Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Thursday afternoon it was starting to warm up. The NYU ladies were done with school for the year and therefore, obvs, getting wasted in the East Village. I wasn't in the mood to go out but the Wife kept saying I should and once that spring air hit my axons/dendrons I bought a fresh pack of smokes and stuck my hand out for a cab, along with the rest of the poor fucking schmucks who work behind anonymous desks on the west side. My arm was getting tired because cabbies hate me and everyone in the world wanted a cab going east on 34th. I was doing that thing where you only wave when you can't tell if the "vacant" light is on or off and then feel like a dumbass when he passes you with the light off and someone in the back. I was seriously thinking about turning back and heading home, even if it meant that I wouldn't be able to get drunk and check out my girlfriend's friends.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a guy about my age wearing a McDonald's uniform starts walking towards me. Singing. It sounded like he was saying "I'm gonna see Perfect Strangers, I'm gonna see Perfect Strangers" and I said to myself, "well, I guess he's a Balky fan." Then I thought about for a couple of seconds and decided that only one crazy motherfucker likes Balky enough to go around singing about a (completely underrated) 80's sitcom. I kept my cool. I stared south down 8th Ave, making sure to look impatient and not like I was scared for my life of a twenty-something McDonald's employee singing a song he wrote.

Okay, now I really, really want a cab to roll up. Balkyfan1981 is standing next to me waiting for the crosswalk and then he says to me: "Why are you waiting for a cab?" I was flabberghasted and had an urgent desire to suckerpunch him and run away. Instead I said, "Because I'm lazy and it takes forever to get the East side." I looked back down 8th, hoping that was the end of the conversation. No luck. "You know, you could have been on the subway already." Alright, A) get the fuck out of here with this. What are you, fucking crazy? and B) Oh right, you are crazy. So then, I'm sitting here deciding between suckerpunch and laughing it off, and then I think to myself, oh no, he wasn't saying "I'm going to see Perfect Strangers, he was saying "I'm going to talk to perfect strangers," or "I'm going to rape perfect strangers," or something even worse. Finally, the light turns and instead of whipping out a hypo to drug me and drag me into the back room at Mickey D's for an evening of TGIF he crosses the street and soon thereafter I find a cab and subsequently the aforementioned fine-lookin' future-docs.

So this little bit of NYC lore would have been lost in the vortex, long drowned in whiskey, had I not, this afternoon, been reading Rotten Tomatoes and discovered that there is a movie playing in theatres called, tada, Perfect Stranger. Combine this with the fact that there is a movie theatre on 34th between 8th and 9th, and I think we can safely conclude that my new friend might not have been full-blown crazy, that it's possible that he was just very excited about blowing $10 on a film aptly described by one critic as "deliciously retarded."

So, there you go. Lesson learned. Just take the subway.


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