Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Card Hander-Outer

These guys are at every street corner, outside every barbershop, and of course recruiting for that class-A “Gentlemen’s Club.” Which quickly brings me to my first tangent. Why are strip clubs called gentlemen’s clubs? Has it become a gentlemanly trait to stare at a woman’s tits while trying to land dollar bills on the stage from ten feet away? The only gentlemanly thing I’ll ever do at a strip club is look at that forty-something year old beat up stripper just so she doesn’t think she repulses me (which she does.) But, I feel bad. I mean I want the little dignity remaining with her to at least last the next two years. I think that may be about the only gentlemanly thing that occurs at a strip club - the courtesy look of interest out of pity.

Anyway, to get back on track to the guys who hand out those cards or flyers. They’re usually some poor schmuck or Mexican immigrant, who can care less about annoying the general population, so long as they make five dollars an hour under the table. I don’t blame them entirely, but do owners really see an increase in profits from these people? I’ll be walking down the street, thinking up the best way to justify being an hour late to work, when all of a sudden a card is offered to me. Now, I will instinctually grab one out of every twenty-five cards handed to me. In fact, they throw it out there so quick; I may even accidentally grab it if it was a used condom. Let’s hope Trojan doesn’t start an out of the box guerrilla marketing campaign this way.

So I have the card in my hand. It’s a five-dollar psychic reading. How karmic that this is placed into my hands. Certainly this is ingenious marketing by Chloe, the psychic. Really though? Do I even need to get started on this? First of all, for those of you who actually think there are supernatural people out there who can read the future, there aren’t. It’s a big scam! Even if these people do exist. How great can a five-dollar psychic be? A Doublecone from Mr. Softee costs more than that, and the only prediction a Doublecone yields, is that you will need to use the bathroom within an hour. If this person were legitimately capable of reading your deepest thoughts, your love life, and your future, wouldn’t they be paid more than a psychologist? Of course not. They would only pay that person five dollars for their time. That is all one’s life is worth according to Chloe’s pay scale.

The cards vary from psychic to religious jargon. I would like to speak on behalf of the average pedestrian. I have nothing against you personally, but next time you see me just skip me. I don’t feel like saying, “sorry,” or “no thanks,” when you hand me a dollar off for a foot rub card. Let me give the card-hander-outer man a tip of advice. You can cut out the middleman by simply tossing your stack of cards directly into the nearest trashcan. Because let’s be honest, nobody holds on to those things for longer than a block and a half. They are sloppily folded in half, sometimes more than once, and quickly dispersed of by the time we reach the next trash can. And hey, if you’re all out of cards, then you’ve done your job, and you should still get paid. Now that’s win, win.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Crack Addict

There is no smooth transition into describing this guy. He is as abrupt as an unplanned pregnancy. He is like a child who lost his way. A loner, with a deeply disturbed past. His demeanor is…

Addict: “That’s the problem with the white man!”
Me: “I’m sorry?”
A: “You shouldn’t watch the chickens run!”
M: “What chickens?”
A: “I saw the bus coming. Don’t you tell me about the bus stop! I’m a grown man. Fuck you!”
M: “You spit on me.”
A: “Excabible dad grosh.”
M: “That’s not English…Well, I suppose dad is a word.”
A: “The fuck you ain’t.”
M: “I should be going now.”
A: “God bless you.”

What a nice man.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Degenerate Gambler

While it’s depressing just how low this guy can sink, I can’t help but love this all too familiar personality. I’ve sat down on a Saturday afternoon, with an ambient unknown college football game on in the background. I won’t ask why the game is on, because I assume no one is watching. Suddenly, I’m startled with an unexpected outburst from a nearby friend.

“Fuck you Boise State!”

“Really? You bet on Boise State?” I asked.

“No, are you kidding? I bet Hawaii would have the first field goal.”

So, just to clarify, my friend, who has never been to Hawaii or Boise State…In fact, I’d bet a hundred dollars he doesn’t even know where Boise State is. No, Sean I don’t actually want to bet you on that. I’m just making a point. Anyway, he made a bet that Hawaii would make the first field goal of the game. This is what I’d call a minor degenerate. It’s pathetic. It’s absurd. But, I’ve seen worse. You have ways to go Sean. Oh sorry, that’s his name. Let me introduce you to a real degenerate.

This next degenerate gambler is one of my favorites. If you ever want to escape Manhattan, without actually leaving the city, go to Chatham Square in China Town. Then venture into the O.T.B. (Off Track Betting.) Now, you’ll have to know the lingo, the tracks, and knowing the horses may help. Fortunately, I had a friend working behind the glass. He explained how to bet, and I still didn’t understand. Of course I pretended to know what was going on. After all, degenerate gamblers encircled me, and I didn’t want to disappoint. Give me the three horse at Belmont – straight up. Loser. Whatever, I don’t have a clue what’s going on. I’m not the degenerate here. Well, at least not today.

The main reason for my trek was to see what it’d be like to live in Beijing, and to see what this OTB was all about. Plus, I got to bullshit with my buddy. We started to talk, about nothing in particular, when an extra from Goodfellas approached the glass. I’m not even trying to be funny. This was a legitimate extra from Goodfellas. I’ve seen the movie countless times.

He was adorned with black pants, a black T, and topped off with a top hat. He wasn’t very tall, but his presence was unmistakable. First of all, he was the only Italian guy in Chinatown that night. Well actually there were three others, but we didn’t look Italian like he did. This guy was old school Mulberry St. He paced and bantered with everyone who crossed his path. Nobody knew what he was saying, and he obviously didn’t know what the Chinese folk were saying. So it was a mutual misunderstanding. He had bet the three horse, like me, only this three horse was from Yonkers. Wait a second. He meant to bet the three at Lone Star. Woops. My friend may be bright, but he’s not very attentive it seems.

“That fuckin’ jerk off gave me Yonkers!”

He makes it sound like a venereal disease. I would hate to have an upstate New York STD. It sounds pretty boring and overpriced.

The degenerate went on and on, tearing into my friend over the wrong betting ticket. He even contradicted himself on occasion, discussing with Ping and Yang how the kid isn’t so bad – he just made a mistake. It’s not totally his fault.

The race on his ticket came and went. He did not win. He wouldn’t even have won his original bet. He’s an all around loser. In more ways than one.

“Ah fuck him! He’s a fuckin’ moron!” he concluded.

Obviously another bet was overdue. Try the four horse at Santa Clara. Surely this horse is pulling for you. Now the events that proceeded are not made up or exaggerated. His horse went neck and neck with the two horse. Literally, they were nose to nose. It would take a magnifying glass to determine the winner.

“I’m going to have a heart attack!” he yelled. “I don’t know why I keep coming back here!”

He turned to Ping, who had an amiable grin painted on his face. “What are you smiling at?”

“You win?” Ping asked, sincerely.

“I hope you die in your sleep!” the man answered.

Ping didn’t understand a word he said. He nodded his head and continued about his own degenerate ways.

“Please God, let me win this bet. I won’t make another bet in my life.” The man continued.

Hey, God? I know we haven’t exactly started off on the right foot, but here’s a little advice: I wouldn’t make that bet with him. He’s definitely lying. OK, suit yourself. After twenty minutes of deliberation, the man’s horse was declared the winner. Praise the Lord! Maybe prayers can be answered after all (Can you sell this book for me God?) Hey Goodfella, you should go to mass and thank God for this substantial win (like $40.) And remember, you promised not to bet again in your life.

Hey, you didn’t have to push me. It was too late. The man put his $40 on the next race. It may have been the seven horse at Belmont, or the nine at Yonkers. It didn’t matter. This guy was in a never-ending cycle of gambling. His appetite would not be content, until his misery reached its peak. He still had money in his pocket, and that could only mean one thing – place a bet.

There is a moral to this story somewhere and that is to never trust an OTB clerk. Well that and gambling is a horrible, addicting disease. However, I couldn’t imagine a world without characters like these. Sure they’re suffering, but at what cost? Their loved ones? Their own self-respect? Yes. But, man what an entertaining Saturday evening it was for me. And that’s all that really matters, right?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Douchey Co-worker

We will typically spot this person in an office environment. You’ve heard of people that are, “by the book.” This person is the book. They enjoy reading, routine, and routine. They seem to lack any sort of personality whatsoever. Wait, is that a personality? I feel like they are faking it. Like they’re a compilation of flesh, organs, and bone, but what happened to the human soul? Well, if you actually believe in a soul…

“Did you just make a comment against religion?”

“No. I love religion.”

“Good. That would be blasphemous.”

Sorry about that. Anyway, this person fails to understand the laid-back personality types, the creative person that lies inside of us all, and the occasional vulgar joke. I’ll be right back. I need to take a piss.

“What did you say?”

“I mean I need to use the washroom…”

“You’re excused.”

OK, I’m back. So, I wonder if this person ever made a racist joke, got drunk on a whim, or farted in public. That grin on his face makes me want to puke. Does he realize that he’s making that grin? It’s like there is a surgically placed kabob in his ass, and he enjoys it. Not too much. Just enough to allow for this grin of his. And that can’t be a genuine laugh. He’s forcing himself to laugh. No man reaches a point of comical ecstasy with an abhorrent outburst like that. I shouldn’t even use the word outburst. I mean miniscule, irritating chuckle.

What I’d like to know is where are these people raised? I would have to say somewhere like Connecticut or Rhode Island. They seem like a safe place to raise a child without any sort of outside influences from actual human beings. What are the conditions in which they’re raised? I imagine sitting around the dinner table making wise cracks at one another isn’t the typical dinner setting. So, what do they talk about? Perhaps they discuss politics, logic, and different shades of golf shirts. I must say, pink is the new green.

Is he making fun of me back, or is he not capable of vengeful thoughts? I wonder if he thinks I’m immature and useless to society. Granted I am, but I don’t want him thinking that about me. At the same time, I don’t want to hate him, but he leaves me no choice. I’d rather like him, than hate him. Maybe we can get along after all. I doubt it.

Are there actual people buried beneath the façade, or is this all we’re going to get? Maybe there is an ethnic humorist, like George Lopez but funny, waiting to erupt out from the pale skin Chester McGinley. By the way, I completely made that name up. It sounds pretty lame though. No offense to the Chester McGinleys out there who are reading this.

Now these people thrive in corporate environments. In fact, it’s likely that they will rise to the top and be your boss at the dead end job you’re stuck in. So yea, they’re in the same boring building as you day in and day out, but they’re making more money than you – and subsequently more successful than you. How does that make you feel? If you haven’t decided yet, I’ll answer for you. Sick. Because they kissed enough ass, nodded their head, and agreed to their superiors enough times to put them in that comfy corner office with a view. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want that corner office? I could totally stare out that window for hours and daze about nothing, while collecting serious corporate dollars. Plus, I can finally eat at that pricey steakhouse across the street. For lunch! Sweet!

Now that I think about it, I wonder if this person has already thought this through. Maybe they’re way ahead of me. Perhaps they know that if they approach life in such a manner, than they will eventually have a sweet steakhouse lunch. Come to think of it, I may be going about life all wrong.

“Did you just have an out-of-the-box thought?”


“Good. OK, well I’m going to go home to my wife and talk about my day at work. Can’t wait to see who they’ll vote off Dancing With the Stars tonight. See you tomorrow morning.”

On second thought, I’ll stick with Type B Personality. Sorry Chester. You’re not making comments about me with your other Type A friends, are you?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Old Ladies Meeting At Coffee Shop

While stepping away from their daily block of Judge Judy, Oprah, and Bridge games, the Sexless and the City meet up to discuss their alcoholic daughter-in-law and the extravagantly overpriced coffee they’re sipping. It’s an exclusive club. The qualifications? Have a grandson to brag about, be skilled in the art of gossip, and awful with technology. The players? Old ladies. Why no, I’m not using this chair. You may borrow it. You’re quite welcome. Aren’t they so cute?

Their styles are as stubborn as their attitude toward abortion. I wonder when was the last time they got laid. Oh God, why did I put that image in my head? Megan Fox. Megan Fox. OK, I’m better. It must be nice to just sit at a café on a Wednesday afternoon. Shouldn’t you be sewing or making people wait extra longer in the grocery line while you count out your change to the exact penny? I shouldn’t be mean. I wonder if they’ll let me join in on their gossip. One of them is looking at me right now. I hope they’re not talking about me already.

Hold the presses, Janette’s niece is in the school play, Shrek. I hope she isn’t the lead. It’s this Friday at eight o’clock if anyone’s interested. She’s really talented. You should hear her sing. She got that from Janette’s side of the family. Her father isn’t very talented. He’s more of a pushover. I don’t even know why Janette’s daughter married him. She settled down way too early. But hey, at least he gave her two cute kids right? I guess you can’t complain.

There is way too much cream cheese on the bagel. Is your bagel soggy too? Rose’s bagel is really mushy. I don’t know why people eat here. No matter how many times you tell them not to over-do-it on the cream cheese – what do they do? They load it up with cream cheese. You can’t even taste the lox. Which is the only reason
to eat here in the first place. That’s one thing I’ll say; they do have fresh lox. It’s hard to get that anymore. I’m taking this coffee back. It’s way too cold.

Apparently, Loretta’s son bought her an ipod. Her nephew, Stevie, was trying to teach her how to use it the other day. Touch this. Drag that. It’s all very overwhelming if you ask me. Then they have these things called applications. Stevie was taking pictures with this thing, and then making funny faces with it. He’s aborable. Loretta has a picture of him somewhere in her purse. I think she is still looking for it though.

Anyhow, she doesn’t get the ipod. I hope her son, Ned, won’t mind that she is taking it back. She’s not going to tell him. She’d feel too bad for him. You should’ve seen the excitement he had when he showed it her. She’ll just take the store credit and buy a tea kettle with it. I mean is that wrong? She just figured out how to use her VCR. How in God’s name is she going to figure out how to use an ipod? Does it play records? She has a beautiful record of Johnny Mathis that she hasn’t been able to play since Morty passed away. I wonder if Stevie knows how to convert vinyl to mp3. Maybe she should hold onto it for a little longer. She may get the hang of it.

So can you believe Jeffrey’s still out of a job? This economy is awful. Loretta was just saying how she didn’t vote for Obama. Everyone agrees – he was a bad choice for president. Not because he’s black. Well, he’s half black right? His mother was a white woman, correct? It’s the father though. He’s out of the picture completely. I think he lives somewhere in Africa or India. He’s Muslim you know? And you know all about those Muslims. Osama Bin Laden and such. They started this whole war in Iraq. Georgie told Rose that we may be going to war with some of those other Indian countries. I don’t know which ones. The Muslims ones I guess. Janette saw this poor woman the other day, draped with a black robe – head to toe. Honest to God. How can she wear that in this humidity? Their husbands make them wear that. If Harry made Janette wear that he’d be out the door. Who are we kidding? Harry wouldn’t even ask Janette to make the bed. He’s such a sweetheart. I wonder how he’s doing.

Rose really likes that bottle of sugar. Do you think they would know if she took one home? They have so many of them. They wouldn’t notice would they? It’s not like she doesn’t buy something there several times a week. It’s not stealing. It would go perfect on her kitchen table. She shouldn’t even ask if it’s OK. They would definitely give it to her if she asked. Yea, Rose just wrap it up in a bunch of napkins and stuff it in your purse. You’ve earned it. Although, you gals should probably leave after that. Actually, I think Wheel of Fortune is coming on soon too. Bye ladies.

“Thanks for the chair. You’re such a sweetheart.”

“My pleasure.”

“Are you single? I wish my granddaughter, Stephanie, would date someone more like you. She’s gorgeous. You’d love her.”

I guess it couldn’t hurt to grab a coffee with her. At least see what she looks like.
“I’d love to meet her.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m working on a comedy book.”

“Well it was nice meeting you sweetie.”

Was I rejected by an old lady? Excuse me sir. I think that lady took off with some of your supplies. Check her purse.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Repeating Your Order

I’m going to make this as simple as possible for you. So, please pay attention.

“I’ll have a footlong on Herbs and Cheese bread…”

“What kind of meat?”

“Italian lunchmeat.”

“Italian bread?”

“No, the Herbs and Cheese bread please”

“Six inch or footlong?”

This is why I told you in the beginning of the order the specific flavor and size of the bread. So, I wouldn’t have to break it down for five minutes.

“Footlong please.”

“Spicy Italian or Italian B.M.T?”

“B.M.T., with Provolone.”

What the hell does B.M.T. stand for? Bowel movement testosterone? Bowling minus tits? Buying Meat Trash? I’ll stop there.


“OK, B.M.T….not BLT? Correct?”

Yes, B.M.T. That is precisely why I said BMT. I know what a BLT is. I’m from this World.

“What kind of cheese?”

You guys heard me say Provolone, right? I mean I’m not going crazy here, am I?

“Provolone. Can I have that toasted too?”

“Lettuce, tomato, onion?”

“Yes, but can you toast it first, please?”

The toasting really enhances the sandwich. If you aren’t toasting your sandwich, you’re totally missing out. How long have I been ordering by the way? It’s got to be nearing ten minutes. I’m missing the Simpsons.


“Yes, lettuce, tomato, onion…”






“What else?”

“Olives, oil, and oregano.”

“Oil and Vinegar?”

Did I say oil and vinegar you jackass? If I wanted oil and vinegar, I would say, “Oil and vinegar!”

“No, just oil please.”

“That’s it?”

“And oregano.”

Finally! Thank God. That was ridiculous. It’s a fucking sub. This guy acts like he’s building…well a sub. The underwater military kind.

“That’ll be all. Thank you sir.”

“You want soda and chips with that?”

Pretty sure “that will be all” means “that will be all.”

“That will be all. Thank you sir.”


Damnit, I have to break a twenty over this. I thought the deal was $5 for the sub. What’s this $5.42 shit?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Pretentious Hipster

Did you shower today, sir? Your hair is greasy and your clothes are worn. That’s not to say you’re poor and you can’t afford clean clothes. It’s almost as if you deliberately bought those clothes at a vintage shop, just so you could have that look. Come to think of it, I’ve seen that shirt at a nearby boutique. It’s at least $70. Those sneakers you’re wearing, at least $100. Why you’re not poor at all. Aren’t you from the Upper East, with the wealthy? Wait just one minute. You’re a pretentious hipster.

They come from all over. Probably rejected in their hometown, they usually find solace somewhere in and around the city. Just like any trend, group, or cult, there are degrees of hipster. If you’ve ever been to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it’s like you died and went to hipster hell. Like wolves they tend to travel in packs. Don’t ask me how they slipped into those jeans, or why the jeans get ever so tight around the ankles. Maybe they don’t have ankles? I’m not sure.

These are the guys who you didn’t want on your team in gym class. Don’t pass it to Timmy; he’ll turn it over. Oh great, there are two outs and Timmy is up. Can somebody grab my glove now so I can start heading onto the field? Like clockwork…strike three, you’re out! Back to the field. Thanks Timmy, at least you’re consistent in sucking.

Alright, I’m being cruel and unfair. Not everybody has to be good at sports. Take Einstein for example. He sucked at sports. I heard he couldn’t even hit a ball off the tee. Even Timmy would hit a dribbler in tee ball. But, Einstein came up with that equation and that theory. What was it called again? Oh right….Relativity!

Timmy and the other hipsters are just smoking cigarettes while I’m trying to walk to Houston St. via Ludlow. What is it about Ludlow that attracts all the hipsters? I think there’s a café and bar all in one. I know what else is around here. An American Apparel. This store has totally branded the hipster look, and sets the bar for what a hipster should look like. If you’re new to the game, and not sure how to get your foot in the door – shop here. American Apparel allows you to ease your way into the ways of a hipster. It’s like when Yoda first starts teaching the force to Luke – except with hipsters and what to wear. OK, not a great example. I’m not trying to plug the store or anything, (although I would for the right price) but I really commend you for making $1 t-shirts into $50 t-shirts by exploiting the naiveté of the common hipster. Bravo! By the way, I do like the women you choose in your ads. Simple, yet still attractive.

If there’s anything a hipster likes more than cigarettes, it’s café coffee. Ah yes, nothing like overpriced organic coffee served up by a fellow hipster with a purple scrunchie. Come to think of it, I’m surrounded by hipsters as I write. Plus, I’m drinking their coffee. Why am I getting the impression that they can read my thoughts? Are you looking at my screen right now? I hope they didn’t slip anything in here. Is this foam or…You aren’t like vampires or werewolves, are you? I mean you’re not going to bite me and turn me into one of you, will you? At the moment, I can’t really afford high priced t-shirts with ironic sayings. I’m not a big indie punk guy either. Can you hold off any attacks until my next paycheck? Don’t look at me with those Kanye West 80s sunglasses. I can’t tell if you’re mocking me or not.

I think I have you pegged. You cover up your own insecurities and mediocrity with the false notion that you are better than us. You try too hard to make yourself look “hip,” in the face of others. I don’t fault you for being different, hipster. I fault you for trying to be different. See? There is a difference. You and I aren’t so different. I hope I didn’t confuse you by using the word “different” so many times.

Perhaps we can work together someday. I see the potential in you. Let this be a lesson, not a scolding. This organic coffee isn’t so bad after all. I think I’ll have another cup Purple Scrunchie Barista. Say, are you from around here? You’re actually kind of cute. Did you get that from American Apparel?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Cheesy Beggar

One thing I must say is the common beggar has improved in terms of storytelling, wit, and well…lying. There is undoubtedly one goal – to receive as much change as possible. But, how much can they ask for? If they shoot too high, they’ll come off greedy and unappreciative. If they ask for something too little, like a nickel, they’ll wonder whether or not they could’ve gotten more out of their sucker. It’s homeless economics 101. In fact, they should probably teach this at universities. Did you know the average homeless person makes over $30K a year? That’s more than the average non-homeless person. Something to think about.

There are many tales, schemes, and clichés that they’ll try. True story – This smelly homeless guy came up to me last night. I preemptively told him I don’t have any change. He was rather insulted by the insinuation and quickly let me know that he was not looking for money. Naturally, I felt kind of bad for the bum and allowed him to speak once more. He only wanted a cigarette. My mistake. I don’t have a cigarette either. Sorry buddy. I suppose I’m completely useless to the homeless society. I sent him on his way, wishing him the best of luck.

As I walked on, thinking about my own poverty, the man reappeared. We made eye contact, and I was certain that he remembered me from five minutes ago. He’s not going to ask me for another cig’ is he? No, he was on to another topic in his Rolodex.

“You know fish, right?”

“I don’t have any cigarettes man.”

“I don’t want a cigarette,” the man said, insulted once more.

Now I’m really confused. I don’t have any change for him. I don’t have a cigarette for him. Does he think I have a spare fish in my back pocket or something? Occasionally I’ll carry a salmon, but you happened to catch me on an off day. Better luck next time.

But, this relentless man was not talking about fish at all. He was talking about Phish – the band. This makes sense. He looks like a Phish fan and he smells like a dead fish. Now I know about Phish, but I’m not that guy who goes to their concert, trips on acid, and calls himself a hippy. To tell you the truth, I probably couldn’t name one Phish song. I’m more of a Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones guy. Nevertheless, I am not like the new generation where I’ve never even heard of Phish and am more interested in Flo-Rida’s newest ring tone. What kind of name is that? Flo-Rida. Not Florida, the state. Flow Rider…the rapper who flows and rides? In his defense, I bet he’s from Florida. I guess that’s creative in his mind.

Back to Johnny Bum. That’s what I’ll call him for now. He did want money after all. I knew it! He actually had a decent stack of cash in his hand to show me. He had more than I. If anything I should’ve been asking him for money. I was really in the mood for a falafel. I was right on McDougal, and I didn’t even have a dollar on me.

This guy wanted people to fund his trip to upstate New York, and his ticket to Phish’s upcoming concert. That’s pretty ballsy if you ask me. I didn’t believe him though. He was tripping on acid as we spoke. I knew this because he happened to mention, “I’m tripping on acid as we speak.” Gee, do you think he could’ve been lying about the all important Phish concert? There is no way he wanted money to pay for his next fix. This guy? On drugs? No way. Sorry buddy, maybe you’ll convince me the third time I run into you. By the way, can I borrow a few dollars for a falafel?

I’ll never forget this lady who approached me in a deli. She was about to purchase some alcoholic energy drink. You know, something that she desperately would need. Something very vital to her well-being. She wanted to “borrow” fifty cents from me. I love how they want to borrow money. As if I’ll see her in a few days and she’ll cough up the fifty cents I lent her. At least be honest with me, and yourself. You want to take my money from me, with no intention of paying me back.

I told her I did not have any change on me. Notice how generous I am at this point. So she told me that it wasn’t a problem. Her next move was to have me pay the difference.

“No problem sweetie. Here, take my fifty cents, and you can just pay the rest,” the genius said.

Is she serious? I just told her I don’t have change for her. So, she thinks I’m still interested in “lending” her money. The audacity of this woman. She handed me her change and drink and actually coerced me to the counter to pay the difference. Here I go. This makes sense, right? Wait a second! No way! I’m not paying for your drink. She looked at me as if I had just turned down the body of Christ.
What don’t you understand? You’re just going to pay for the rest of my drink. Understand? I may be naive at times, but come on. This trick isn’t going to work. I guess you’ll have to go a Tuesday without your energy beer.

Do you want to know what she did next? She approached my friend who had not overheard our conversation. She told him that I was a little slow, and didn’t understand her request. My friend said to himself, “I’m not slow. I understand what you want.” Sure enough, my friend went ahead and paid the difference for her drink. He came to me, confused. What didn’t you get? All I could do was shake my head in dismay. What are people thinking?

Something that I can understand, sort of, is if someone needs change for a
dollar. Watch out for the tricky bum in Penn Station. He wanted change for a dollar. Alright, that’s not too bad I thought. Let me see if I have four quarters in my pocket. You’re in luck buddy. Dollar please. I held out my change. So did he. What’s wrong with this picture? Who is giving who change here? I thought he needed change for a pay phone? Where’s your dollar bill?

Wait a second. You want to give me your change for a crisp dollar bill? What good is that for me? I have four quarters already. Do you think I’m eager to carry around eight quarters? I hadn’t planned on hitting up a Laundromat or arcade anytime in the near future. Wait another second; you only have about fifty cents in your hand. I can’t take this anymore. Just take my change. Here is a dollar. Go get a beer or crack, or whatever it is you waste your money on. Do I need a class to be homeless, or can I jump right into it? Do you mind if I shadow you for the rest of the day? I’ll be your apprentice or whatever. You’ve got to be making more money than I am. Wait, where are you going?!

Shit, I have no money for the subway. Anybody have change for the subway?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Movie Over-Rater

“Dude, did you see The Hangover? You would love it! It’s so your sense of humor too. The guys get drunk and wake up and forget everything. Then there’s like a tiger and a chicken, and some Asian gangster dudes. One guy looses a tooth. A tooth! Could you imagine?! So funny! Oh my God, then one of the guys marries a stripper! I mean how do they come up with this stuff? It’s fuckin’ hilarious. This Summer is going to be awesome. So many movies I need to see! Can you say G. I. Joe?”

Meet the movie over-rater. He’s never seen the Godfather. He likes both of the Matrix sequels, and he likes Scarface because it’s cool to like Scarface. He is the reason you come out of a movie and ask yourself, “Why would they even make this movie?” He is not alone. In fact, there are more of them than there are you and I. If we’re not careful, he will breed with some of us and further the garbage that litters the theaters.

Movie director Michael Bay is all too familiar with this crowd. His movies are deliberately designed to allow for no human brain activity whatsoever. The purpose of his films are to completely shut down all internal motor functions, thoughts, and intellectual opinions, so that the viewer can just enjoy two CGI robots smash each other over and over.

Wow, that explosion was badass! I’ve never seen an action film with a giant explosion. Especially one that immense. Here is my $12.50. I’m going to need a refill on this tub of popcorn too. I’ll just get up in the middle of this intense drama with its intricate plot and refill my tub. Of course I want extra butter. It’s free. Why wouldn’t I want it?

Please have a seat and hear this particular true story. Oh right, you are sitting. I was at Kips Bay (over near Murray Hill), where I joined an old college buddy for a late evening showing of the Peter Jackson remake of King Kong. I sat down, neglecting to buy my own popcorn or soda. Instead, I would “borrow” from my friend’s share. He didn’t mind. At least that’s what I told myself. After previewing more of what’s to come (and disappoint) for the summer, we sat down for what was bound to be a mediocre remake at best. How good could this thing possibly be? It was either this or sitting by my air conditioning unit all day, while my contacts dry out, watching Match Game on the Game Show Network. Love that Charles Nelson Reilly. Is Betty White still alive?

The gentleman to the left of me was on a very romantic date. I could tell by his XXL t-shirt and crooked hat, with the stickers and tags still attached. Nothing says romance like a red Yankees hat, with an official MLB sticker on the rim. Now I shit you not, as soon as King Kong came on to the screen this man awoke from his slumber and turned into a five-year-old child – sans parental control.

“Look at the monkey! Yea Kong!” the twenty something year old child exclaimed.

The movie over-rater had turned my attention away from the screen, and onto his fascinating antics. Is he being serious? Is he looking for laughs? I wasn’t sure. But, he was in awe of this giant ape. His excitement reached a peak, and alas he had to tell a friend about this unbelievable ape that had taken him out of his seat. Yes, he was standing.

With the quick dial of his phone, the over-rater was able to reach his friend. Yes, we’re still in the middle of a theater trying to watch a movie. The connection was a success. Not only that, the recipient of the call was in the very same theater. As I looked across the theater in pure amazement, I found another over-rater – hootin’ and hollerin’ about the very same ape. The two were able to have a conversation via cell phone. One man seated directly to my left, while the other was up in the front. They openly discussed how the ape was a “pimp,” given his ability to pick up the lovely blonde, Ann. They rooted for Kong as he defeated a Tyrannosaurus Rex in an animal-like feud. They even had sympathy for Kong when he was captured and exploited. “Poor monkey,” they cried. With that went my theory that they were heartless robots. No, “God” made these creatures. I’m still talking about the movie over-raters.

What was going on in the actual film made no difference to me. I had seen the original King Kong and I had pretty much put my brain on autopilot from the opening credits. But, two grown men were actually enjoying this movie so much, that they had to talk about it via phone from one end of the theater to the other. Mind-boggling. Shut the fuck up! No wait, I’ll say that out loud.

“Shut the fuck up!”

“What you say family?”

“I’m trying to watch the movie...what family? They’re in New Jersey.”

“Man, leave me alone. I’m on the phone!”

He had a point. I hate it when people interrupt my phone conversation. Plus, he was trying to watch a movie. I wasn’t even paying attention. You know what? I’m enjoying this. It’s like the de-evolution of human intelligence taking place right before my very eyes. Alright buddy. Talk away… From now on I may shell out the extra dough for the movie experience, not for the movie, but for the ignorant entertainment provided by dozens of movie over-raters.

Before I sign off on this topic, I thought it’d be a good idea to poll hundreds of movie over-raters to see what are the top ten movies of all time. Here are the results. Drum roll please….

Top Ten Movies: Voted by Movie Over-raters

1. 300
2. Saw
3. The Hangover
4. Final Destination
5. Transformers
6. The Italian Job
7. Sin City
8. American Gangster
9. Clerks
10. Do The Right Thing

I would like to thank everyone who helped with this poll. You will make people think extra hard about the movies you have selected. As they are undoubtedly, awful. Don’t feel too down, though. You are an important part of society, as you continue to line the pockets of millionaire Hollywood producers, whose main ambitions are to line their pockets with millions of dollars.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Really Really Foreign Dude

His country of origin is just as indistinguishable as the brand of his cologne. If that is considered cologne. The gaudiness is overwhelming and I’m positive that’s only one eyebrow. Is that a mole on his face or some kind of…eh, it’s a mole. Let’s not get carried away. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say at least five of the ten pieces of jewelry that garnish his body are real. That third necklace is totally fake though. On second thought, from the chest hair being shown by the neglect of fastening the fourth button, I’m going to say he’s quarter Grizzly Bear.

It’s so humid out and this block is jammed with shoppers. Judging by the perspiration under Gaudi’s armpits, he’s going to duck into that Armani Exchange nearby. What the hell, I’ll follow.

Hello, guy who stands by the door and gets paid to greet people. Say, how can I go about acquiring this position? I need to what? Never mind, I’ll stick to following around foreigners and writing their daily habits in great detail. Oh of course, I’ll give you a shout if I need any help. Although, correct me if I’m wrong, wouldn’t it be a lot easier to just walk over and speak in a normal tone? I have a feeling if I shouted at you, people may think I’m crazy. Then again, I am crazy for walking into this store in the first place. So, perhaps I’ll fit right in.

Where did he go? He blends right in. It’s like finding the one Korean person in Chinatown. I wonder how Eugene is doing by the way. I’ll have to give him a call later. Anyway, I may have lost Johhny Gaudi. That’s the nickname I just came up with. What would Gaudi be looking for in a place like this? First of all, what the hell do they sell here? Is there any article of clothing that doesn’t have the Armani logo slapped on it? Does everyone in here have eighth grade syndrome? Hey, look at my shirt. I bought it at Armani, and hence I am cool and fit in with everyone else. Please don’t make fun of my acne, braces, and/or glasses.

I bet he’s looking for one of those skin tight T-shirts. The kind that might as well be painted on. I’ll have to give the doorman a shout.

“Excuse me doorman dude! Where are your really tight T-shirts!!?? No, not those. The really really really tight ones! Oh, I thought you literally wanted me to shout at you. No, I’m not crazy. I’m sorry. Next time I will lower my voice. Sorry everyone.”

There he is! Woops, now I’m shouting in my head. Damn you doorman and your words with double meanings. Tight jeans section. I was close. Let me play it cool so I don’t look like I’m following him. Why would anybody want to wear these jeans? I suppose if they’re deliberately trying not to impregnate someone, for eternity. I’m all about waiting to have children, but I’m pretty sure there are easier ways to go about that. Then again the mentality here is eighth grade. I think that’s been firmly established. They’ll find out about the birds and the bees soon enough. What an awful video they’re in for.

How can Gaudi afford all of this? I wonder if he owns this place. At least that would justify the ten articles of clothes he’s carrying with him. No, he can’t own this place. Oil money? Bailout money? Wait a second. Is this the guy who invented Velcro? I always wanted to meet him. Velcro – what a cool name. Oh shit, here he comes.

Who is this Corey Hart? You do realize you’re indoors now. You can take your sunglasses off. I’m sorry, what did you say? Do I know where what is? I can’t understand this guy. I don’t even know what accent this is. I pride myself on picking up accents. This is like a combination of French, Israeli, and…Long Island? Fuck! I can’t even narrow down the continent! Here I go with the shouting again. OK, let’s just calm down here. I know I can crack this.

Oh! You want to know where the Meatpacking district is? I wouldn’t go there. You’ll have to wait in line forever. Plus, you’re going to need at least three girls per guy to get in. You have your own table you say? How many girls?! No, I wasn’t shouting. I’d love to help you find the place. Was I outside following you earlier? No, wasn’t me. We all look the same. We? You know, we as in…New Yorkers? You’re going right from here. Yes, I’d love to join you – sounds like a good time. You don’t think I should wear this outfit? Well, I wouldn’t exactly call this an outfit. It’s just something I threw together…No, you don’t have to buy me anything. Well, that tight blue t-shirt with all the shiny logos on it does look pretty cool. You like it too? These jeans would fit really snug on me too. Why don’t you throw these in as well. Do you own this place or something? You didn’t invent Velcro did you? It’s the stuff that sticks together….ah never mind. Let me find a belt with the Armani logo as a buckle. That’ll look real hot for tonight.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Friendly Drunk Guy

It’s midnight, give or take an hour. He’s on his tenth drink, give or take five. He is the life of the party, and yet he is barely coherent. His face is painted red from his own internal boiling blood. His eyes are blood shot, but the grin tells me he can care less. The reason he is the life of the party? He is buying everybody shots. Not to mention he is so damn friendly. It’s as if he’s known me for twenty years and while I’ve only know him for ten minutes, it feels more like five hours. “Another shot of Jack Daniels you say? Well, I don’t know. I do have to be up by noon tomorrow. Oh what the hell, make it a double.”

He’s either from England or Australia, but I can’t remember which. From the stench of his shirt I would say…well I still couldn’t say which. Nevertheless, he’s here on business and his business is supposedly something in finance, but it seems more like drinking to me. I sure hope his place of work is paying for this excessive tab. Come to think of it, I’m actually getting a little hungry looking at those sliders.

“Hey, Ted (that’s his name) what’s your last name again?


Get out of here. Here I thought all McGinleys were Type A personalities. Well, pardon me once more. This is no type A. Maybe AA. Or maybe he needs to visit AA, but that’s another story.

“An order of sliders please! Put it on the McGinley tab. Thanks Ted.”

“You got it. For what, though?”

“Oh, nothing. How about another beer?”

“I love this guy!”

The night would continue in this manner and the moochers were lining up outside the door to meet Ted. Somebody must have been texting their friends about the free food and drinks, compliments of Mr. McGinley.

Ted wants to know if I’m interested in soccer. I’m going to need some help on the subject, asap! Well, I followed Team Italia during their World Cup run. Actually that’s another story. SOHO was off the hook that day. I suppose I could discuss their win over France, and how Zidane was a big d-bag who cost the French the Cup. Plus, with this accent, Ted probably doesn’t care for the French.

Indeed I was right. But, Ted has already moved onto the next topic. I don’t know why I bothered to come up with a soccer anecdote in the first place. I should have known he wasn’t going to pay actual attention for more than ten seconds. He’s starting to slur a lot now and he’s spraying onto my face. Are those sliders almost done? By the way, how old is this guy?

For starters he’s definitely not married. Sure I could simply look at the ring finger and see nothing but knuckle hair and a scab. Maybe he’s divorced. I would say he fits the profile. He hasn’t really hit on any girls yet. He’s not gay is he? No way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Maybe I should hook him up with one of the ladies around here. They’re not exactly the cream of the crop. I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult. Ugh, I just got spit in my eye again. On second thought, it may be difficult. Are those my sliders? You’re the man, Ted.

Nothing like three miniature burgers after a few beers and a double shot of Jack Daniels. If I didn’t fill my stomach soon, I may have turned into Ted. Nobody wants that. Although he is so damn friendly. No matter how annoying he is about to become, I can’t imagine anyone wanting him to leave. Ouch! Ted, watch it. You just stepped on my foot and spilled half a beer on my jeans. No worries. Just be careful next time.

“What was I drinking? Oh, just a Peroni. No, you don’t have to buy me a drink over this.”

Thank you. I’m convinced my wallet will not see the light of day for the rest of the night. These are the best nights, financially at least. Where are my other friends that I came with? How are they not taking full advantage of this? I should text them, but I don’t want to take full advantage of Ted. Those chicken fingers look good. I could dip a few of those in Ranch dressing.

“McGinley. Yes, with Ranch dressing.”

I was still hungry – alcohol will do that to you. What’s one more order of appetizers? Ted would have wanted it. Is he talking about religion? Oh no, he’s entered the downfall of the drunkenness. Drunkenness is like the stock market, it reaches its peak and takes a turn for the worst. This could turn ugly real quick. I’m assuming he’s Catholic. The gold cross dangling from his neck gave me a slight inkling. Let me try and lighten the mood with a quick joke.

OK, that didn’t work. Ted, I didn’t mean to insult you. I’m actually Catholic myself, not by choice but by birth. Church? I love going to mass. Sarcasm? Since when did you think I was being sarcastic with you? Ted your face is getting really close to mine. You have officially crossed the boundary of my comfort zone. How about a piece of gum? You were supposed to chew that not throw it behind the bar. No, those aren’t my chicken fingers. McGinley? Oh, Ted did you order those?
Do you honestly want to fight me over a religious wise crack? I love Jesus! I’m not being sarcastic, that’s just my normal tone. Actually, I think I should check up on my buddies. They should be around here somewhere. Well, it was great meeting you Ted. I’m not a big hugger. Again, I’m not going to fight you over this either. I know, I know, you’ve had a few drinks. It’s OK you don’t need to apologize. We’ve all been there. What these chicken fingers? You want me to have these chicken fingers? I can’t take these. I don’t even know whose they are. They do look really good though. No, I shouldn’t.

These chicken fingers are really good. Where were you guys? I was by the bar the whole time talking to that drunk dude. That guy over there. Is he being carried out? Yea, well you should’ve seen him five shots ago. What a really friendly guy. Oh, he was from New Zealand. That’s right. I knew it was one of those countries. It’s a shame he had to go out that way – usually they toss them feet first. Get your own chicken fingers. I paid for these.