Tuesday, September 16, 2008
A Few Gotham Anecdotes
Today on the subway there was a dwarf. Not a magical one, nobody got any wishes or anything, a proper dwarf. This was during rush hour, about 7:00 pm. Everyone is crammed in there nuts to butts. I thought that has to be awful to ride the train when you are at crotch level. Not a nice view, is it? The real danger is a fellow straphanger not being aware of the little guy and breaking a little dirty wind right in your face. That's a bad commute. I looked at the dwarf and thought it would be nice if he actually had some wishes.
Also on the 1 train, this time earlier in the day, a guitar playing busker hopped on at 72nd Street. He was terrible. Really awful. His crappy guitar was way out of tune and there was an attempt to play "Time of Your Life" from Green Day. No response. Then the pitiful minstrel shifted into "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young. Even worse. It was like a musical beating with a sock full of nickels. When he mercifully stopped and held out his cap, nobody reached for their wallet. This rarely happens in Manhattan. Usually there are at least a few pity dollars. The car boycotted as a whole. Angry, the horrible performer opened the door to the next car, turned back and yelled "I hope you all die! Cheap bastards!" Never seen that approach before.
The other night I couldn't sleep. Tossin' and turnin'. So I went for walk. This is about 3:30 or so. Middle of the night. Walking down my block I was stopped by a man. 40's, thin, white, bald. He seemed really panicked. "Can I ask you something?" "Sure," I said. He started into his tale of woe. He stepped outside to take out the garbage, the door shut behind him, and now he is locked out. It was a very detailed story. He then pulled out a piece of paper from his shoulder bag that had his address on it, "proving" he lived at the building he was locked out of. Now he asked for money "so when the locksmith opens up in a couple hours I can get back into my apartment."
My exact words: "Do I look like a tourist to you? You're kidding me, right?"
"Look I have proof I live there-" he started. I stopped him cold. "Your address is on 122nd Street. You're on 105th Street. So what happened was you went outside to take out the garbage, in the middle of the night, happened to have your shoes and shoulder bag but not your keys or your wallet, found you were locked out, then walked 17 blocks south to ask for money instead of sitting outside your building waiting for someone that lives there to go in and follow in behind them? Does this crap story actually work?" I might as well have just kicked him in the sweets. A little color drained from his face. "L-look," he said, stammering and stuttering, "do I look like I need to beg-" "No you don't. That's why you should shut up. Try a different story somewhere else." The con-man bristled and stormed off swearing at me over his shoulder. As he moved quickly further south. Away from the "apartment he is locked out of."
I love New York City like a fat kid loves cake...