I now have one whole month of New York living under my belt. That doesn’t seem like such a long time unless you consider that’s thirty days of eating peanut butter and Mrs. Dash sandwiches. Okay, I’m kidding of course, but I enjoy saying stuff like that because I know my parents read these columns, and keeping them on their worried toes is quite amusing sometimes.
Things in the Big Crazy Apple are going well overall. It is indeed different. The other day, as I was walking down my street, not even a block from my apartment, I witnessed a man urinating on a building. It was 3:30 in the afternoon. Keep in mind, I don’t live in the slums. It’s Manhattan. There’s not only car traffic all around, but pedestrian traffic as well. Given it was New York, I figured maybe he was some sort of eccentric performance artist, and I didn’t give it much thought. Then he looked up and saw me wearing a Mets shirt. Here’s the actual conversation that ensued…
“You’re not a Mets fan, are you?”
“The Mets fucking suck, dude!”
Many people have tried to change my mind on a variety of issues. Never has anyone attempted it while relieving themselves on a sidewalk. Maybe he just felt like interjecting his opinion, because he just wouldn’t sleep unless he let someone know that the “Mets fucking suck”, something I’m made aware of almost every time they use their bullpen. Or…maybe he honestly thought he could alter my opinion of the Mets, that by simply telling me the “Mets fucking suck”, I would stop in my tracks, have an epiphany, and embrace him with gratitude. “Thank you, pissing man! I see now! I see that the Mets truly are not good and I should cheer for another team. F. Lee Bailey only wishes he could argue as well as you. You know, if you were taking a crap as well, I’d probably buy Amway from you.”
Rest assured that’s not a common occurrence. Sometimes I think all the cell phone noise is more disturbing. Most people in the city simply call it “communicating in public”. I call it a “cacophony of douche baggery”. As you know, the cell phone industry has expanded by leaps and ringtoned bounds. For example, many users these days employ the “blue tooth”, which is a small, wireless earpiece that simplifies life while maximizing pretentiousness. I learned while writing this column that the plural of blue tooth is not in fact “blue teeth”, nor is it “blue tooths”. It’s geese. I assume that because a man at the table next to me right now actually has one blue tooth in each ear, having two separate conversations like a verbal ping pong match, and it sounds like multiple geese making love to themselves in a whirlpool of narcissism. I can’t help but think he was convinced to buy the earpieces by some guy pissing outside a Sprint store, who screamed, “Handhelds fucking suck, dude!”
People who use a blue tooth may like their cutting edge technology, but New York is more confusing as a result. The earpieces are so small that sometimes it seems like people are talking to themselves, in which case it’s hard to differentiate them from deranged homeless people. Last week, I accidentally gave a blue toother a sandwich and asked a vagrant to please have his phone conversation with an inside voice. Guess which one threw a dead rat at me.
As for work, the comedy scene is keeping me busy. I decided to get new headshots which you can see on this website very soon. There are a ton of photographers in the city, a fact I was already aware of, but I was still shocked the first time I overheard one talking to his friend. All I heard was, “Sorry I’m late. I had to shoot a guy this morning.” What shocked me most wasn’t the openness of the statement, but rather the thought that a flamboyantly gay man could be a part of the mafia. I honestly thought for a minute that I should report what I heard to the authorities, adding that maybe Jimmy Hoffa’s body could be touring with the Ice Capades.
Comedy, as you can imagine, is only one form of art there. Whether they are actors, painters, film producers, or good old-fashioned New York Times fact twisters, there are talented artists everywhere. David Blaine even performed his most recent stunt near Rockefeller Center when he lived in a water bubble for two weeks, which is precisely three weeks longer than anyone gave a crap. That attention should have been given to the artists who really have something to say, and there are plenty of them. So many in fact, I occasionally walk up to any random person and say, “Hey, I really love your work.” Nine times out of ten, they smile proudly and thank me, not knowing that I really have no earthly idea what they do. That tenth time, however, a gay man threatens to shoot me.
Stay tuned for more updates, and feel free to check out a show if you’re ever in the city. Just leave your blue tooth at home, please. God, those are annoying.