September 30, 2004

What the Fuck?

It's amazing how quickly one becomes a New Yorker. Two days there and we were giving directions to tourists:

"You wanna eat? Well, West 46th is Restaurant Row, and it's fabulous, just fabulous, but if you want to know the real secret, go two blocks down and take a left on 9th Avenue--that's where the real places are, not the tourist traps."

We saw the Naked Cowboy several times, and although I'd never heard of him before, the King swore up and down that he's some sort of local famous person--and the ladies certainly seemed thrilled about getting pictures with the guy. I can see why; he was about 6 foot 3, with a fantastic body, clad only in a pair of tighty whities and his guitar. The King was so enthusiastic about seeing him that I suggested that perhaps he would like to get a picture with the big naked man. He declined, sadly.

One evening we were having drinks at a local bar, and there were two women from Oregon sitting at the next table. One was very attractive, extremely drunk, and necking with a guy. They seemed on the verge of stripping down and doing it on the floor when she announced that she had to pee, and her friend accompanied her to the bathroom. The guy started chatting with us.

The guy: "I'm really kind of nervous; I think she wants me to take her home with me!"
The King: "Um, yeah, seems that way. Good luck, man."
The guy: "No, I mean, I don't want to sleep with her tonight; I really want to get to know her better, because I really respect her. Um, did you catch her name? I can't remember it."

That was only one of several what-the-fuck moments I had in New York. Another was when we returned to our room after visiting the Statue of Liberty, which was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I thought it would be boring, but it was actually very moving. Anyway, back at the hotel, we tried to open our door with those little credit card-like keys they have now, and neither the King or I's key would work. We went to the registration desk, a harrowing trip involving 27 flights in a very old, rickety elevator that I was convinced was going to cause our deaths at some point. At the desk, we presented our cards to the young woman who was working there...

YW: "These are broken," she announced in a shocked tone, looking at them as if we had presented her with dead fish.
Me: "Broken?"
YW: "Broken," she sighed. "You see?" She held them up so we could see the slight bend they had acquired from being held in our back pockets, a bend that had been there with no problems for four days. "Totally broken." She then flung them with great and unnecessary vigor into a trashcan and, with a heavy, heavy sigh, gave us two new cards. It seemed to be extremely strenuous for her, despite the fact that all she did was punch a button on her keyboard and the computer spit them out. She then sent a security guard upstairs with us, ostensibly to ensure the keys worked, but presumably to ensure that we were actually staying in the hotel and weren't going to carry off the television.

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