Monday, August 11, 2008

News Stand Fire Labelled "Suspicious"

Although I enjoy a nice beer buzz, I tend to get cranky if I drink too much too soon. Actually, cranky is too nice of a word. "Militant" might be more apt.

On Saturday morning, we were up late. I had a pounding headache, which I immediately blamed on the Coronas and the stress of the whole Friday Night Locksmith Extravaganza.

Since most of the kitchen has been moved to the lower apartment, we would need to have coffee down there. I grabbed two mugs and the French Press and headed for the door.

I saw that there was a slight coating of dust on the mugs because of the work Larry had started in the apartment, so I told myself I'd just rinse them off downstairs as I headed for the door.

"Are those mugs clean?" asked Larry.

"WHAT?" I snapped at Larry. Apparently, I don't take questions very well on a hangover.

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To say that Larry was pissed at me was a severe understatement. Once downstairs, we opened the door to the deck and it started to rain. I went into the kitchen to make coffee.

Though Larry claims that it makes better coffee, I hate using the French Press. It's too tedious for me, especially on a hangover. Just imagine trying to get through this procedure after a night of drinking:

1. Fill kettle with water
2. Add 5 scoops of coffee to French press
3. Wait for water to boil.
4. Wait longer.
5. Wonder where old coffee maker is.
6. Pour boiling water into French press.
7. Replace top.
8. Wait 4 minutes for coffee to brew.
9. Press plunger down, taking care to avoid spilling French press.
10. Pour coffee into mugs.
11. Wonder how you can get rid of this tedious French press and make it look like an accident. (Fill with catnip?)

After coffee, it was time for me to leave for Astoria. It was pouring rain as I stood waiting for the light to change at 9th avenue. I ran to the bus shelter and muscled in between the two girls standing there. These bus shelters are entirely too small.

When the bus pulled up, I cut off the two girls because they were all caught up in their little conversation. I waited eagerly behind a third girl who had decided, "I don't have time to close my umbrella. I'm going to leave it open behind me while I dip my MetroCard, and I'm going to block the entire stairwell so that no one can get on the bus until I'm good and ready to close it."

Once on the bus, I was relieved that I didn't have to walk all the way to 5th avenue in the rain. I didn't care about the hoards of wet people shuffling on at each stop. At seventh avenue, I watched with delight as a young couple tried to figure out how to get over the river of rushing water to get to the sidewalk. The girl hung onto the man for dear life and he jumped off the step onto the sidewalk. Tarzan of Chelsea.

At sixth avenue, the bus stop was blocked by a taxicab, so the bus had to stop ten feet away from the curb. The people getting out didn't know which way to go because the river of water at the curb became an alligator-filled moat they had to get over to get onto dry land. There was panic on their faces.

By the time the bus got to 5th avenue, the rain had died down enough for me to jump off and run for the subway without opening my umbrella.

It was hot and steamy down in the subway. I was hungover, hungry and tired. The tiny news stand was open, so I thought about getting something to eat or drink. As I deliberated what I might buy, I noticed a transit cop looking around the news stand. Something was in his hand and he was about to pay for it. What, I wonder, does a transit cop eat while he's on duty? He seems young, so he's probably into his body. It's probably something healthy-ish, like trail mix or nuts.

It was potato chips.

Well, that's not going to help me, I thought, as he walked out. I scanned the rack like it was a game show. What is going to be dense and nutrient rich enough to help my body recover?

A protein bar. That has to be it. It just might work.

"How much is this?" I asked the Indian man behind the counter.

"Three dollars," he said.

Fascinating. That's exactly what's left in my wallet.

As I paid for the protein bar, he felt compelled to plug it, in an effort to keep my second thoughts at bay. "This is vedy good bar. The best."

I was too tired to say anything as he wiped the dust off of the wrapper before giving it back to me.

I stood on the platform and peeled open the wrapper. I instantly regretted this $3.00 purchase. The fake chocolate coating had melted, forming a slick and threatening layer on the inside of the wrapper. I knew that this would soon be all over my hands if I wasn't careful. I briefly entertained the idea of throwing it onto the tracks like a petulant child.

As I bit into it, I remembered why I don't buy protein bars anymore. They are dense, dry and incredibly chewy. So chewy that your jaw is sore after you've finished.


I chewed and chewed until my jaw began to hurt and I regretted not buying a bottle of Gatorade. As dense as it was, I could feel the sticky chocolate begin to smear into the corners of my mouth. And that was just the first bite.

I unzipped the front pocket of my backpack and found some napkins. I wiped my mouth as hard as I could, and at the same time, wished for the Pure Protein company to be put out of business via avalanche.

The train pulled in and I searched in vain for a seat so that less people would see me chewing this shit brick. I ended up standing against the door, pathetically chewing away like a trapped animal trying to gnaw its own foot off. I had paid $3.00 for it, so now I had to eat it.

I could see a few people looking at me and while I would normally chalk this up to imaginary lust, I knew that this time they were thinking, "What the fuck's all over his mouth?"

Still, I pressed on, chewing and chewing and forcably wiping my lips, wondering if they were now covered with lint from the Starbucks napkins.

When I finally finished, I crumpled up the wrapper inside my napkin and turned to face the door, as if trying to hide recent plastic surgery from the paparazzi. Don't look at me. I'm hideous.

Maybe I just wont drink anymore.


1Letterman said...

Oh, my Christ, this is hilarious. I busted out laughing several times.

Shit brick. Hilarious.

Chris said...

That's high praise, coming from you! Thanks! said...

U woulda been better off with the potato chips. Most of those shit bricks have a ton of sugar in them. On a side note...DAMN U BLOGGER FOR NOT ALLOWING STRIKE OUTS IN THE COMMENTS! said...

.....and gatorade is sugar water