Weekly Shocks' Blog

A Query:

What does it say about a person if her response to a six-foot (quite literally) pile of garbage on the elite Upper West Side of Manhattan is a giggle and a quick blog post? Oh, and a link to an article in The Times about how most other people are pretty effin’ pissed at this bullshit, and Bloomberg better get his ass in gear, that bitch.

Please note in the article that the trash also saved a potential suicide victim. And you think all NYC public works officials are hopeless, heartless incompetents. Hah!


A Slice of NYC Life

Not to brag, or anything, but I live two blocks from Penn Station. It’s an easy stroll to Times Square. The Macy’s Day Parade ends about twenty feet from my apartment. I saw Alec Baldwin outside a McDonald’s not far from my Upper West Side office not too long ago, and last week, a man in a pink tutu and a tiara told me he liked my hat while we waited in the subway during the massive and utterly lovely post-Christmas blizzard.

Yeah. I kind of like it here.

That said, there is an oddness to New York City that I can’t always wrap my head around, and part of it is happening as I type this blog entry.

The man who lives next door to me is currently engaged in what I can only describe as wild monkey jungle sex. He seems to be enjoying it, as is his partner. Good for them. It’s hard finding love in the city, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to criticize the joys that these two have found (quite literally) in each other, even if it’s frankly all kinds of awkward for me, and, gosh, these walls are outrageously thin.

But here’s the can’t-wrap-my-head-around-it part: I’ve met this guy. He’s over 60. He gets dialysis twice a week. He is on more drugs than Keith Richards and his death rattle snores have woken me in the dead of night more than once. (Like I said: thin walls.) The guy is in a wheelchair, ferchristsake.  How he’s accomplishing what he is accomplishing at this very moment defies the laws of physics. And yet, somehow, someway, there he goes. And goes and goes and goes. It’s gotta be a New Yorker thing. It’s gotta.

I’d like to know how he does it, but a mild-mannered, soft-spoken white girl doesn’t ask those kinds of questions of her elders, no matter how sassy her hat is to the drag queen strangers she meets in the subway. Nevertheless, if this old guy keeps it up (thatswhatshesaid), I’m pretty sure the structural integrity of the outrageously thin walls will be compromised, leaving me with a picture perfect view of the proceedings. I suppose I could just wait.

Or I could go try the new sushi restaurant down the street. There are always options here, thank God.

Um. Yup.

So. You guys know that when I so confidently bellowed, “See you next year!” in my last post, what I really meant was, “See you a full year from now and, oh, gosh, have I mentioned that I’m awfully lazy and a bit of a goober?”

Of course you did. You guys are so smart. I love you all.

It is a new year. And a new resolution. Weekly Shocks shall arise from the ashes like a phoenix from a burning waste dump. Gosh, does that ever stink.

Speaking of stink, guess who lives in New York City now?

But I kid the teeming metropolis of the whole damn universe. Please don’t hurt me, New York.

Happy New Year, my people. Did you miss the puggles?

‘Cause living in Manhattan isn’t bizarre enough.

I’m currently working on a story about a guy who gets abducted by aliens while on a fishing trip with his brother. It’s very dramatic and serious. No, really. Stop laughing. It’s totally serious.

OK, I lied: it’s a goofy mess. But I promise: no anal probes. Unless you guys insist. Then anal probes for everyone!

I probably need to be medicated.

Anyway, the story opens up with my adorable protagonist in the Manhattan Hooters with his somewhat less than adorable brother who bullies him into going there. I discovered there was a Hooters in Manhattan a few years ago while on a trip with friends. One member of our ‘we’re-obviously-not-from-’round-these-parts-so-please-don’t-steal-our-shoes’ gang spotted the Hooters as if it were some beacon of light in a swirling darkness of cacophony and confusion. And it sort of was, I guess. I mean, Hooters. In Manhattan. This quintessential, middle America, vaguely offensive yet comforting symbol of bland food, tasteless beer, and stereotypical, giggling gender roles in perhaps the most modern, cynical, hard, and shiny city on earth. It’s so typically not New York and therefore so typically New York. Severe cognitive dissonance. What the hell, man.

Our friend with the Hooters’ radar meekly suggested we have lunch there that afternoon. He was subsequently shouted down and beaten with sticks. I mean, this is New York, and it was summer, so you can see all the jiggly things you like for free on the street. Why pay for it and subject yourself to crappy wings and watery beer in the bargain? Stupid boy. But the incident stuck in my brain like a lot of other inconsequential incidents, and every once in a while, I drain my skull of all this crap and put the incidents in the weirdo junk I write. Again, I probably need to be medicated, but this is cheaper.

There is a point to this whole thing, sort of. I was telling a friend about the story I was writing, because, really, there’s nothing cooler than saying, “Yeah, I’m working on my story,” unless it’s “Yeah, I’m working on my novel.” I’ve received so many grins of slack-jawed wonder from cute guys this way. It’s totally awesome; I ain’t gonna lie. Anyway. I was chatting away in that insufferably nonchalant, self-important manner that I imagine all unpublished humorists have, and then my friend told me something that knocked the breath right out of my unnecessarily inflated lungs:

Me: “Yeah, my story, you know, it’s so trendy, so relevant, so now, you know? It’s wicked. The opening takes place in the NYC Hooters.”

Friend: “I know a guy who used to live in the apartment complex above that place.”

Me: “There’s an apartment complex above Hooters?”

Friend: “Yup.”

Me: “You’re shitting me, right?”

Friend: “Nope.”

Me: “…”

Friend: “I believe the phrase you’re looking for is ‘What the f*ck?!'”

Really. What the f*ck.

Imagine telling people you live above a Hooters. Imagine the variety of responses you’d get. Holy cow. Holy COW.

But, see, this is New York. So, it makes perfect sense. Sort of, not really? Yes? No? What the hell do I know, anyway?

In a callback to a previous post, bugger me sideways.