of the racks, laughing and cavorting without a care in the world.

Granny called me by my full name, signifying she was getting serious. My pursuer, my unknown playmate, was closing in on me. I grabbed a double-handful of clothing from a bargain-bin and threw the garments at him to facilitate my escape. In the back of my mind, I heard my Grandmother clapping her hands and making this "hoot" sound she used to do when she was trying to get the attention of the children in the family without screaming/losing her mind. Phhhfffttt. Whatever, I was having fun!!!!

I never saw the hand reach for my shoulder. I only felt the vise-like pressure from her fingers and knuckles, as she clamped down with the kind of grip that would have sent Mr. Spock screaming from the room. I knew I was in trouble.

Leaning in, she spoke, not with the loving kindness of that nice old lady that bought me ice cream on weekends, but with the authority of an adult that was absolutely in charge. Gasp! How did this transformation take place??? And where the hell was I when it happened???

She told me, in a voice barely more than a whisper, "Go outside and get me a switch".

"What?" I thought to myself. She couldn't possibly want to "switch me", and certainly not in the store...right?

Granny: Go out to the parking lot and pick me a switch, NOW!

Me: (HOLY CRAP! - or whatever the 5 year old equivalent was)

I trudged slowly out of the store. Looking over the lot, I was elated to see not a single bush anywhere. Turning, there was Granny, right behind me, pointing. "There's a bush in the planter over there."

After examining the bush, I picked a branch that I knew was suitable to bring my impending demise. Surely this insane impostor posing as my beloved Granny would attempt to kill me by means of an ass-whoopin'. After presenting the branch to her for inspection, she had me go to the curb and strip the leaves and nubs from it. I was positively bugging out.

We walked back into the store together, me carrying the instrument of my destruction. As we passed the checkout area, I felt the gaze of all the cashiers turn to us (specifically me and my switch). One gave a look of pity. Another flashed a smug look that said I was getting what I deserved. I'm fairly certain, in retrospect, that I heard the last call out "DEAD MAN WALKING".

We went back to my former play area. Until a few minutes earlier, it had been the site of unbridled childhood it was to be the place where I would be sacrificed to the retail Gods for my crimes against humanity and American consumerism. Granny proceeded to pick up the mess I had made and place the garments back on their respective racks and in their proper bins. When she was done, she continued with her shopping. I thought I could be slick and leave the switch on a table. Needless to say, this evil woman was all over it like a fat kid on a cupcake. "Oh, don't you dare put that switch down. I'll deal with you later, and you better have that switch ready when I'm ready for it." Gulp.

Having finished her shopping, we returned to the front of the store. While completing her transaction with the cashier, she asked if there was something I wanted to say to the cashier.

I apologized without making eye contact. I was totally focused on this unholy stick now clutched in two hands in front of me.

Cashier: It's OK, sweety. You know you're not supposed to act like that in public, though, right?

Me: Yes, ma'am.

Cashier: And you're not gonna make any more trouble for your Grandmama, are you?

Me - (thinking to myself - "You fool! This isn't my Granny! She's obviously a pod-person!!! Or an escaped lunatic waiting to get me alone to beat me!!!! Can't you see?!!??!?) What came out of my mouth, of course, was "Oh, no ma'am!"

We left the store without further incident. Continuing on with Granny's errands, we went to 84 Lumber. I'm not sure that she even purchased anything. I get the impression, looking back, it may have been just to drive me around town with the switch.

84 Lumber Guy: You misbehavin' boy?

Me: I was, sir.

84: Why'd you do that?

Me: (shrug) I don't know.

84: Your family's good people, you know. They don't deserve you to be acting dumb in public, ya know.

Me: Yes sir.

Back into the car and on to the next stop, Dairy Cream for a chili dog to take back to my Grandfather (yes, I mean the Dairy Queen, of course, but for some reason, Granny always did, and still does call it by the wrong name...bless her heart). In the drive-thru, I declined anything for myself. I realized at that moment that a condemned man can take no joy in his last meal. Needless to say, Granny had to explain to the lady at the drive-thru window my misdeeds, which drew clucking and tsk-tsks from her.

On to the church of my youth to drop off or pick something up. Upon arrival, the Pastor and his family were working in the parking lot and lawn with the handyman. Granny had me exit the car. The Rev. looked very disappointed. The children looked horrified.

Back in the car and back to Granny's house. Why hadn't she done the deed, yet? It made no sense, in my mind. Then, as we pulled into the driveway and I saw my Grandfather at the door, it hit me. She was bringing me back to let the old man do it. IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!! She hopped out of the car while I slowly drug my soon to be mutilated carcass from the passenger side. I slowly plod behind her, vaguely hearing my Grandfather grouse about her taking so long with his lunch and the fact it was cold from our stop at the church. "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WOMAN, DON'T ANTAGONIZE HIM!!! DO YOU WANT HIM TO KILL ME IN HIS COLD CHILI DOG RAGE????" I thought to myself. I was sweating like Patty Hearst in a closet.

Papa took the bag and returned inside. Granny turned and gently took the switch from me. I had absolutely no idea what was going on.

Granny - "I'll take this, shug, before your Papa sees it and I have to explain."

Me - (face consumed by confusion)

Granny - (breaking the switch into pieces) "I love you, shug, and I don't want to see you grow into the wrong kind of man. It'll hurt me awful to have to spank you, but I will if you ever act like that out in public again."


She never laid a hand on me, I never again acted like a jackass in public as a child (though I did some monumentally stupid things later in life), and I learned that there are, in fact, repercussions for my actions. I've never been kicked out of or asked to leave a restaurant, bar, or place of public gathering. I've never been accused of being disrespectful of my elders or authority figures. I've never been the cause of my Mother or Grandmother being talked about for raising a shitty kid, to my knowledge. When I did the aforementioned stupid things later in life, I didn't cry, blame society, or look for a scapegoat. I owned it. That's what men do, I was taught.

I owe my Grandmother a debt I can't ever repay for that day. That was the day she started building a man from a little boy.

That's all I was saying on the train...make the boy a man, not just another asshat.

Just saying.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Only Need a Dollar!!!

Working at a bar on the Lower East Side, I grew accustomed to encountering the new breed of urban street entrepreneur (translation: bum). There was one gent, in particular, that stands out in my memory.
He was generally pretty straight forwarded. "I'm a hungry, bro, can you help me out?", "I need to get lit, my man. Help a brother out?", "I wanna check out the peep show next door. Can you spare a buck?" are prime examples. I never gave him money, but he frequently entertained me with his rap. Or at least what I thought was his rap.

One pleasant fall evening, I had gone outside for a smoke. Two doors down, was a "video store". I list it as such because they sell just enough regular videos to be able to sell adult videos and toys, as well as operate video booths under NY law. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the video booth, it basically works like go into a room w/ a chair, a coin or token operated tv and a box of Kleenex. You feed the coin box and watch a porno for a fixed amount of time or until you're...done. Yes, you're initial reaction is/was correct - ewwwwww.

So I was enjoying the fall weather, when the "honest bum" came bursting out of the store, drawing the attention of myself, other bar patrons that were outside smoking and random passers by.

"Can somebody PLEASE give me a dollar!" cried the obviously frustrated, financially challenged, chicken choker.

"Please, I ONLY need a dollar...I'm almost done!!!"

He turned towards the bar and I realized his hand was inside his sweat pants, apparently attempting to keep his boner going.

"I'll be done in like a minute! I'll come back and tell you all about the movie!!! I ONLY need a DOLLAR!!!"

A random chick gave him a dollar to go away. He sprinted back in to the store to finish his business.

He emerged approximately 3 minutes later, seeming much more relaxed.

"I need a cigarette! Can somebody please help me with a cigarette!!!"

You can't make this shit up.

Random Thoughts

Dear Charles,

I need your help. Your theories are being sorely tested, and possibly proven. In fact, I fear the next stage of evolution is happening as I write this. Homosapiens are being replaced by Asshats, Douches and Uber-Douches. Allow me to point a few of these new breeds of "men" out to you:

Excuse me, can I please get off the train before you try to cram into the car? If that's too much to ask, how about stepping on the train sliding out of the doorway so I can still get off without having to squeeze by you? (Asshat)

When you sit on the train, do you think you could not sit with your legs spread ridiculously far apart? You're not fooling anyone. Your junk AIN'T that big. You're just trying to take up as much room as possible so the poor old lady getting on at the next stop doesn't try to sit next to you. (Douche)

If you've picked up take-out for dinner, in the name of all that is holy, do NOT dine on the train. I don't want to smell your meal, watch the grease accumulate on your chin and shirt, or see the food being ground down in your open mouth because Mommy and Daddy never taught you how to chew with your mouth closed. I also don't want to see you throw the refuse (wrappers, chicken bones, etc.) on the floor of the subway. (Douche)

If you've ever been denied entry to a bar because you were too intoxicated, it's OK. People get drunk. It's not a big deal. If you proceeded to argue with the bouncer/bartender/whatever, you're a Douche.

No one that has ever been denied entry to a drinking establishment, or asked to leave an establishment, has ever been able to successfully fight their way into being allowed to enter/stay. No one, in the history of drinking, has ever gotten a free bar tab for "whoopin' the bouncers ass". If you've ever suffered this delusion, you're a dill-hole and a Douche.

If, after you've picked a fight for the above mentioned reasons and gotten your ass handed to you, you subsequently called the cops to file a complaint, you're an Uber-Douche. You're also probably gonna spend the night in jail (if you drop the soap, let it go).

Urinating on a subway/bus, in a bar (in a place other than the restroom), on the door of an apartment or anywhere near a church or school...earns you the status, without reservation or exception, of Uber-Douche.

If you're 40-plus years old, and instantly fall in love with a 24 year old girl on facebook or myspace after seeing her picture, you're sad. If, after a few online chats, you get jealous because she works late, you're a loser. If, after being advised to let it go and get on with your life, you continue to inundate the girl with dozens of emails, fb or myspace messages, AIM messages, etc over the next 72 hours, you're instantly elevated to Uber-Douche.

"what do you mean my id is no good", "do you know who I am/my father is", "you can't keep me out, I know the law/it's a public place"...Asshat, Douche, Douche.

The following institutions deserve a little attention...

The MTA - After getting caught cooking the books just a few years ago, they've subsequently demanded fare increases EVERY YEAR SINCE. Institutional Douchebaggery

*honorable mention* - the citizens of NYC that haven't demanded to see the books every single year since the year of the cooked books. I love this city, but there are too many absolute fucking mouth-breathers.

ConEd and the NY Water Authority - Conservation is working. Usage of both electricity and water has been greatly reduced. The reward? Rate increases of 14% and 7% respectively. The logic? They've still got to meet their budget, so they're gonna get the money one way or another. WTF??? When I finally leave NY, I'm leaving all the lights on, turning on all the faucets, and nailing the front door shut. Institutional Uber-Douche.

All utilities mentioned can kiss my big country ass.

Civilian group mention...

The Critical Mass group - If you're not familiar with these fucktards, they meet up, ride through the streets of Manhattan, blocking traffic and breaking traffic laws to promote the need for mass transit. WTF??? These asshats are protesting too many cars in the city with the most extensive train system in the friggin' hemisphere, if not the world. Every month, these dipshits use the transportation ruse to interfere with life just because they're douchebags. When the NYPD attempted to organize them, so at least emergency vehicles could travel without interference, they sued on "freedom of speech" grounds. Still in the courts, this group has been elevated to hippie-wannabe Uber-Douche.

Please, Charles, I need you now more than ever. Tell me it's gonna be OK before I run amok and start punching these ass-clowns in the neck.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

K-mart, where America shops for...WTF???

On the way to the bar from the cellular store, I noticed an oddity. There was a man, virtually upside down on the sidewalk up against the wall outside K-mart, with a small crowd gathering nearby. As I crossed the street, the gent was being helped to his feet. Once righted, he shook off his assistance and launched into a tirade worthy of authentic frontier gibberish, waving his arms wildly and repeatedly extending his middle fingers towards the building. This closer investigation showed me that the gent was, in fact, a wino.

As I passed, I noticed several men standing just inside the revolving door. As they were all dressed the same, I came to the conclusion they were K-mart employees...or the nerdiest street gang ever. My curiosity piqued, I stopped to enjoy the street theater next to a guy in a suit.

Me: Did he get thrown out?

Suit: Looks that way.

Me: What the hell do you have to do to get bounced from K-mart?
Suit: No idea. I bet he knows, though. (gestures towards the bum)

The crusty hobo continued his rant for several moments. When he ran out of breath, he charged back into the revolving door. The employees grabbed the door and held fast to prevent his re-entry into the store. I pointed out to my new friend, the suit, that their formation resembled the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.

As the K-martians were determinedly preventing the bum's entry, they were approached by what I assume was a store manager (he was wearing a slightly nicer crappy shirt). He spoke to them quickly. The looked at him like he was as crazy as the would-be invader. Simultaneously, however, they released the door, allowing the door to spin freely. When the now quickly spinning door opened for the bum to enter the store, the manager simply pushed him back into the revolving door (with a noticeable amount of force) and allowed the door to keep spinning until the correct opening was back on the street side. At this point, the employees grabbed the door again, effectively putting the brakes on the demented merry-go-round. The abrupt stop caused the bum to rattle off the panes of the door, then spill back out onto the sidewalk. Brilliance.

After gathering himself, the now twice ejected asshat launched into another tirade for about a minute. He stopped rather suddenly, when he realized something that everyone watching already knew. He was cold. The reason for this apparent chill? His pants had fallen down. To add insult to injury...he was going commando.

Thoroughly defeated, he drew his pants back up, and drifted off into the now considerable crowd. I learned a few things from this slice of New York life.

1) If you fuck up bad enough, the good people of K-mart will put a whole different kind of Blue Light Special on your ass.

2) The manager at the place where America Shops for Value might just be smarter than I ever gave him/her credit for.

3) If you're not gonna wear a belt, never, EVER go commando.

4) If you should be both beltless and commando, at least make sure you're clean. It's just plain embarrassing to have everyone see your junk when it's that kinda dirty. Much worse than getting in an accident with dirty underwear. Go to Starbucks and wash it in the sink if you have to (enjoy your latte tomorrow).

and lastly
5) I seem to be a magnet for half-naked and/0r crazed bums, for some the hell did that happen?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Self-love on the A train

After moving to the city many years ago, I found myself waiting on a crowded 14th street subway platform waiting for the uptown A train. My destination was Hell's Kitchen, and I was looking for work. I was flipping through the Daily News when the train pulled in. I was still flipping through the paper when I stepped into the subway car. When I looked up, I was confused. Everyone that had entered before me was crammed to the the front of the car, leaving the rear virtually for one guy.

Sitting in the small seat by the door, was an urban outdoorsman (translation: bum). Ordinarily, I maintain a "live and let live" philosophy. That tenet was sorely test, however, as the crusty gent had made himself comfortable...VERY comfortable. His pants were down to his knees, and he was, to put it delicately, rubbing one out (stroking the bishop, flogging the log, spanking the monkey, choking the chicken, etc). Amazingly, the other occupants of the car were trying hard to pretend not to notice. I, on the other hand, lost my friggin' mind.

"Are you people fucking kidding? " (I started handing parts of the paper out to people to shield themselves from any possible release of bum seed) "Jeez, at least protect yourselves!" No one refused this small offering of protection. In fact, it seemed to both ease their fears and stimulate their disgust at the same time. "Dude, you're a fucking animal!" said one strap hanger. "That's gross, man. Get off the train!!!" said another. A small, elderly woman, apparently of Eastern European descent (complete with babushka) stepped forward and, using the soothing tones of a grandmother offered, "I hope you die, you bastard!!!" before spitting on the floor at his feet.

The guy was now trying diligently to ignore the crowd as we travelled through the underbelly of the city. He had kicked it into overdrive and was pumping his fist like a man possessed, but to no avail. The car was on the verge of riot. Something metallic flew over the crowd and hit the wall by his head. It was quickly followed by coins, keys, pens, batteries and what I believe was a half-eaten slice of cheese pizza. It was like "bat day" at Yankee stadium in the 70's.

This broke the mood of self-gratification as the train rumbled into the station, apparently. When we came to a stop, he stood up and shuffled off onto the platform, shocking the riders waiting there. And no, he didn't even bother to pull his pants up. He merely held the waist band and went off in search of a quieter place...with his junk still dangling. "This city sucks" said the unsatisfied gent, "ya can't get any privacy."

True dat, my friend, you can never find a quiet subway train on which to beat your meat anymore. The city ain't what it used to be...WTF???

epilogue: I didn't realize it til I got off the train at the next stop, but I never got any of my newspaper back from the people on the train. I learned a lesson that day. From now on, I'll save the 50 cents and let the rest of the train get Hep C...bunch of ungrateful ass-clowns.

Treat All God's Chilluns Equal

So, I'm working the door one Friday night, when a gentleman rolls up in a wheelchair. I nod and greet him politely. The gent looks down into the bar (it's four steps below sidewalk level to the door).

Douche on Wheels: How the hell am I supposed to get in?
Me: I can help you, brother. Do you prefer the stairs, or the ramp? (I point to the ramp normally used for beer deliveries at the side door).
DoW: I don't need your help! I just need appropriate access! You've heard of the American Disabilities Act?
Me: Sure. But I offered you access to the ramp, or to help you down the stairs, so I'm confused by your attitude?
DoW: MY attitude? Go fuck yourself! I have a right to come into this bar!!!
Me: No, you have the right to access this bar. Even if we were at street level, I wouldn't let you in, now, because you're a douche.
DoW: Oh, you're so getting sued! I can't believe you're operating in flagrant disregard of the Disabilities Act! I'm gonna own this bar!!!
Me: Good to know. Can I have a raise?
DoW: Go ahead and laugh it up. You'll see...unless your boss wants to make some kind of settlement?

(rolling my eyes)
Me: Wow, you're fucked again. I am the boss, and I'd rather lick a bum's ass than give you a nickel in a half-assed shakedown. This can't possibly ever work, can it?
DoW: Your loss, I'm gonna sue, then!!!
Me: Fine see you in court.

Rolling thunder launched into a rant. I let him go for several minutes before finally asking him to just go away. I told him he was absolutely not going to get a nickel from the establishment, so he might as well call it a night and roll his happy ass home. I also informed him that since the business had been in constant operation since 1942, we were exempt from the local rules regarding handicap access. This new information perplexed him at first, then sent him into another rage.

Me: Look, this is the first time I've ever even been tempted to smack a guy in a wheelchair. Why don't we just go our separate ways?
DoW: (actually rolls his chair into me) I'm not afraid of you! Bring it on, I dare you!
Before I could stop myself, I pulled his hoody over his head and kicked his chair, causing it to roll across the sidewalk towards the street. I attempted to grab it, but it was like a damned Sam Peckinpah movie. Everything kinda went into slow motion. One of the resident liberal chicks came running from the bar, screaming.

At that moment, the chair rolled off the curb and dumped the guy into the street. The girl began cursing and poking me in the arm and chest, but I was more interested in the guy. He was also cursing he stood up and collected his stuff, and began pushing his chair away. Didn't even have the courtesy to limp.

The girl also saw this, and stopped her verbal assault. I calmly advised her that it was a bad idea to get involved in an altercation in a bar, and it was a very bad idea to initiate physical contact with staff. She tried to get indignant, so I booted her ass too.
Hate 'em all, let God sort 'em out.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wait...rain isn't yellow, is it?

Upon closing the bar one evening, the bartender (Autumn), the barback (Rick) and I were having a quiet drink together recounting the general fuckery of the evening. It was about 5 a.m. Sunday morning, and the clientele Saturday evening had made me worry that a little yellow bus had crashed in the neighborhood, and the riders had wandered into the bar. While we were chatting, I heard the gentle sound of water running.

Me - "Did you guys leave the water running in the sink?"

They both responded that they had not. I leaned up on the bar to verify this, as I was sure I heard water running. As my butt came back to rest on the stool, I glanced over to the door. The interior doors were still open, but the gate was down, to prevent the drunken fucktards still on the streets from stumbling into the bar. It was at this time, I noticed the water running under the gate, puddling just inside the door. "When did it start raining?" I asked no one in particular. It wasn't raining.

Walking to the door, I heard voices. Yes, gentle readers, a pair of asshats were peeing onto the security gates of the bar. Gravity and slope bringing said pee INSIDE the bar.

Me - "Hey guys, you're peeing into the bar."

Douche 1 - "I think somebody's in there." (rocket scientist)

Douche 2 - "Well, he better stay in there, if he knows what's good for him." (sigh)

I threw the gate up as the two of them were finishing their stream.

Me - "OK, which one of you hard asses wants to show me what's good for me?"

Douche 2 - "Uhhhh....homina-homina...errrr...mumbo, dogface, banana patch."

Douche 1 - (points to Douche 2)

Me - "Son, did you not understand when I yelled you were peeing into the bar?"

Douche 2 - (pickle still in hand) "Hey, the door should be able to keep water out, don't blame me." (sigh)

The annoyed punch in the chest sent him tumbling backwards across the sidewalk, where he came to rest on the curb. Douche 1 ran to his side to help him up, apologizing profusely for their unwise choice of urination stations.

Me - "Don't sweat it. Just take your friend home before he gets himself in trouble. Explain to him tomorrow that he wouldn't have a bruise on his chest if he just would have apologized, or even kept his mouth shut."

Douche 2 - (beanie weenie STILL hanging in the breeze) "Hey, fuck you man! You can't do that!! You don't know who my father is!!!"

Me - (sigh) "I'm assuming he's the limpdick that didn't teach you not to piss into someones place of business? Or that using a line like that makes you an uber-douche? If you tell me he's a lawyer, I'm gonna wanna know his address so I can go pinch a loaf in his ficus tree tomorrow."

Douche 2 - (thoroughly confused, being led away by Douche 1) "I'll be back. You watch your back!"

Me - (waving) "Bring pie. I like pie."

With the departure of God's Special People, I went back to the bar to finish my now warm beer. Rick had mopped the mess and re-secured the door behind me.

Rick - "Uh, bro?"

Me - "Yeah, man?"

Rick - "Is this yours?"
(turning, I focus on what would be the house trophy for the evening)

Me - "Is that a shoe?"

Rick - "Yeah. He came out of it when you popped him". (I had noticed the dipshit limping, but assumed it was from the roll)

I admit, I felt more than a smidgen of machismo at having knocked the turd, literally, out of his shoe. So much so, that after a dousing in the sanitizer, the shoe was hung on the back bar.

After pouring a smaller glass of beer to finish off the night, a gentle rapping came from the gate. It was Douche 1.

Douche 1 - "Umm. I think my friend lost his shoe"

Me - "You're kidding right?"

Douche 1 - "Well, we gotta go back to Westchester, and he'd like to get it back."

Me - "Did he finally put his cock away?"

Douche 1 - "Yeah. We're looking for his shoe, though."

Me - "And?"

Douche 1 - "Can I have it?"

Me - "Haven't seen it. Tell him to enjoy the train ride...and to say hi to his dad for me...and don't forget the pie when he comes back...I like pie."

The freshly minted uber-douche never did come back like he said he I had to get my own pie...fucker.

The Dangers of Laundry & Self-Medication

It happens to us all, eventually. That momentary, but nonetheless monumental act of stupidity that haunts us for years. This is one of those acts...

Suffering through a bout of the flu that I equated to a mild form of SARS, I soldiered on to work. The misery of the next several hours was astounding. The coughing, the watery eyes, the aching muscles, the production of absurd amounts of snot would have brought a lesser man to his knees...I was well on my way to that position.

I finally drew my remaining energy forth, and trudged the normally short block to the drug store for relief. It was during this hazy shopping spree that I concocted the ultimate flu remedy/horse tranquilizer. After purchasing my goods, I returned to the bar.

Spilling the contests of my bag onto the bar, the bartender looked on with great confusion and fear for what was about to happen. She was kind enough to heat three fingers of Jameson, which was used to dissolve a packet of Thera-flu. A double-shot of Nyquil was introduced to the cocktail. After the mixture was complete, it chased down a dosage of Tylenol PM. Whoooo-ooaaaaa, that's good squishy!!!

With an hour til closing, I was almost instantly feeling the embrace of sweet slumber. Little did I know that the Sandman was about to lure me into a dark alley and make me his prison bitch.

At closing, I shouldered my laundry bag (which I had picked up on the way to work that afternoon) and began the journey home. That single avenue was the longest 750 feet of my life. By the time I arrived at my building, I was swimming in my own sweat. Unlocking the front door was the closest thing to a Rubik's Cube I had encountered in two decades. Resting at the bottom of the stairs, I came to the king of rationalizations. "Just leave the laundry here and get it in the morning". It made perfect sense.

Now, obviously, there are many flaws in the thought processes I used that evening. Not the least of which was that I would be functional "in the morning". I virtually crawled up the four flights, leaving my bag by the foot of the stairs. Upon entering the apartment I began a slumber that legends are built around. 12 hours of uninterrupted "sweat out". I emerged from my hibernation feeling almost, though not quite, my normal self (I had no idea you could get a hangover from cold meds, but believe me when I say it...oh yeah, you can).

I traipsed downstairs to retrieve my bag before work, and lo and behold, the bag was not to be found. Only mildly concerned, I assumed the super had found it and stashed it in a closet. With nothing else to do about it that night, I headed to work.

Upon arrival, one of the regulars checked to make sure I was OK, as she was sure I was on death's door the previous evening (that walking SARS is tough). I assured her that I was fine, and the only problem was not being able to find my laundry. At this point, my friend Lew (Jewish Lew, not Dominican Lou) smirked and chuckled.
Me - (closing my eyes) "What?"
Lew - I'm pretty sure I saw a bum wearing your Motorhead t-shirt. It was way too big for him. So now that I think about it, it was probably yours."
Me - (sigh) "Maybe not, there's gotta be plenty of Motorhead shirts in the city, right?"
Lew - "Absolutely. They hand out 4xl Motorhead shirts at the DMV with your new license." (laughing out loud)
Me - (ugh)

One of the regulars approached at this point. "Are you guys talking about the bum fight?" (what?) "I saw two bums fighting over the biggest pair of jeans I ever saw. It was hilarious!!!!"

Lew clued him in that they were, in fact, mine. It took earnest threats of neck punches for both of them to stop the laughter and get the pertinent information I needed to try to find any remnants of my clothes. Checking the streets around my apartment, and the block of the bum fight proved fruitless.

I learned many valuable lessons from this. Don't over medicate. When they say don't mix things, they fucking mean it. And when they say don't operate heavy machinery, that includes washing machines.

And I never got any of my clothes back. To this day, I have to suppress the urge to attack any fat kid in a Motorhead shirt and take the shirt. sigh

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

That's no leprechaun...

Upon arrival in the city, I took a job working the door/bouncing at a little neighborhood spot call "The Looking Glass". Dark and divey, it was the kind of place you really shouldn't let any exposed skin touch anything. Unless, of course you had already received your Hep C shot.

8:15 p.m., Thursday night:
The asshats hadn't started flowing into the streets, yet. That wouldn't happen for a few hours still. Only about a dozen people were in the bar. There were a few aging tipplers left over from happy hour, a couple of 30 somethings that had stopped in on their way to dinner, and a few bro-dogs from NYU pre-gaming for their evening festivities on $2 pints of Bud.

Even though St. Patrick's Day had come and gone over a month earlier, I didn't think twice when I saw a gent down the block sporting one of those green plastic derby's that are common on that holiday. I simply assigned the guy as a "colorful NYC outdoorsman" (translation - half-crazy bum). Realizing I was out of smokes, I ducked into the bodega next door to grab a pack, nodding to the guy as I passed.

Having purchased my smoky treats and chatted w/ the deli guy for a few minutes, I was back on the sidewalk lighting up. I looked up and saw the aforementioned gent exiting the bar, counting his change.

"Hmm. Maybe I was wrong" I thought to myself. "Maybe he's just one of those eccentric New Yorkers you hear about stopping in for a quick shot".

I looked into the bar and saw a confused look on the face of the bartender (and childhood friend), and agitation on the faces of a few of the customers. I went in to investigate.

Erik the bartender - "Did you see these guys put any money on the bar?"
Me - "Well, yeah. About 5 minutes ago before I went for smokes."
Customer - "I had about 15 bucks on the bar."
2nd Customer - "I had 10 bucks or so."
(light bulb going off over my head)

Realizing the bum had entered the establishment and raked the bar of all unattended cash, I was out the door like I was shot out of a cannon and down to the corner. Looking down the street, I could see the wayward leprechaun crossing the street, looking over his shoulder (presumably for pursuers). My days of foot pursuit being long behind me, I turned with disgust to head back to the bar. At that point, in what can only be described as serendipity, the light changed letting a cab cross the avenue to me.

I flagged the cab and hopped in. "Next corner, please." The cabbie looked at me like I was nuts, but drove to the next corner. Having slid down in the seat, my quarry didn't respond when we passed him. At the corner, I told the cabbie to leave the meter running...I'd only be a second. I left the door open as I stepped out. The thief was still stealing looks over his shoulder looking for pursuit when I grabbed him by his shirt.

Now, bearing in mind, I do not now, nor have I ever claimed to be a tough guy. That being said, I hit that douche so hard that, quite literally, snot shot out of his nose. I threw him into the corner formed by a building and a dumpster and began unfolding a good old-fashioned south Alabama beat down.

The light having changed, the cabbie began honking his horn (didn't care about the beating, evidently, but he definitely wanted his $2.40). I grabbed the miscreant by his shirt and shook him like a rag doll. "Where's the money, motherfucker?" (bitch slaps to the head) "I want the cash from the bar, you fuck!" At this point, bills started flying out of every pocket.

"Fuck you, scumbag! I know there's more!!!" (obviously, I had absolutely no idea how much was taken, but I assumed he'd hold out). Sure enough, more cash came out. I released him, kicked him in the ass, and let him escape to whatever hole he crawled out of. Gathering the surprisingly large amount of cash on the sidewalk, I hopped back into the cab, telling the driver to drop me off at the same corner. The fare was $4.80. I threw him a $10 and tipped the change for the trouble.

Walking back into the bar...
Erik - "Where'd you go, bro?"
Me - "To get the money back."
The 4 guys claiming to have lost money walked up. The two that had already made their claims were given their money. The other two claimed $14 and $20 respectively, and were given that amount.

Then, confusion, followed by realization set in. I still had A LOT of money left. Going to the end of the bar, I counted it out. I still had nearly $400 dollars in my hand. I had, technically, rolled a bum and taken a cab to and from the scene of the crime. And no, it didn't bother me one bit.

He may not have been a real leprechaun, but I most assuredly followed him to steal his pot o' gold/Lucky Charms.